Pavlik vs Hopkins: It May Be Tougher Than You Think
19.07.08 - By Jim Amato: I have considerable mixed emotions about this fight. First off I feel that from a Team Pavlik stand point, it is a good move. If the aging lion with marquee value wants another fight, why not cash in ? If they don't someone else will. A win over Hopkins, especially a KO will really sweeten the pot for a Calzaghe showdown later on. BUT ... I also consider this a dangerous fight for Kelly.
Yes I know Bernard looked terrible against Calzaghe but Joe's style was all wrong for Bernard. Remember it wasn't all that long ago that Hopkins looked pretty good beating Tarver and Winky Wright. Is Hopkins old and shot ? We'll find out October 18th. What if he isn't ? Kelly has never fought anyone like Bernard. He'll be shown things in that ring he's never seen before. Give Hopkins this, he knows every trick in the book. If B'Hop is on his game this could be a very difficult fight for Kelly. Bernard has a great chin and he surely knows what to do when he is hurt. I see him setting a lot of traps for Kelly. He'll try to let Pavlik's aggressive style work against him. I look for Bernard to try and use his jab to break up Pavlik's rhythm..
I also see Hopkins trying to counter Pavlik's big right with left hooks to the head and body. To me the biggest question is...How long will Hopkins be able to go at a fast pace before he starts wearing down ? Kelly will be putting on constant pressure. If Hopkins can't hurt Kelly and slow him down, the late rounds may betray him.
I really don't think this will be your standard boring Hopkins fight. Pavlik will set a pace that Bernard must try to keep up with. I foresee a lot of action in the first seven or eight rounds with both men having their moments. Going into the later rounds I see Kelly getting stronger and Bernard winding down. At that point I see Pavlik pulling away on the cards. I doubt that Hopkins will be stopped. I do see Pavlik winning a indisputable decision in a much tougher and more competitive fight then most people anticipate.