It was announced today by ESPN that Bernard Hopkins will fight WBC and IBO Light-Heavyweight champion , Jean Pascal on December 18th!
The 45 year old former Middleweight champion will have been inactive for 8 months since his decisive victory over Roy Jones Junior in April in a fight that failed emphatically, financially.
Jean Pascal is coming off an impressive win over Chad Dawson, a fight that many people thought would define his foe.
However, definition was not meant to be for Dawson in August when he lost by Technical Decision in the 11th round due to a bad eye cut.
Since his defeat to Carl Froch at the Super-Middleweight division in 2008, Pascal has racked up a 5 win streak including that victory over Dawson.
With power and youth behind him, I am sure the odds will be against Hopkins once again to pull off another upset victory.
Hopkins has a decent track record for causing the odd upset every now and again, his most recent one against Kelly Pavlik in 2008 in a fight that most people thought he would suffer a bad knockout loss.
However, Bernard wasn’t reading the same script that the majority of the public were and emphatically beat and outclassed the fearsome puncher to a Unanimous Decision.
With other upset victories over such opponents as Felix Trinidad and Antonio Tarver, one has to wonder how much gas Hopkins has left in his tank.
For Pascal, this is either a win or lose fight.
If Bernard suddenly grows old in the ring then people will say that he beat a faded Hopkins who just didn’t have it anymore.
If Hopkins puts up a galiant effort but loses clearly to the better man then Pascal will state why he deserves to be recognised as the best of the Light-Heavyweight division.
Bernard’s style is not everyone’s cup of tea as he uses his pure technical skills and clinching to his advantage to claim his victory but it is something that has been working for him for the majority of his career, and with 20 defenses of his Middleweight crown under his belt, deserves to be respected and remembered as a boxer who has worked hard to get where he is today, even if he was rather late getting there.
December 18th will be another curious night to see whether Bernard Hopkins tells the boxing audience again , “I told you so”, and I personally would like to see him bow out of the sport on a high.
And that day may well be that perfect ending to his career.