Boxing: Hopkins wins world title at the age of 46

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The Independent Online

Bernard Hopkins became the oldest man to win a boxing world title on Saturday when he defeated Canadian Jean Pascal by a unanimous decision to claim the WBC and IBO light-heavyweight belts at the age of 46.

"It feels great," said Hopkins after eclipsing the achievement of George Foreman, who was 45 when he knocked out Michael Moorer to win the heavyweight title in 1994. "I knew it was going to be a tough fight, but I wasn't going to be denied. You're supposed to win titles in your twenties, not when you're 46."

In front of a crowd of 17,560 in Montreal – the largest ever to attend a boxing match in Canada – all three judges awarded the canny, former undisputed world middleweight champion the fight, with Hopkins claiming 116-112, 115-114 and 115-113 majorities.

Hopkins, who made his professional debut in 1988, said: "It was exciting. I've been accused of being boring but I've saved the best for last. I'm going to fight like this until I retire. But I want to fight for as long as I can."

The American also received a tribute from Foreman, whose record he broke. "What great conditioning," said Foreman. "And he did it in Pascal's home town. Isn't that something? He was just so much better. I'm happy for Hopkins and I'm happy for mature athletes."

George Groves won a majority decision by the narrowest of margins over James DeGale at the O2 on Saturday to add the British super-middleweight belt to his Commonwealth title. The result was brought about by two judges giving scores of 115-114 to Groves while the third had it level at 115-115.

Nathan Cleverly defended his WBO light-heavyweight title for the first time on Saturday. The Welshman had to settle for an anti-climatic first defence of his belt, with a fourth-round stoppage win over Aleksy Kuziemski.