One more fight. That's what Bernard Hopkins says he's targeting, and given that he's about to be 50 years old and has no more to accomplish in the sport, the claim rings truer than most impending boxing retirements.
But who will Hopkins (55-7-2, 32 KO) fight after his one-sided loss to Sergey Kovalev this past Saturday? The hints are there:
"Who will I fight? I don't know. But it will be somebody I will be an underdog against because I want to be the underdog. If this is the last time I'm going into the ring, I will not cheat myself. It will not be a freak show. I will never short-change myself and my dignity.
"It will be somebody that's a champion. It will be from a division beneath me but where they're comfortable and I'm comfortable. It will be someone that's dominating today.
The obvious name that jumps out here is Gennady Golovkin, the reigning WBA middleweight champion, who is certainly "dominating today." Golden Boy's Oscar De La Hoya mentioned Golovkin as a possible Hopkins opponent after Saturday's event, too, and the fight does make some sense.
For Golovkin, it would be a much bigger name and bigger fight than he's become accustomed to, with all due respect to guys like Daniel Geale, Matthew Macklin, and coming next, Martin Murray. The middleweight division hasn't been loaded with big names in recent years, and even the few that have been there haven't exactly been itching to fight GGG.
Finding a comfortable catchweight would be interesting. Golovkin has indicated at least some interest in fighting at 168, but Hopkins hasn't made a weight below 170 since 2005. B-Hop would probably like to do this at 170 pounds, but Golovkin's not really a big middleweight, either. This would probably be the toughest part of getting the fight done.
Or he could be talking about someone else entirely. I'm sure Andre Ward's name will float here, but Hopkins has said in the past he doesn't want to fight Ward. It's also possible that even if the idea now is Golovkin, that the fight won't be made because of weight or money or any other number of things.
Do you want to see Golovkin-Hopkins, if that's the idea here?