Bernard Hopkins covering Fight Night Round 2

EA Sports slaps the World Middleweight Champion on the box of its just-announced boxing game.

EA Sports gave the gaming world a one-two punch today. First was a solid right PR cross announcing the next installment in its popular Fight Night boxing franchise, tenatively titled Fight Night Round 2. Like its predecessor, the game will be available on all three consoles--the Xbox, GameCube, and PlayStation 2--when it is released in March 2005.

Developed by EA Canada, Fight Night Round 2 will feature a more refined version of the "total punch control" mechanic introduced in Fight Night 2004, allowing players to precisely guide their punches with the controller's analog sticks. The system also allows for dodging, blocking, and combinations, as well as variations in punch power. Fight Night Round 2 will feature several new punches, including the dreaded haymaker.

Fight Night Round 2 will feature several new options, including dynamic injuries that will affect fighters' defensive capabilities, and the new "cut man mode," in which you can fix up said injuries between rounds. The game will also have online play for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. To see more, check out the game's official Web site.

EA also delivered an impressive publicity uppercut, announcing that Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins would be the game's cover athlete and spokesperson. Hopkins is the current undisputed Middleweight Champion of the World, a title he took from Oscar De La Hoya in September. His boxing record is 45 wins (including 32 knockouts), two losses, one draw, and one no contest.

For more on Fight Night Round 2, check out GameSpot's Q&A with the game's executive producer, Kudo Tsunoda.

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