A potential fight between former light heavyweight world champion Bernard Hopkins and WBO titlist Nathan Cleverly could happen, says Richard Schaefer, who believes that the 47-year-old Hopkins still can compete as a top fighter in the division.
"It’s going to be totally up to him. I could see him, for example, challenging for the WBO world title against Nathan Cleverly. ... I think Bernard turned in a great performance [against Chad Dawson]. He certainly still is one of the top light heavyweights, no question about it. And I think he can give everybody a tough night."
Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 KO) lost a majority decision to Chad Dawson on Saturday night, and with it both his WBC belt and the claim to the real world championship. But while his performance probably can't truly be categorized as "great," it wasn't embarrassing or pathetic, either. Hopkins didn't look feeble, just in with the wrong type of fighter.
As we said yesterday, there are definitely winnable fights for the old man, and we're talking name fighters in main events, not just sad "he's still fighting?" fights that a lot of old dudes keep taking. I'd still have trouble picking either Cleverly or Tavoris Cloud to beat Hopkins, for instance, and I'm 100% certain that Jean Pascal simply cannot beat him unless Hopkins becomes so weak he shouldn't be in a ring, or Pascal changes a lot of things about the way he fights.
Cleverly and promoter Frank Warren have talked about bringing Hopkins to Wales for a fight. But while that's undoubtedly where that fight belongs if it does happen (it won't), there's certainly no guarantee that Hopkins wants to go over there and risk dodgy judging on the road putting another loss on his record, and we're talking a guy all but a stone cold lock to go to the cards. Hopkins hasn't stopped anyone since moving up from middleweight, and in fact his last stoppage win came in 2004 when he knocked out Oscar De La Hoya on a body shot.
I'm almost certain we'll see Bernard Hopkins at least one more time, if only because he's got another fight left on his HBO deal. It likely won't come against Cleverly, and there is a lack of name fighters at 175 right now. No one wants to see another fight with Dawson, Cloud is about to mix it up with Pascal on Showtime this summer, and he'd have to travel for Cleverly.
...so, anyone ready for Hopkins vs Jones III? Hopkins vs Taylor III?