Did you ever play that game where you tried to figure out how old you would have to be before you could finally take your dad? High school was too soon, because he had the insurmountable "man strength" intangible. You figured your first real shot would come in your mid-to-late 20s, when you would be in your athletic "prime", and the old man, well into his forties, would be settling nicely into a beer gut and extended periods of sitting on his ass while driving in his newly purchased convertible. Well, those of you with designs on taking a run at pa this upcoming holiday season might want to hold off a bit - those quadragenerians are tougher than they used to be. Yep, despite giving up 17 years and 4-1 odds to WBO/WBC Middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik, 43 year-old Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins dominated the young buck in their Saturday night fight in Atlantic City, winning by unanimous decision and handing the previously undefeated Pavlik the first loss of his career. It was a non-title bout (which, if this were professional wrestling, was a dead giveaway that Hopkins would win), but Hopkins sure as heck fought like everything was on the line. B-Hop took control early, had Pavlik's nose bloodied by the fifth, and even started doing the old "fake wind-up" in the seventh when it was clear he had the fight well in hand. While Hopkins landed punches often and in bunches, Pavlik never really broke through the defence of the cagey veteran, who looked quicker, crisper and hungrier. There was a tiny bit o' drama at the end, as the two fighters kept on punching after the final bell, which almost prompted their respective entourages to get in on the fun. But both men unsurprisingly handled themselves with class afterwards. Pavlik gave all credit to Hopkins, saying he was "not makin' no excuses β€” the guy fought good and he gave me a lesson." For Hopkins' part, he told Pavlik that he could be a "bad ass son of a bitch" and that no one would touch him at 160 lbs. (Pavlik was fighting as a light heavyweight, ten pounds above his normal weight class). And of course, to the victor belonged the post-fight shameless endorsement opportunities:

When Larry Merchant was in the ring to do the post-fight interview, he explained the slight delay by saying Hopkins was trying to sell something. Hopkins then smiled and pointed to the "Affliction" T-shirt he was wearing. He spouted their name, adding, β€œSend the check."

Hmm. "Domino's. Send the pizza." And now...the waiting game. Hopkins hands Pavlik first loss [The Press Association] History Making Win by Hopkins over Pavlik [East Side Boxing] Unbeaten no more: Hopkins shocks Pavlik with totally dominant performance [Bad Left Hook]