Calzaghe vs. Hopkins: What's All The Fuss About?

16.11.07 - By Richard Rodriguez: It seems as if every time I check a boxing site lately, I see news about Joe Calzaghe and Bernard Hopkins attacking one another about this or that. I don't know about you guys, but I don't have the least amount of interest in watching Calzaghe beat up on an old 42 year-old fighter like Hopkins. Last time I checked, Hopkins was beaten twice by Jermain Taylor, a fighter that Calzaghe would tear apart if given the chance. For me, that takes any suspense out of a potential match between Calzaghe and Hopkins..

The British, of course, could care less just as long as they see their hero Calzaghe beating up on someone. But remember what we're talking about here is a mismatch, no matter how much someone may want to paint if as a legitimate fight. Hopefully, some of the British Calzaghe worshipers will have enough sense to tell it like it is and admit that the fight is basically all about money.

This won't be about entertainment, at least not now anyway. The fight is about 10 years too late, in my opinion, and it's no longer sporting to watch such a hopeless mismatch. Hopkins, who recently defeated Winky Wright and Antonio Tarver, but neither of which are particularly fast or offensive-minded fighters in the class of Calzaghe. Both wins were very close and marred by fouls and lots of boring clinches. Probably just how the fight with Calzaghe will be played out, unless I miss my guess.

Perhaps I need to just forget about Hopkins' age and lack of offensive skills and just pretend that he was a younger and better offensively equipped fighter, that way I could get board with the excitement about this perspective bout. Unfortunately, I can't. This bout is a joke and there's no other way of seeing then that which it is. I can think of at least five more appealing opponents for Calzaghe to fight than Hopkins, and that's without even checking the rankings.

For starters, Lucian Bute, Carl Froch, Jean Pascal, Allan Green and Fulgencio Zuniga, are all better opponents than Hopkins. I'd pick all of them to beat Hopkins, even with his constant punch and grab technique. There's perhaps another half a dozen fighters that would likewise make better opponents than Hopkins. Of course, they wouldn't be as well known as him, which is what this is all about.

As good as Hopkins was at one point in his career, he's going to get cremated by Calzaghe, and there's no amount of trash talk on his behalf that's going to change that. It may sell a few tickets, I suppose, to those that are impressed by that kind of thing. But in the end, he's still going to take a beating by Calzaghe. If it were my choice, I'd just as soon skip Hopkins, and select a younger, more talented opponent, someone with a more entertaining style than Hopkins. If your a Calzaghe fan, what good is it to see him beat up on an old man? Where's the victory in that? I guess it doesn't matter to them.

Article posted on 16.11.2007

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