Jean Pascal-Bernard Hopkins Later This Year?
by James Slater - As fight fans probably know, Ring magazine and WBC light-heavyweight king Jean Pascal of Canada has the right to take one "interim" fight before granting Chad Dawson his rematch clause of a return match. Pascal is currently being all but flooded with intriguing match-up offers - with everyone from Carl Froch, Lucian Bute and Tavoris Cloud in the frame as possible opponents..
Article posted on 20.08.2010
However, the man with all the news all the time, Dan Rafael, has reported on his twitter page on ESPN.com that Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer has been in touch, telling him a Pascal-Bernard Hopkins fight is being talked about for this fall. Schaefer told Rafael he is in talks with Pascal's people right now, and that both sides are interested in the fight.
Speaking himself on ESPN this past week, Pascal said he'd like to get it on with Hopkins next because he is a legend and he "beat my man, Roy Jones." Pascal, a huge fan of Jones Junior in his youth, said he would love to gain revenge for the loss his one-time idol suffered at the hands of "The Executioner" earlier this year. So, Pascal will be sufficiently motivated if he does get a fall date with the amazing 45-year-old. Can Pascal, as physically and mentally strong as he is, become the first man to stop B-Hop?
I recall writing a preview of the October 2008 clash between Kelly Pavlik and Hopkins, and I asked the same question then; whether or not the much younger, harder-hitting Pavlik would become the first halt Hopkins. Well, that never came anywhere close to happening, and I learnt then, for good, that writing off or doubting the Philly great is a very foolish thing to do. It won't happen again; not on my part anyway. But will Pascal look at Hopkins and see and "old" man ready to be taken?
Let's face it, as special and as smart as he is, Hopkins can't go on tearing up the form book forever. If he continues to take risks by fighting elite fighters who are in their prime (as he looks like doing if he does indeed face Pascal), Hopkins is surely going to come a cropper one day. He is human, after all!
Still, Hopkins is a cute boxer as much as he is a tough guy and a physical anomaly. Pascal may be as strong as they come and he may have seemingly limitless stamina and an unquenchable desire to fight hard, but he can also be a touch clumsy and predictable. Could Hopkins, with his brilliant boxing brain and ability to take a rival's strengths and turn them against him, ultimately forcing his opponent to fight HIS fight, put on yet another master class against the Canadian?
Chad Dawson, who succeeded in hurting Pascal a few times this past Saturday, was too negative most of the time, and he showed Pascal too much respect. It's hard to see Hopkins making the same mistakes. Once again, Hopkins, if he does put pen to paper to fight Pascal, will enter the ring as an underdog. But is the man many experts have referred to as the smartest fighter of his generation about to cause another sensation? Another question is: would you bet against B-Hop shocking the odds once more?
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