By James Slater – Though some fans will likely feel he is pushing his luck and running the risk of tarnishing his already considerable legacy, 45-year-old Bernard Hopkins is ready to square off with Father Time once more. As has been reported by ESPN.com, contracts have been exchanged and a December 18th fight between Hopkins and light-heavyweight king Jean Pascal is all but a done deal.
All that remains is for the Philly great to sign the contract. Everything has been agreed to on both sides. The fight will take place in Quebec, Canada, and will be televised live either on Showtime or on pay-per-view..
Can Hopkins, who will turn 46 less than a month after the fight, shock the boxing world yet again?
Remarkably well preserved at age 45, as well as being one of the smartest fighters of his era, Hopkins must feel Pascal, though young, strong and determined, is somewhat crude and more than capable of being outboxed. And maybe he will be. How many times has B-Hop torn up the script now? – three times? Four? Five? Just ask the younger, more dangerous guys he’s beaten and they’ll tell you Hopkins can never be underestimated. Will Pascal, fresh off that upset win over Chad Dawson, suffer a similar fate to the one that befell Felix Trinidad, Antonio Tarver or, most recently, Kelly Pavlik?
Hopkins, who will be making his Canadian debut in the December fight, told ESPN.com how excited he is about the fight, and why he is especially motivated for this one.
“I need it [THE light-heavyweight title] around my waist,” Hopkins said, referring to the title Pascal holds. “This fight will prove to the world that I am not done. This for me is the type of fight where I have to top what I’ve done before. I want to keep giving them something where they can’t understand how I’m doing it.”
Hopkins told ESPN.com how he has been thinking about legendary old guys, guys who were in their mid-forties at the time yet managed to win world titles when thought to be finished or at the end of the road. Hopkins said he thought of Archie Moore and George Foreman’s achievements, and that he wants to match them.
“It’s a very short list of guys who’ve done that [win world titles when well over the age of 40], so that’s one of my motivations,” Hopkins said. “To make that happen and to add it on top of all the other unusual things I’ve done in my career, it’s very motivating to me.”
Hopkins also says he is happy to travel to Pascal’s adopted homeland of Canada (Pascal was born in Haiti), and that he will almost certainly put his name down on the contract this coming Friday.
A fascinating fight for a number of reasons, Pascal-Hopkins will likely draw most fan interest due to the age factor. The way he’s going, Hopkins WILL take one risk too many one day and lose; but something tells me this won’t be the case in December. Hopkins on points? Who’d have the nerve to bet against that result?