Bernard Hopkins knocked out Oscar De La Hoya with a left hook to the body in the ninth round to remain the middleweight champion of the world on Saturday. De La Hoya had the wind knocked out of him, and after being counted out, he pounded the canvas in frustration. The knockout blow was legitimate but barely discernible to the Las Vegas crowd and capped a mostly strategic fight in which few clean punches landed. At the time of the knockout, De La Hoya trailed Hopkins by wide margins on two official scorecards but led on one. De La Hoya made no excuses afterwards. “He threw a good body shot, he caught me. What can I say?” said De La Hoya, who deserves the admiration of all boxing fans for stepping up to a risky fight against Hopkins despite being financially set for several lifetimes. Hopkins, who left the ring with the IBF, WBC, WBA, WBO and Ring Magazine belts, said he was interested in facing Roy Jones or Antonio Tarver. De La Hoya refused to indicate whether he would retire, and will likely watch the upcoming Felix Trinidad-Ricardo Mayorga and Winky Wright-Shane Mosley bouts to determine if he wants yet another eight-figure paycheck. Photos from Tom Hernandez and a ringside report by Andy Rivera will follow.