20.07.07 – By Gary Jones: A minor brawl erupted at an earlier weigh-in today for Bernard Hopkins (47-4-1, 32 KOs) and Winky Wright (51-3-1, 25 KOs) when Hopkins, 42, suddenly reached over and pushed Wright, 35, in the face, causing both fighters and their teams to go berserk for a short period of time..
It’s unclear, however, whether it was publicity stunt on the part Hopkins or if he was actually serious, mainly because he was smiling while he did, as was Wright. Certainly, if this is the case, it wouldn’t the first time that fighter attempted to create controversy by initiating physical contact during the weigh-in. Case in point, Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson in 2002, to name just one example of a boxing weigh-in gone wild.
However, if there was ever a bout that needed a good brawl beforehand, it’s Hopkins-Wright, a bout which had failed largely to catch the public’s interest due to both fighters history of having a more technically oriented fighting style rather than the crowd-pleasing slugging style.
An even bigger problem, however, is the price tag for the bout, which is being shown on HBO Pay-Per-View for a cool $49.95. If fans are going to be expected to dish out that kind of cash, they’re expecting a certain amount of blood and guts to be spilled to make it worth their while. After all, there’s plenty of other options out there for less money than this, which, in turn, has probably put a lot of pressure on both Hopkins and Wright to try and sell this fight to a lukewarm public.
Add to that, the age of both fighters – 35 and 42 – and it would make it seem an odder choice for such an expensive PPV fight, I would think. I wouldn’t mind seeing the fight on HBO or Showtime, but not for PPV, given the two fighter’s combined histories of putting on disappointing performances. It’ll be interesting to see if they rise able their past efforts, but I’m not counting on it.