Hopkins: I will never fight Andre Ward
By Scott Gilfoid: Newly crowned IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KO’s) wanted to make it clear after his 12 round unanimous decision victory over IBF light heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud (24-1, 19 KO’s) last Saturday night that he has no intentions of fighting WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward in the future.
Hopkins seemed to want to head people off at the pass by bringing that up at the post fight press conference just in case someone started asking him to agree to a fight with Ward after WBC light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson tried and failed to beat Ward last year in September.
Hopkins said at the post-fight press conference, “Andre Ward is a protégé of myself. I will never fight Andre Ward…I don’t believe anybody at 175 or possibly 168 can beat me…I’ve got a good fight in England. You also have 168 possibly out there.”
This would be interesting to see Hopkins fight the best guys at super middleweight because honestly there’s nothing left for him to achieve at 175 unless he wants to fight Dawson for a third time, which I wouldn’t recommend because Dawson clearly has his number.
I could see Hopkins beating Mikkel Kessler, Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham no problems. I’d much rather see Hopkins fight one of those guys than to see him waste a fight on WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly. Nobody wants to see Hopkins fight that guy.
Ward’s fighting style is somewhat similar to that of Hopkins. I don’t see it as being as similar all that similar because Hopkins is more into making guys miss with head movement than Ward, and he’s a lot more crafty. Ward likes to use his jab, left hook and straight hands a lot more than Hopkins does. Ward sits down on those punches and he’s more tight and compact with his upper body than Hopkins.
Ward definitely gets hit a lot more than Hopkins, and I don’t expect that to change. He is what he is, and he’ll never be a copy of Hopkins. I think it’s safe to say that Ward isn’t going to be able to fight into his last 40s like Hopkins because he doesn’t fight in the same relaxed manner, and it takes a special type of person to be able to fight once you get into your 40s. Hopkins hasn’t aged like other people.