Showtime will be putting on their first pay-per-view boxing event since 2007 on December 18, as they're backing the light heavyweight world championship fight between champion Jean Pascal and challenger and living legend Bernard Hopkins.
Dan Rafael reported the signing of the contracts and the fact that it was headed to Showtime PPV, and Corey Erdman of Sirius 98 and The Boxing Bulletin confirmed with Showtime earlier.
From Rafael's report:
Pascal-Hopkins, which had been agreed to earlier this month, will take place in Quebec City and mark Hopkins' return to Showtime. Schaefer said he has finalized a deal for the network to produce and distribute the fight as a Showtime pay-per-view.
"Showtime will be using their announcers and doing it like a first-class Showtime broadcast. Showtime is excited about it and so are we," Schaefer said.
Showtime has not been associated with a pay-per-view event since November 23, 2007, when they backed the fight between Fernando Vargas and Ricardo Mayorga.
Pascal (26-1, 16 KO) won the vacant lineal light heavyweight championship in August, starting a new line that will hopefully not get interrupted any time soon. His win over a heavily-favored Chad Dawson is in the running for Upset of the Year.
Now he'll face Hopkins (51-5-1, 32 KO), who will be fighting just about a month shy of his 46th birthday. The former middleweight and light heavyweight champion hasn't had what many would consider a tough fight on paper in two years, when he dominated then-middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik at a 170-pound catchweight. Since then, Hopkins has fought twice. He beat Enrique Ornelas in a tune-up bout last December, a fight meant to set up a long overdue rematch with Roy Jones Jr.
Jones lost his fight on the same day in Australia to Danny Green, which in the end didn't change plans at all. Hopkins and Jones both looked downright terrible in their horrifying April rematch, with Hopkins taking a unanimous decision that was wide on the scores but is hard to call dominant, given that Jones barely fought at all and Hopkins' performance is most memorable for his writhing about on the canvas in what appeared to most observers to be little shy of a B-movie acting performance.
But Hopkins has in recent years showed up for serious challenges. He decimated Pavlik and Antonio Tarver, was competitive with Joe Calzaghe and a young Jermain Taylor in three highly-disputed losses, and thoroughly beat Winky Wright. Jean Pascal gets a chance to retire a legend, but so did all of those other guys, and they couldn't do it.