In a move designed simply to get a specific reaction from the crowd at the Bell Centre, Bernard Hopkins plans to wear Philadelphia Flyers gear to the ring on Saturday night. The Bell Centre is the home of the Montreal Canadiens.
Hopkins said he will wear ajersey with No. 16 on the back into the ring when he challenges the WBC light heavyweight champion from Montreal on Saturday night at the Bell Centre.
The number was worn by Flyers captain Bobby Clarke on two Stanley Cup teams in the 1970s, when Philadelphia had a rivalry with the Montreal Canadiens.
"Bobby Clarke -- remember the Broad Street Bullies? I got his number," Philadelphia native Hopkins said after a quick workout at the Underdog Boxing Gym. "I'm going to take my two front teeth out, too."
The "Broad Street Bullies" Flyers and Canadiens teams that opposed them were major rivals, and that rivalry continues on today. Last November, Stephen Whyno of Philadelphia Sports Daily counted the current incarnation of the rivalry as the best in the NHL:
Something seems to happen just about every time the Flyers and Habs get together, fueled by two passionate fan bases and players who plain don’t seem to like each other. Tuesday night was no different – there was tension that manifested itself in the form of several scrums, some vicious hits, a fight, a puck controversy and plenty of postgame trash talk.
So with Hopkins sporting Flyers gear on his way to the ring, he might be able to create an even bigger fight atmosphere than usual. The Bell Centre just might be the single best arena in boxing for loud and passionate crowds, and the Montreal fight fans respond the way few other audiences do. Poking an audience largely made up of Habs fans just might get things even rowdier. And that's never bad.
Bad Left Hook will continue to have extensive coverage of Pascal vs Hopkins II, leading up to live coverage of the fight on Saturday night, on HBO at 10pm EDT.