Bernard Hopkins To Face Mexico's Enrique Ornelas In December 2nd Tune-Up?

by James Slater - As fans know, modern day light-heavyweight legends Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Junior are set to meet in a long awaited rematch of their 1993 middleweight contest some time next year. The fight is reliant on 40-year-old Jones coming through his December 2nd clash with Australia's Danny Green okay, and it now seems an opponent has been selected for 44-year old Hopkins to fight as he keeps himself sharp..

According to BoxRec, Hopkins will face Mexico's 29-year-old Enrique Ornelas in Mississippi on the very same date Jones fights IBO cruiserweight champion Green. Not wanting to remain out of the ring until 2010 (Hopkins last fought in October of last year, shocking Kelly Pavlik over 12-rounds) "The Executioner" will look to get a good workout against the former NABF middleweight champ.

With all due respect, Hopkins shouldn't have any trouble with Ornelas, 29-5(19) - not unless B-Hop suddenly grows old overnight. Never having fought higher than 168-pounds, it remains to be seen how well Ornelas will cope up at 175, and against one of the best fighters in history, at that. At a listed 6'1," the Mexican, who has only ever been stopped once as a pro, is certainly tall enough to handle the move up in weight, though. Make no mistake, the 29-year-old will be hugely up for this fight; the biggest of his entire career.

A pro since October of 1999, Ornelas has been in with some good names at middleweight, including Bronco McKart (twice) and fellow Mexican Marco Antonio Rubio. Ornelas lost on points to McKart in their first meeting, before forcing McKart to retire after 5-rounds in the return, and Ornelas lost his WBC eliminator with Rubio via split decision. So, the man who lives in La Habra, CA is no patsy, at least not as a middleweight.

Coming off a July win over Roberto Baro (TKO 4), Ornelas will be sharp and ready to fight against Hopkins, but it's a huge step up for him. A fair puncher, with his 19 KO's, the significantly younger man will find out firsthand how hard it is to nail Hopkins flush. The stoppage loss he suffered himself came way back in September of 2004, against Christian Cruz, and Ornelas might just make it to the final bell (distance of the fight still to be announced), but he won't win. Not unless there's an upset of gigantic proportions.

Look for Hopkins to get some decent work in, maybe practice a few things he may try against Jones next year, and win via either a clear and wide UD or by late stoppage. Then, if Jones (who has the much tougher fight) can do the business against Green, the two will be all set for their big rematch in 2010.

Article posted on 06.10.2009

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