2004-09-18 Bernard Hopkins w co 9 Oscar De La Hoya, MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - WORLD/The Ring
2004-09-18 Bernard Hopkins w co 9 Oscar De La Hoya, MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - WBA/WBC/WBO/IBF/The Ring. Referee: Kenny Bayless. At the age of 39, Hopkins (156) put his WBA, WBC and IBF titles, as well as The Ring Championship Belt, up for grabs against De La Hoya (155), the WBO champion, in a match that would unify the title for the first time since 1986. In contention during the opening four rounds, having disrupted Hopkins’ rhythm when snapping in four or five blows to the body before making off, De La Hoya was looking to move on but by round five he was running into stiff lefts. As each round came and went it was apparent that De La Hoya was having trouble getting inside Hopkins’ jab and the latter’s size and strength was also beginning to bother him. Having won the last two rounds on all the cards and in front, Hopkins began to step it up in the ninth and following a solid left jab he stepped inside with a cracking left hook to the body that sent De La Hoya down to be counted out at 1.38 of the session. Afterwards, De La Hoya, who had never been floored by a blow to the solar plexus before, said that the punch had paralysed him and as much as he had wanted to get up it was impossible.