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Published On November 14, 2014 » 2314 Views» By Administrator Times » Columns, Sports
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ONE of the major theories of mass communication is the agenda setting theory. This theory centres on the idea that media outlets tell the public “not what to think, but what to think about.”
Agenda setting hypothesises that media have the power to influence the public discourse, and tell people what are important issues facing society.
This past week, newly unified and unbeaten WBA/IBF/WBO light heavyweight world champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (27-0-1, 23 KOs) emphatically reminded  vanquished living legend Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins (56-7-2, 32 KOs) and the boxing fraternity in general about “not what to think,” but “what to think about” after the Russian handed the tough American a lopsided unanimous points decision loss-his heaviest in his illustrious career-over 12 rounds.
This reminder to Hopkins and fight fans alike is particularly relevant considering the views expressed in last week’s fight preview appropriately headlined:  “Can Kovalev Retire ‘Alien’ Hopkins ?” published in this column.
Hopkins failed to shock the world one more time, and “The Alien” took quite a beating, especially in that 12th and final round when he was clearly on the verge of being stopped by Kovalev.
The scores were 120-107, 120-107, 120-106. Hopkins didn’t win a round. Kovalev took control early, dropping Hopkins with a right hand in round one, but Hopkins recovered quickly. Kovalev’s power made Hopkins cautious in round two.
Kovalev had a clear game plan and took the fight to Hopkins who was largely beaten to the punch all night long. Hopkins, a master of the defensive and rough house tactics, tried, but lamentably failed to establish any rhythm in the fight.
Instead, he was forced to fight Kovalev’s fight- boxing on the back foot on the outside which proved futile as Kovalev used his reach advantage and size to intimidate his opponent by cutting off the ring most of the time and throwing more punches, landing hard shots when possible.
The fight could have ended in a stoppage in the last one minute of the 12th round when Kovalev pummelled the veteran American and it was a miracle he survived.
Father Time appeared to have caught up with Hopkins although he was still able to look athletic with his lateral movements and setting up angles which amounted to nothing.
Hopkins had done it all in the ring, including shock numerous young champions who thought that the Philadelphian alien was just too old and not sub-human enough to compete at the elite level.
Will Hopkins fight again? Would referee David Fields have stopped the fight in  Kovalev’s favour in that 12th round were it not Hopkins and his huge reputation taking those hurtful shots?
Hopkins’ resilience, courage and tenacity in the ring has been extra-ordinary. If Kovalev has not retired the great Hopkins from the sport, one can say Kovalev gave Hopkins something to think about at least.
In my view, Hopkins, who is a Hall- of- Fame inductee has nothing more to prove to anyone.
He’s been a great fighter who will no doubt inspire and influence the younger generation for years to come. Last week’s act may have been his passing of the torch to a younger generation.
Comments: mwale.simon@yahoo.co.uk   0966 755574/0953744074

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