According to a British news source, Bernard Hopkins has made a public statement that dashes Calzaghe's hopes to crack the American market with a B-hop megafight. And it looks like Hopkins is serious about coming out of "retirement" (was that the shortest faux-retirement ever, or what?) to put on some pounds and fight Maskaev for a heavyweight belt. Here's what he said:
"Calzaghe is a good fighter but right now it would be a backward step for me. It is not a big enough fight right now, and I need a big fight to get motivated. A fight against Maskaev would be exactly the type of fight I need."
I'm glad to hear it. I'm more interested in seeing Calzaghe vs. Kessler right now, and a Hopkins vs. Maskaev match sets up the possibility for the fight I most want to see.
If Hopkins can overcome Maskaev and Toney beats Peter in their rematch, then correct me if I'm wrong here, but doesn't that make Toney the mandatory challenger for Hopkins's new belt? This would be the biggest heavyweight fight in a long time, and it would be a fitting capstone to the career of either man. Surely the money would appear for such a match, but would Hopkins be willing to tackle a far more crafty heavyweight than Maskaev in the way of James Toney? Neither man is a natural heavy, but Toney's experience in the division would surely help his cause.
What do you think? Could it happen? Who wins? How do you see Hopkins' career unfolding now that it's clear he wants more action?