Benny’s Punching Bag: The fans speak! Doghouse reader’s give their opinions on De La Hoya & Bernard Hopkins
By Benny Henderson Jr. (October 4, 2004) 
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Well, it has been just over two weeks since Bernard ‘The Executioner’ Hopkins successfully defended his belt for the nineteenth title defense when he kayoed ‘the Golden Boy’ Oscar De La Hoya with a massive left hook to the body that sent the former champion crashing to the canvas in the ninth round of their September 19th championship bout. The old dog whom had his day compiled another great win for his boxing resume while De La Hoya was sent home with a loss but secured yet another humongous pay day for the thirty-one year old fighter. The fans got what they paid for and was left in awe of the stupendous stoppage that they witnessed that night on PPV and at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the first installment of Benny’s Punching Bag I asked nine questions for the fans to answer and give their best observations of the situation. Well the loyal Doghouse fans have spoken and the response was overwhelming! Here are some of the reader’s opinions and thoughts on the situation, whether their views are biased or bipartisan or great observations on the fight or just plain outrageous, it was left up to the readers. Whether I have the same take on their views or disagree with some or all of them, I had no affect on the outcome of their thoughts and allowed them to express how they feel on this subject.

Questions #1: Where should Bernard Hopkins and Oscar De La Hoya go from here?

Doghouse reader Garth Weaver states: “At this point I don’t think Oscar has anything that he has to prove. He is a certain future Hall of Famer, and people will be talking about his career for many many years after his retirement. I would love to see him backtrack and win back titles in some of his former weight divisions, but at this point I don’t know if that is a possibility”.

Many of the readers felt the same way about Oscar. Some felt that he should retire with all his money or rematch Fernando Vargas and add to his wealth. As for Bernard Hopkins, Doghouse Reader Steve Skinner said “Bernard needs to quit calling out these pumped up welterweights, I’d like to see Hopkins in a competitive match-up with Tarver, Jones or Calzaghe.”

Reader Steve Coleman had a different take when he stated “Hopkins should clean up the division by fighting either Jermain Taylor or Felix Strum and then move up to fight Tarver and Jones. Personally I would like to see Hopkins shut up Tarver, whom I think he can beat. But I would defiantly buy Hopkins-Jones or Hopkins-Trinidad.”

Most readers are in complete agreement in wanting Hopkins to face Tarver or Jones.

Question #2: Was De La Hoya winning or losing on your scorecard at the time of the stoppage?

All the readers agreed that De La Hoya was losing on their scorecards at the time of the stoppage with just a handful feeling that it was even.

Question #3: Do you feel Oscar could have gotten up?

Once again all the readers were in harmony when they said that there was no way the Golden Boy could have gotten up from that body shot delivered by Hopkins in the ninth round. Doghouse reader and boxing trainer Larry Kern states “No, I have seen those body shots from ringside, in the gym, and in many televised fights. The fighter’s head is clear, but the legs are somewhat paralyzed 10 to 15 seconds. Debilitating punch!”

Question #4: Did De La Hoya gain respect from this fight?

Doghouse reader Terron K Hill wrote: “I think so, De La Hoya has more heart than Roy Jones Jr. Oscar never backed up nor did he run from Hopkins.”

But fight fan Hector Daurte Jr. stated: “Poor guy is going to have critics who unjustly criticize him. The guy has fought everyone, people are to quick to hate on him.”

All readers agreed that De La Hoya gained or at least should have gained respect for his gallant performance.

Question #5: Should De La Hoya retire or continue to fight?

Well that question was actually answered in question #1, with most readers feeling that if he does continue he should fight in a lighter weight class or just call it a day and count his money.

Question #6: What fight do you, the fans, want for Hopkins to take on next?

Once again that question was answered in question #1 with most readers wanting Hopkins to cash the money ticket and fight Tarver or Roy Jones Jr., with just a handful who believe that he should at least take on the top guys left in his weight class.

Question #7: How do you feel Bernard would size up against Tarver and Jones Jr.?

That was a split decision amongst the readers.

Doghouse reader Gabriel states: “Bernard matches up better against Roy then he does Antonio and has a better chance at winning that fight. Antonio’s height/reach and southpaw advantages will cause Bernard some problems so he should very well lose that one.”

But reader Garth Weaver states “I think that he would do well against Jones Jr., in a close fight then their first. But I think he would shine against Tarver.”

Question #8: Which one would give Hopkins the better fight, Jones Jr. or Tarver?

Once again the feedback and opinions were a landslide. All readers felt that Jones Jr. would be the better fight with one fight fan feeling that Tarver would give Hopkins the better fight, but they had different reasons why.

Reader Roberto Rodriguez: “This would defiantly live up to the fight that De La Hoya-Hopkins failed to bring.”

Larry Kern said: “With Tarver’s size, power and southpaw stance I don’t think Hopkins would last 12. I believe he could go 12 with Jones, but I believe Jones would win.”

Question #9: Which was more entertaining, Hopkins-De La Hoya or Hagler-Leonard?

More fans leaned towards the 1987 bout between Hagler-Leonard as being the more entertaining and fan favorite fight. But I think Doghouse reader Roberto Rodriguez said it best: “Too many fights have been trying to copy the Hagler-Leonard fight, but, have failed to do so. It is time to come up with our own legacy and move on.”

I would like to thank all readers that participated in the first installment of Benny’s Punching Bag. We at Doghouse and myself really appreciate your support.

All though I completely appreciate all of the readers’ thoughts and opinions on this matter – and trust me, I got a bunch of great perspectives on the bout – I couldn’t squeeze all of it in so I narrowed it down and took some of the top responses. But please keep on sending me your opinions on future topics because in time I know you will get your chance to have your opinions posted for all Doghouse readers to see.

Thank-you, and keep reading and please feel free to email me with any topics that you feel should be broken down and examined by the readers.
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