2003-12-13 Bernard Hopkins w pts 12 William Joppy, Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA - IBF/WBA/WBC/The Ring

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2003-12-13 Bernard Hopkins w pts 12 William Joppy, Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA - IBF/WBA/WBC/The Ring. Referee: Earl Morton. Scorecards: 119-108, 119-109, 118-109. Although Joppy (159) went the distance, winning a side-bet, despite there being no knockdowns the champion was far too good for him. Pacing himself superbly Hopkins (160) was on top in virtually every round bar the seventh when Joppy scored with a hard right uppercut, and by the eighth he was back controlling his rival from the centre of the ring. Coming out for the 11th, his left eye swelling up, Joppy gave it one final go before being forced to take a sustained beating right through to the final bell.

On 1 May 2004, at the Jai-Alai Fronton, Miami, Florida, Maselino Masoe stopped Evans Ashira inside two rounds to win the WBA ‘second tier’ title that had been vacated following Joppy’s defeat.