Bernard Hopkins, an old man, doing old man things. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
This weekend against Jean Pascal, Bernard Hopkins intends to prove his critics wrong once again by defeating Jean Pascal. To his credit, he was a massive underdog as long as nine years ago, when he dominated Tito Trinidad in the first major New York sporting event to come after 9/11. Nearly a decade later, he's still out to prove the doubters wrong. There's also some good material in here about Hopkins' previous retirement, and the thought process that went into violating his dying mother's wishes by unretiring.
Hopkins is aiming to become the oldest fighter to win a belt in boxing history, although contrary to many reports, he wouldn't actually be the oldest champion, as Big George Foreman did hold his world title until he was about a year older than Hopkins is now. Hopkins has been uncharacteristicly quiet for this one, but he says he's dead serious about the fight and that people are underestimating him.
A solid story about Jean Pascal's background, how he moved from Haiti to Montreal, dreamed of becoming a hockey player before turning to fighting, how he raises his daughter as a single father, and how his newfound fame hasn't changed him at all, in part because he's always been a pretty cocky fella. The article also mentions that Pascal's purse for the fight will be $1.5 million.
All along, Bernard Hopkins has said that his ring intelligence will win him this fight. Pascal says he's no dummy either. He claims he's been studying tons of film on Hopkins, and that he and his trainer have found a number of holes in his game that they are confident they will be able to exploit. Of course, sticking to the game plan is always tougher once you get hit, and Pascal isn't exactly renowned for being the most disciplined or intellectual fighter out there.
As usual, lots of goodies here, even if the timing was different this week. Among the items we haven't mentioned already: Danny Jacobs' gameplan for his comeback bout against a journeyman on the Pascal-Hopkins undercard; Lucian Bute's first fight on his Showtime contract to come on March 19, possibly against Brian Magee, with a Molitor-Ndlovu rematch on the undercard; exploration of an (unlikely) bout between Marcos Maidana and Andre Berto; Saul "Canelo" Alvarez's next fight scheduled for March, probably against either Vyacheslav Senchenko or Matthew Hatton; and former heavyweight contender Luan Krasniqi attempting a comeback against Jonathon Banks.
Yeah, so that's why he went a year between fights while waiting for his title shot, and why he signed with Don King, who routinely lets his fighters sit on the shelf forever between fights. On the other hand, this weekend's title defense against Fulgencio Zuniga can't be characterized as anything but a stay busy fight. Cloud's manager also mentions that, should he beat Beibut Shumenov in January, titlist Juergen Braehmer has expressed interest in attempting to further unify against Cloud.
This is old hat, as we reported it when the warrant was issued a week ago, but Floyd Mayweather Jr. was finally arrested for poking a security guard in the face. The pretty boy is still pretty as ever, smiling for the cameras. I'm not sure how kindly the judge will take it when he finds out that, after the warrant was already issued, Floyd decided to spend the weekend in Belgium supporting his fighter Said Ouali rather than turning himself in.
Guess what - Odlanier Solis is still fat. Also, it looks like Ricardo Mayorga will actually go through with his scheduled fight.