by James Slater – Fighting this coming Wednesday, many miles apart, are modern day boxing legends Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Junior. Hopkins, 44 going on 45, fights in his hometown of Philadelphia against Mexican Enrique Ornelas, while 40-year-old Jones takes what is arguably the tougher fight of the two, when he goes up against Australian hard man Danny Green “down under.”
Both all-time greats have plenty of big plans for the future – with Hopkins even talking about a possible assault on the heavyweight division after he’s avenged his loss to Jones in the planned March 2010 return clash – but these plans will be derailed if Green and Ornelas can cause the upset..
The Jones-Green fight is the most interesting, and though Jones is almost as big a favourite to win as is Hopkins over Orenals, a Green win cannot be discounted. Fiercely determined to win over his one-time idol (Green used to have pictures of Jones on his wall, such a fan was he back in the 1990s), “The Green Machine” has made it clear he is nobody’s tune-up. The younger man at age 36 has also made it clear he has been annoyed by some of Jones’ comments. Make no mistake, this is a real fight.
Jones, still fast and sprightly even at age 40, should be able to outbox Green, probably for long periods, but up at cruiserweight there is a chance he could be out-muscled by the physically stronger IBO 200-pound champion. But that’s only if Green can turn it into his type of fight, and that’s a pretty big if. But Jones is way beyond his invincible, “Superman” days today, and he can be caught, hurt and even knocked out. A Green win would be some upset, but with 24 KO’s to his name from 27 wins (three losses, all on points), Green definitely has a puncher’s chance.
I go for Jones to win on points, but he may have to get through the odd rough patch along the way. A Jones stoppage win would be most impressive, considering how tough the Australian warrior is.
As for Hopkins-Ornelas, this fight, with all due respect to the Mexican, is nothing much more than a tune-up for “The Executioner.” The 29-year-old, at 29-5(19) is no puncher but what he is is durable – having been stopped just once, over five years ago. With Hopkins, often a cautious fighter anyway, knowing he has so much on the line by way of lucrative future fights, it’s possible he will take no chances such as trying to get the stoppage on Wednesday. Also, having been out of action since his stunning points win over Kelly Pavlik last October, “B-Hop” may feel the need to get some rounds in.
It all adds up to a points win for Hopkins, in my opinion. It will be no great shock if the bout is dull, however. Then, if Jones has done his job as well, the hype will start for the rematch of a fight that took place way, way back in the summer of 1993!