Friday, December 4, 2009

Bernard Hopkins Wins - Who's Next?

The old man wins again. 44 year old ring legend, Bernard Hopkins defeated Enrique Ornelas by UD. Hopkins looked a little sloppy in the early rounds, probably due to ring rust (the last time he fought was last year against Kelly Pavlik). After a few rounds the cylinders began to move in the old engine, as Hopkins, the same as he always does, employed his usual defensive ring craft and sneaky punches to outpoint Enrique. Ornelas didn't bring anything to the ring to challenge Bernard Hopkins on the night. He was a student in there, and Hopkins, yet again was the teacher. . . maybe a mad scientist. Any win for Hopkins is a feat in itself, considering he's still in his prime at the age of 44! Amazingly, Hopkins' future is brighter now than it was 5-7 years ago.

Who's next for Hopkins? Anybody he wants. The ball is in Hopkins's court. He could probably secure a fight with any boxer on the planet - that is, if they are willing to fight him. Bernard Hopkins doesn't exactly make his opponents look good. Ask Jermain Taylor and Joe Calzaghe - hell, ask Pavlik while you're at it! I'm sure there are a few top fighters out there who would love to get the chance to fight Hopkins, and maybe get the opportunity to be able to say they beat Hopkins better and more convincingly than any of his other foes. Bernard Hopkins isn't exactly an easy puzzle; perhaps that fact will be enticing to Paul Williams or Chad Dawson.

Chad Dawson has already publicly stated he wants a crack at Bernard. That is the fight I want to see. There is also talk of Hopkins moving up to heavyweight to fight David Haye. That would be an interesting fight also.

I think Bernard Hopkins could make Chad Dawson look bad, like he has with all of his other opponents, but I give Chad Dawson a better chance of beating Hopkins than anyone else. Dawson has the speed and skill to overcome Hopkins's negativity and spoiling defense. It's hard for me to bet against Hopkins though; on his best night, even now, at his age, Hopkins can STILL decision Paul Williams, Chad Dawson or David Haye. He has the right style and game-plan to beat anyone put in front of him.

If Hopkins does go on to fight and defeat Chad Dawson, I wonder if that'll lull Calzaghe out of retirement? If, after Hopkins beat the talented young prospect that so many pestered Joe about before his retirement, you'd have to wonder. Regardless, Joe Calzaghe beat Bernard Hopkins when Hopkins was at his best - his last two fights against Pavlik and Ornelas have proven that - and any win from here on out for Hopkins, not only catapults his own legacy, but Calzaghe's too. It took Joe Calzaghe to beat Hopkins, and then Hopkins to beat Pavlik, for me to realize what a talent Joe Calzaghe was. Is Joe overrated by some die-hards? Absolutely. But he's also extremely underrated too. Calzaghe is overrated when it comes to accomplishments. He's underrated in terms of skill.

I'll be on the edge of my seat to find out who Bernard Hopkins will fight next. I'm hoping for Chad Dawson!

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