Boxing


Who Should Bernard Hopkins Fight Next - Adamek Or The Winner Of Dawson-Johnson II?

Bernard Hopkinsby James Slater - The word is Bernard Hopkins wants one last fight on or around January 15th next year, the date on which he will turn 45-years young. Apparently, as fans may have read, "B-Hop" is looking at facing either IBF cruiserweight king Tomas Adamek, or the winner of the upcoming November rematch between light-heavies Chad Dawson and Glen Johnson (a fight which will now contest the vacant interim version of the WBC crown).

Which option would you, the fans, prefer "The Executioner" to take?

Looking to further cement his place as one of the smartest, most durable and flat out greatest fighters in boxing history, Hopkins would earn plaudits with a win in either of the two talked of bouts. And even though he will be even further into the early years of middle age by fight time, Hopkins would have to be given a superb shot at winning over whichever one of his three possible opponents he meets..

With a win over the tough Pole, Hopkins would have conquered yet another weight class, he would have become the first man to defeat Adamek at cruiserweight and he would also have added another world title to his trophy cabinet. On the other hand, if Hopkins were to beat Chad Dawson, he would have sent another young and unbeaten fighter back home with a 1 added to his loss column and he would also have beaten a man many see as the best 175-pound operator in the world today. As for the third possible foe in Glen Johnson, no disrespect to Johnson, but with a win "B-Hop" would simply be going over old ground (having stopped "The Road Warrior" in the 11th-round way back in 1997).

So, the two most attractive opponents for Hopkins' January 2010 date are Adamek and (providing there is no upset win scored by Johnson) "Bad" Chad. Adamek may be the more dangerous man of the two. We have yet to see how Hopkins can handle himself against a 200-pounder, for one thing, and Adamek has an iron jaw and he gets stronger and stronger as a fight progresses for another. Dawson, a better boxer than Adamek, has shown a somewhat suspect chin and a tendency to allow himself to be bullied and roughed up (see his first fight with Johnson).

In truth, it's easy enough to picture Hopkins schooling either Adamek or Dawson; so adept has he proved himself to be at continually proving his critics and the odds wrong. And there will no doubt be a number of people who will predict a loss for Hopkins if he takes either fight. Having been burned so many times by the Philly legend's ability to cause an upset, I will not be one of them!

Adamek has more of a chance of hurting Hopkins, especially late in the fight when "Goral" comes on strong and, as he did in the Joe Calzaghe loss, Hopkins fades a little. Of course, Dawson could well prove to be too fast for a 45-year-old, inactive-since-he-shut-out-Kelly Pavlik, version of Hopkins. But on the other hand, could "B-Hop" perhaps score a stoppage over the 27-year-old lefty? Don't forget how much of a master 'Nard has proven himself to be against southpaws, after all.

Both fights are intriguing, but personally, I'd like to see how Hopkins would handle the bigger and harder hitting fighter. It wouldn't be an upset if Hopkins were to take Adamek to school over the 12-rounds, but it sure would be impressive. Even more so, I think, than him doing the same thing to the less dangerous Dawson.

But against whoever it is he faces in what may well be his farewell fight, Hopkins is likely to be the man receiving the most cheers. And that hasn't always been the case in this modern day legend's all-time great career.

Article posted on 19.08.2009



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