It’s possible all-time great Bernard Hopkins is not happy over how his career came to an end: with him being sent through the ropes and stopped by Joe Smith Jr in December of 2016.
Or maybe B-Hop just likes to keep his name out there. For whatever reason it may be, the former middleweight and light-heavyweight king has said he would come back to the ring for a return fight with Joe Calzaghe.
Speaking with Fight Hub TV, “The Executioner,” or “The Alien,” depending on which nickname you prefer to see Hopkins go by, said he wants his rematch with Calzaghe, who scored a close, debatable split decision over the Philly legend back in 2006.
“It would have to be somebody that I don’t like for me to go back on my word,” Hopkins said when pressed on what it would take for him to come back the way legend Mike Tyson just did (albeit in an exhibition) and how other former champs like Oscar De La Hoya are planning to do.
“Since I retired, I like everybody now. When I was boxing, I had to have that chip on my shoulder. I don’t know who I would fight. (Long pause) Joe Calzaghe, I want my rematch from that split decision. That’s who I want. We can do it on his soil. I don’t care.”
Hopkins pushed Calzaghe hard back in 2008, dropping “The Pride Of Wales” in the opening round. But Joe, adding the final touches to his own great career, got up and seemed to get the better of Hopkins down the stretch as the older man faded. One fight later – this a win over another great in Roy Jones Jr – and Calzaghe was done, content, retired. It seems hugely unlikely Calzaghe, 46-0(32), will entertain ANY ideas of coming back at age 48 (49 in March).
But with Hopkins, who seemed to have finished with a 55-8-2(32) record, you never know – maybe the 56-year-old is serious. The loss to Calzaghe did bother Hopkins, and maybe it still does. Badly. A few years ago, fans would have totally dismissed any chance of a fight between two men with a combined age of over one hundred years taking place. Now, in light of how big a hit the Tyson-Jones bout was, who knows for sure any longer!
Hopkins raised a good many eyebrows with his recent comments on how he thinks a 47-year-old De La Hoya can come back and win a decision over Gennady Golovkin. Now, with his calling for a return fight with a man he faced over 12 years ago, B-Hop is likely to get even more people taking. And wondering.
In all honesty, though, I must admit – I’d watch a Calzaghe-Hopkins II! Wouldn’t you?