Tonight in Philadelphia, live on Versus at 8pm ET, living legend and Hall of Famer-in-waiting Bernard Hopkins returns from a 14-month layoff to take on Enrique Ornelas.
This won't be a long fight preview, because it's really pretty simple. If Hopkins (49-5-1, 32 KO) hasn't "gotten old" since laying waste to Kelly Pavlik last October, he should win without breaking much of a sweat. While Hopkins is not really a light heavyweight, Ornelas isn't either, and Hopkins has been fighting at or just under this weight now since 2006.
Chances are that Ornelas (a natural middleweight by trade, like Hopkins) will be a bit sluggish and heavy at the 175-pound limit. He's never fought this heavy, dabbling a bit at 168 pounds, where his brother Librado Andrade fights. He indicated before this fight came up that he'd be going to 168 and staying there, but jumping all the way up to light heavy to fight Bernard Hopkins was just too good a chance to pass up.
29-year old Ornelas (29-5-1, 19 KO) has been in with solid fighters like Bronco McKart, Sam Soliman, Marco Antonio Rubio, the always-underrated Darnell Boone, and others. But Hopkins is simply a different class of fighter than he's ever faced.
Though he's 44, Hopkins has yet to give an indication that he's gotten old. But -- and this is a big but, no matter how good he's been and how many times he's proven that his age is nothing but a number -- he is 44 years old. More amazing things have happened than a great 44-year old fighter losing to a guy he'd have smoked earlier in his career.
Ornelas is rugged, tough and has been a pretty decent puncher at 160. His power might come up with him, or it might not. There are a good few question marks with this fight given how lopsided it likely promises to be. If Ornelas is to have any chance, he'll need to be a bit lucky, need Hopkins to feel a little bit old, and probably need to fight the best he's ever fought in his entire career, all at the same time.
Give me Hopkins by UD, maybe a late stoppage if he decides to pour it on.