Calzaghe And Hopkins - What Should Each Guy Do Now?

by James Slater: The debate about who actually won on Saturday night still rages, but now that "The battle of The Planet" is done, what should Joe Calzaghe and Bernard Hopkins do in the immediate future? A return match, though doubtful, would more than likely sell and prove interesting. A Calzaghe-Hopkins II, in Wales? The event could be huge. Not only would a rematch over in the U.K give the now 45-0 Welshman the chance to prove his dominance once and for all, it would also afford him the chance to do so on home soil..

Hopkins coming over to box in the U.K for the very first time would be something notable, also. Their first fight was certainly close enough to warrant a part two, so why not? There are plenty of other options for Joe, however. Roy Jones Junior has issued a challenge, and a mega-fight with current middleweight king Kelly Pavlik has also been suggested. The 36-year-old Calzaghe has hinted that he may well be retiring very soon, possibly after just one more fight - and either one of these two match-ups would be a superb way for him to go out. Now having proven he is without doubt one of the greatest British fighters of all-time (regardless of whether or not you think he looked all that great on Saturday) Joe has the right to go out on whatever terms he chooses.

Time may be running out on the 43-year-old Bernard Hopkins, though. No, he is far from a shot fighter, or anything approaching it, but at his current age "The executioner" surely has only one or two more fights left in him at the top level. Before the Calzaghe fight, 'Nard spoke of retiring afterwards. Obviously, he felt he'd win on Saturday, and therefore quit while on top, having shocked the odds once again. And even though Hopkins truly feels he DID beat Calzaghe (with a number of people agreeing with him) he did not get the victory. So, will he now change his mind about retiring? I think he will.

Let's face it, Hopkins loves boxing. He's tried retirement before, only to grow bored and restless in ultra-quick time. Now, having lost in what he believes was a robbery, the urge to fight one more time will be burning inside him pretty soon. A rematch would likely be the one bout Hopkins would most desire, but if this doesn't happen there are other, attractive options for him. Reportedly Felix Trindad is keen on a second fight with the man who sensationally stopped him back in September of 2001. And no, this fight wouldn't exactly get the majority of fight fans running over themselves with anticipation, but for Hopkins such a fight would offer him a nice way to head off into the sunset. Other than "Tito," however, and maybe Glen Johnson, who would no doubt also relish the opportunity of getting revenge over B-Hop, not too many guys out there would likely want much of anything to do with Hopkins. Almost guaranteed a hell of a tough fight, what would the incentive be for fighting the 43-year-old? Win and you've only beaten a guy who lost his last fight, lose and a veteran has mastered you - talk about unattractive options to a young fighter!

It's going to be interesting to see how both Calzaghe and Hopkins' futures unfold in the coming months. Will Joe drop back down in weight? Will Calzaghe even retire without having another fight? Will Hopkins make an unexpected move up to cruiserweight or even heavyweight (sounds crazy, but Hopkins has though about it in the past) in a bid to go out in a blaze of odds defying glory? Or will he say, if he cannot get a second fight with the man he is certain he has the beating of in Calzaghe; "to hell with it!", and quit the sport right now? All of these scenarios are possible, we will simply have to wait and see.

What IS clear, is the fact that both Calzaghe and Hopkins, should they want to fight no more, have more than earned the right to hang up the gloves. Both dead-certs for The Hall of Fame, neither guy has anything left to prove.

Article posted on 21.04.2008

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