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By Tim Graham
Special to ESPN.com
Just one hook, and he fell so hard.
Bernard Hopkins delivered a perfect punch, a thundering blow that landed in that debilitating spot between the right hip and ribcage. Oscar De La Hoya crumpled to the canvas in excruciating pain.
De La Hoya could have had 30 seconds and a stepladder, but there was no possible way he would rise. Hopkins punctuated the biggest bout of the year by punching De La Hoya square in the liver, bringing a sudden close to a rather dull event 1:38 into the ninth round Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.