Why Hopkins will beat Calzaghe

Bernard HopkinsBy Kenny Rushby: Ok, let me make this clear from the start - I'm a Brit, and would LOVE to see Calzaghe win. I have NO love for B-Hop or his evocative comments, which I believe go beyond mere 'mind-games' into the plain disgraceful at times.

But unfortunately I can see Hopkins winning this one. And here's why:

Joe Calzaghe has been a champion for many years, totally undefeated. He possesses lightening handspeed, accuracy, workrate, a good chin (see the 4th round v Kessler for example), a top trainer (his father) and excellent ring-smarts. He'll have the crowd on his side, and boasts 32 KO's from 44 fights.

But breaking this down, for all his handspeed and accurate shots, they lack any real power, and most of the time 'slap' fairly harmlessly - for example, Peter Manfredo Jr., a fighter nowhere near the level of Calzaghe, took countless shots without reply - and was clearly not hurt at all. He punched Jeff Lacy non-stop for 12 rounds, as he could not knock him out. Even Contender Sakio Bika took him the distance.

This brings me to my second point - only 2 of the 32 KO's were actual knockouts, one in 1995 and one in 1997 - the rest are TKO's, stopped mainly due to a barrage of fast punches without reply. So out of 44 fights, he's knocked out 2 people. He's also never fought anyone with the class of Hopkins - Kessler was a good fighter, and if he was more aggressive, I believe he could have stopped Joe in the 4th or 7th rounds. Calzaghe is very fit, and will throw punches in bunches all night long - if the fight goes the distance, I think he'll win, of all the 12 decisions he's won only one has ever been split.

And TKO's are not without respect obviously, but it's a statistic worth noting I'm sure you'll agree.

Bernard Hopkins has had a rather eventful life. I've read before that during his 4 or so years in prison as a young man he was USA Penitentiary Boxing Champ 3 years in a row. I doubt there's many 'tune-up' or 'protected' fights in there.

He also has 32 KO's from 48 wins, but he has 7 actual KO's -3 1/2 times more than Calzaghe's knock out rate. Of his 4 losses, he has never been knocked out, and they were against Roy Jones Jr. and a hungry Jermain Taylor. He also lost his first fight.

Simply put, Calzaghe will not stop him.

My friends point to the fact he's 43. So what. Lets not forget, just 4 years ago at 39 he KO'd Oscar De La Hoya to unify all the belts. He's a multi-World Champion, who has also held the honarary Number One P4P best fighter in the world by Ring magazine, suceeded only by Floyd Mayweather.

He handed Felix Trinidad his first defeat in a brutal KO, he's beaten Winky Wright and Tarver in his last fights - his resume is outstanding, his class in the ring is without question, and I can't see him passing up this opportunity to show the world what he can do.

So, in summary, I would love Calzaghe to win, I will be rooting for Calzaghe, even though I will lose a fair amount of money to my friends, but I just think B-Hop will be too hot for JC to handle, especially in the US.

Article posted on 14.03.2008

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