Bernard Hopkins Wants To Return To Training In January, Wants Lucian Bute Next!

Bernard HopkinsBy James Slater: Living legend Bernard Hopkins will turn the age of 47 in January and he is still recovering from the shoulder injury that was inflicted on him in his technical draw of a fight with Chad Dawson (who, as all fans know, flipped B-Hop to the mat in an illegal move - a move that saw the initial result of a 2nd-round TKO win for “Bad” Chad demoted).

Yet, despite his advancing years and his less than impressive showing in October, Hopkins, who is still undergoing therapy for the shoulder separation, is thinking big for his next fight. In fact, he is thinking huge! Always one to look for a challenge, Hopkins was quoted by as saying his next fight of preference is one with unbeaten IBF super-middleweight champ Lucian Bute. Would this fight - one that would (presumably) take place at 168-pounds, thus meaning B-Hop would have to weigh-in at his lightest weight in seven years - prove to be one risk too many for “The Executioner?”

Hopkins, 52-6-2(32) has earned a reputation as a man who is capable of making predictions against him look foolish, and ahead of his fights with Antonio Tarver, Kelly Pavlik and Jean Pascal many good judges thought he would lose, maybe by stoppage - only to be proven wrong by the amazing Philly master. But if a fight with Bute is made, I’d have to lean towards the Canadian star who was born in Romania.

31-year-old Bute scored a near shut-out over another ageless wonder, in Glen Johnson last time out, and his confidence is such that he would feel capable of doing something similar against Hopkins. Sure, B-Hop loves facing southpaws, but Bute is both a wicked body puncher and a fighter who sets a fast pace. And will Hopkins’ shoulder ever be 100-percent again? Is Hopkins’ ageing body actually starting to break down on him (he did, after all, recover and fight on from a body slam against Antwun Echols way back in 1999, but was unable to do so against Dawson)?

I just feel the strength, work-rate and body punching of Bute would prove to be too much for a 47-year-old Hopkins. Of course, ’Nard has proved us all wrong so many times, I’d have an apology ready just in case!

Hopkins, by the way, told that his shoulder is currently “80-percent, but it will be 100-percent by January, when I start boxing.”

But for how much longer can Hopkins defy Father Time?

Article posted on 08.12.2011

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