Bernard Hopkins vs. Syd Vanderpool
Sharing a billing with Roy Jones Jr., Bernard Hopkins defends the IBF Middleweight Championship against super middleweight contender Syd Vanderpool, a last-minute substitute for Brian Barbosa, who is cut in sparring. The bigger Vanderpool bullies Hopkins in the first two rounds before the champion slowly starts picking him apart with pot shots. After taking turns tackling each other to the canvas, Hopkins stuns Vanderpool in the ninth round and has him in trouble in the final seconds of the twelfth when Referee Bill Paige jumps in prematurely, mistaking the ten-second notice for the bell to end the fight. Denied the knockout, Hopkins settles for a wide unanimous decision win.