Why Bernard Hopkins Has More At Stake

04.06.04 - By Daniel Baguley: This Saturday two meteorites will begin their collision course and I for one believe that only one manís legacy can be destroyed on impact. Foregoing any upsets Saturday night, Bernard Hopkins and Oscar De La Hoya will meet in September in one of the biggest boxing attractions ever. Bar none.

De La Hoya has won alphabets in five divisions and even in this age of multiple titles this is still an impressive achievement. Middleweight and a sixth title would be unprecedented but I wonít be hailing him a six-weight champion until he defeats Bernard Hopkins. Felix Sturm, however, will provide a good indication as to how well Oscar has adjusted to the weight. The Executioner, on the other hand, I believe will use this as a ďticking overĒ fight in preparation for the big one. With no offence to Robert Allen, who deserves his shot, I canít see this fight ending differently to when they last met, especially as I think Hopkins is a better fighter than he was then.

All this aside, I think that Hopkins has more at stake than Oscar for the simple fact that his legacy is secure but Bernard has yet failed to gain the recognition he deserves. I personally rate Hopkins pound for pound number one in the world but itís fair to say he has failed to capitalise on his career best win over Felix Trinidad. A win over De La Hoya would give him another marquee name and surely solidify his legacy despite never being given the opportunity to reverse his loss to Roy Jones. If he were to lose it would raise a serious question mark. De La Hoya is coming up through the weights but Hopkins has been a career long middleweight. Itís his division and to lose to a former super featherweight titlist would be damaging.

I canít wait for the action to get under way and I hope these rumours about Hopkins kicking up a stink about the choice of ref are just that. To jeopardise this exciting event over something so silly would be ridiculous, and that would be something Hopkins definitely wont want to be remembered for.

Article posted on 04.06.2004

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