Boxing


Hopkins-Pascal II Looking Good For May, Venue The Only Sticking Point

By James Slater: According to Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy, a rematch between light-heavyweights Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal is close to being made for the month of May, five months on from the controversial December 2010 bout that ended in a 12-round draw.

As fans know, the amazing 46-year-old from Philadelphia would have made boxing history as the oldest man to win a world title, had the three judges agreed with the majority of other onlookers. Instead, after getting up from two early knockdowns, B-Hop had to settle for a tie in Canada. Now, with Canada again being considered as a venue for the fight, he and 26-year-old Pascal are thisclose to meeting again to decide the Ring Magazine title.

Schafer says the only remaining issue is the venue of the fight.

“Bernard is on board with the terms, as is Yvon Michael (Pascal’s promoter); everybody is on the same page, but the location of the bout still has to be settled,” Schaefer told ring.tv.com. “We are willing to go back to Canada if the Canadian boxing commission agrees to have neutral judges and referee.”

For a while, it looked like Pascal, the WBC 175-pound belt-holder also, might take a rematch with Chad Dawson over a return with “The Executioner.” However, Hopkins-Pascal II now looks very close, and Dawson will likely have a spot on the under-card. According to the Ring article, Dawson, who lost his unbeaten record to Pascal via 11th-round Technical Decision in August of last year, will probably face either Librado Andrade or Adrian Diaconu.

Either match-up would be interesting, but the grand plan Schaefer spoke of to Ring is far more intriguing. Schaefer says the winner of Pascal-Hopkins II would then face the winner of Dawson’s fight.

“It will almost be like a little light-heavyweight tournament,” Schaefer said.

The May card, if it happens, will be televised by HBO.

Speaking of the fight that would top the bill: Hopkins-Pascal II - can Hopkins get himself a win this time around, or will Pascal be able to improve on his own performance?

As amazing as he is, and as well-preserved as he is, Hopkins, for as long as he continues fighting, runs the risk of one day discovering that the well is dry. It could happen overnight, or it may not happen for a couple more years; but one day B-Hop will begin to feel his age. Maybe he even did, bizarrely enough in the early rounds as apposed to the later rounds, last time out. Whenever a fighter, especially an ageing fighter, begins to get knocked down in fights, it can be a sign that he is wearing down.

The great Sugar Ray Leonard, at the twilight of his own legendary career, started to hit the mat more and more. Maybe we saw this start to happen with Hopkins back in August. It sure was a shock seeing the Philly marvel on the deck twice, even if he later claimed not to have been hurt either time.

Will Hopkins thrill us all one more time with yet another age-defying performance in May? Or will Pascal’s youth, combined with a better game-plan, see him to a win?

Article posted on 10.02.2011



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