The B.L. Morgan Boxing Blog: Pascal vs Hopkins - Why you should care. Why you should watch.
by B.L. Morgan: Despite being one the the least attractive fighters to watch (and believe me I'm not talking about his looks) Bernard Hopkins remains one of the top names in the sport of Boxing. Lets be honest here, more frequently than not Hopkins' fights have been as boring as watching paint dry. He developed a style that although effective, was also extremely useful as a sleep aid. Basically he got very good defensively by recognizing that if you don't do a lot offensively, you can shut the other guy's offense down..
Article posted on 17.12.2010
In recent years Hopkins has been known more for what he says outside the ring than what he does in the ring. He's been known for making racially inflammatory statements. Such as suggesting Manny Pacquiao is afraid of fighting African American fighters (when he's been calling out Floyd Mayweather for years) and prior to his fight with Joe Calzaghe saying he would never lose to a white boy like that happening would be an insult. (Then getting his ass kicked.) He blames his statements on his ghetto upbringing. Which suggests everyone should expect people from the ghetto to be as stupid as Hopkins has been acting. He doesn't get a free pass from here because I have lived large periods of my life in neighborhoods where it was less than safe. The only difference between ghetto people and everyone else is that usually the people there don't have the money to live in better neighborhoods.
I could go on about the evils of poverty and the reasons why a lack of money sucks but this blog is about Boxing not sociology.
Why should you care about and watch Pascal vs Hopkins?
This is a classic passing of the guard type fight where a young, talented, hungry fighter has to prove his metal against the aging lion. These kinds of fights are necessary to have the younger generation of fighters get the respect that the older fighter has.
Rocky Marciano (although he didn't want to) needed to defeat Joe Louis definitively to prove he was the next coming great heavyweight. The way he treated Joe Louis after the fight was almost as important as the fight itself in establishing the way Marciano was remembered. After the fight Marciano made the statement that he wouldn't have been able to beat a young Joe Louis. He showed class and was always remembered for that. People to this day may question The Rock's quality of opposition but they never question that he was the epitome of class as a world champion.
Larry Holmes didn't want to but needed to definitively defeat Muhammad Ali to cement his place as the premier heavyweight of his day. He also made the statement after the fight that he never wanted to fight a man who he idolized.
This fight is necessary for Jean Pascal because he needs to establish that he can beat one of the legends to become a legend.
Love him or hate him Bernard Hopkins is a legend within the the sport of Boxing. He held the middleweight championship 10 years and defended it a record 20 times. Bernard Hopkins comes into the fight as a Boxing Icon. He is a landmark that has been on the sports landscape for a very long time.
Strange things happen when people meet icons. Sometimes they are over-awed by the image of the person they are meeting and not the person. Muhammad Ali got by late in his career because a lot of fighters didn't fight Ali the fighter. They fought Ali the icon.
Jean Pascal is going to have to prove he can beat an icon whether that icon is old or not.
That's the reason why you should care.
Now on to the reason why you should watch.
Bernard Hopkins is a proud warrior. He won't go quietly into the sunset.
Jean Pascal has every physical advantage over Hopkins. He's naturally larger. He's stronger. He's quicker. More importantly, Jean Pascal knows he has those physical advantages. He also knows the one advantage that Hopkins has is experience. Pascal knows for Hopkins to have a chance Hopkins needs to make it a slow-paced, ugly fight where youth and athleticism mean nothing.
That means that Pascal is going to force the pace the entire way. He has to. It's the only way he can be assured of offsetting Hopkins shut down the offense, defense.
The reason you should watch Pascal vs Hopkins is because I believe it is going to be a fast-paced, hectic fight. Despite Hopkins trying his level best to slow down the tempo of the contest Pascal knows what he's got to do and he will do it. He forced Chad Dawson to fight at a pace Dawson was uncomfortable with. Pascal can force Bernard Hopkins to do the same.
I expect a late stoppage in a frantic and maybe foul-filled fight because when Hopkins knows he is losing he is going to resort to anything to stem the tide. This is one tide that won't be denied. The signs were all there in Hopkins' last two fights that he is finished as a fighter and this will be the contest that puts the nails in the coffin on Hopkins' career as a fighter.
Father Time is the one opponent who always wins in the end.
That's it for now. I want to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!
B.L. Morgan is the author of Blood And Rain, Blood For The Masses, Blood On Celluloid, Blood And Bones, Night Knuckles and You Play, You Pay. They can all be ordered through Borders or Barnes and Noble. By February 2011 the first three John Dark Books and Night Knuckles will be available through Speaking Volumes and the rest are available through Stonegarden.net Publishing.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!
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