1999-12-12 Bernard Hopkins w pts 12 Antwun Echols, Miccosukee Indian Gaming Centre, Miami, Florida, USA - IBF

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1999-12-12 Bernard Hopkins w pts 12 Antwun Echols, Miccosukee Indian Gaming Centre, Miami, Florida, USA - IBF. Referee: Frank Santore Jr. Scorecards: 118-110, 119-109, 118-110. Defending his title for the tenth time, Hopkins (158½) lost just two rounds on the cards. However, he was badly wobbled by the tough Echols (160) on several occasions, especially when dropped in the opening round as the referee called ‘break’. Although the rounds were going to Hopkins, with Echols meeting the champion punch for punch at times both men took some heavy shots without blinking. By the sixth Hopkins had begun to work the body, but back came Echols, swinging in blows from both hands to win the eighth. While looking likely to go at some stage Echols was still there come the final round. Despite being tired, both men opened up in the 12th. At times both were on the verge of going down as the punches came in fast and furious, and while the result was a formality Hopkins stated afterwards that he had never been hit so hard in his life.