On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you for Pascal-Hopkins II on May 21?
It is a meaningful fight. The first bout was controversial, plus it's for the legitimate championship at 175 pounds, giving actual weight to Hopkins at 46 trying to become the oldest man to win a championship in boxing history, since it's got credibility and isn't just a trinket on the line.
Plus there really are only so many chances left to see Bernard Hopkins, a true living legend and one of the few in today's game that I think even the more cynical old school cats could see fighting and fighting well in any era.
But will it be a good fight? I don't know. The first one was surprisingly good because despite some iffy performances in his previous two fights, Hopkins showed that when there's someone across the ring that could conceivably beat him (unlike Roy Jones Jr. and Enrique Ornelas), he's got something left deep down that he can go to. He was definitely losing that fight before he started digging in. Once he started taking Pascal to school, it became like watching something great on The History Channel.
The "I don't know" comes from two things: Hopkins' age and Pascal's willingness to engage in ugly, boring fights, which Bernard is always happy to oblige because he fights that style better than anyone. The age thing isn't something I can stop mentioning just because he's still really good, either. I don't believe in magic, and it stands to reason that sooner rather than later, he finally will truly look old when it really matters. It won't be a "see I told you he's old!" moment because he's already long past anyone getting to crow for noticing beforehand that he isn't a spring chicken anymore. Rather I think it will be a sad occasion. At this rate it could happen when he's 56, not 46, but if that means ten years of buzz about Bernard perhaps finally looking his age in a big fight, then that's just the way it is.
That's a big day overall, too. Lebedev-Jones in Russia for the diehards and the sadists, plus the big UK card with Braehmer-Cleverly and DeGale-Groves. And Alfonso Gomez fights Calvin Green!