Following their showdown on Saturday night, the hot topic by Monday morning is, of course, what's next for both the victor, Joe Calzaghe, and the loser, Bernard Hopkins. Seems we could get some pretty quick answers.
Remember in January, when we wondered what was next for the allegedly reborn career of Roy Jones, Jr., and what might be next for his undersized victim, Tito Trinidad? Just combine all four.
The newly-crowned light heavyweight champion Calzaghe will most likely be returning to his home in Wales to take on the Jones, who has won three straight fights (all over questionable competition), reviving a career that most thought was irreparably in shambles.
Calzaghe is also saying it will be his final fight. The target date is November 15.
Should Calzaghe legitimately retire after fighting Jones, he has two possibilities. Before I continue much further, let me go ahead and be on record as saying that Calzaghe will not retire for good this year. Anyway, he could win, be 46-0, and retire with an undefeated mark, as he loves to talk about doing. I think it's a mildly empty benchmark, really, but I'm not a fighter, so I honestly can't comprehend the whole thing. Just from my perspective, it would make no difference to me whether he retires 46-0, 50-0, or 48-1 or 49-2 or something like that. He's a Hall of Fame-bound fighter, the greatest European fighter of his generation, and one of the best, period, of his generation. The super middleweight pinnacle is Joe Calzaghe from here on out.
Jones is excited to go to Wales, and I think he's kind of giving up on the whole boring Anderson Silva idea. While I'd have loved for Jones to dismantle Silva in a boxing match in front of a very big audience, much of it rooting for the UFC's Silva, it wouldn't have meant anything, and it wouldn't have brought a significant amount of MMA fans over to boxing long-term, I don't think. It's also just too predictable; the same as Jones would get killed by Silva in the Octagon, Silva would get manhandled by Jones in a boxing ring.
It's quite a turnaround from the days of old when Jones didn't want to go to Europe, and I offer this up not as proof, but to support my long-held belief that the people calling for Jones to go to Europe to fight Dariusz Michalczewski are the same people that later spent a lot of breath waiting for Calzaghe to come to the States. Jones was the money man; why did he need to go there? Why couldn't Dariusz come here? When Calzaghe found the right fight, he came to America.
The other fight being talked about is also a retirement/farewell/bon voyage, reportedly, with Hopkins facing Felix Trinidad for the second time. Reportedly, Don King has already called Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer to discuss the fight, according to Hopkins.
I have no doubt Bernard will take it. He destroyed Trinidad before, he'd do it again. Tito cannot hit hard enough to hurt Bernard Hopkins. He can't do it. He also isn't big enough to take shots from guys this size. Roy Jones lost three rounds to Trinidad because he was taking his time and getting a feel for what Tito's power would be at 170 pounds.
He found out what his power was. More specifically, he found out Tito didn't have any. After that, Jones ripped him apart, and I will say point blank that I believe Jones held back from knocking Trinidad out in that fight. He could have if he felt like it; and it wouldn't be the first time Jones did that. The same could be said for his 1996 bout with Mike McCallum, and probably a few more, too.
It's been almost seven years since the first time Hopkins retired Trinidad, when Tito was 40-0 and the hottest fighter in boxing. We could've had Tito-Roy back then; result would've been even worse, probably. Instead, Tito decided to take on Hopkins. So much for gearing up for Roy Jones, because Hopkins battered him for 11 rounds before finishing him off in the 12th.
My initial feelings, in short: Calzaghe-Jones? Yes, count me in. If we're going to find out what Roy has left, do it against the best. Hopkins-Trinidad II? I'll watch, of course, but I couldn't really care less. It's a foregone conclusion. I could write a draft for that fight's recap right now, look back on it once that fight is over, and probably be 85% right.