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Hopkins vs. Adamek Fight Dead on Arrival

hopkins5748By Dave Lahr: According to Dan Rafael of ESPN, the perspective bout between boxing legend Bernard Hopkins (49-5-1, 32 KOs) and IBF cruiserweight champion Tomasz Adamek (37-1, 25 KOs) is dead on arrival, because Main Events and Golden Boy were too far apart in their negotiations. The word is that Golden Boy was only offering Adamek a pitiful flat fee of $500,000 for the fight, which would be split between Adamek and his promotional company Main Events, whereas Hopkins and Golden Boy would get an estimate $4 to $4.5 million for the fight.

Kathy Duva, the owner of Main Events, reportedly felt that they were being treated as “chumps”, because Adamek makes $500,000 for his regular fights and should expect more if he were to be facing Hopkins. She proposed a percentage split of the revenue, but that reportedly was rejected by Golden Boy Promotions.

Adamek was the one with the title, with Hopkins bringing in merely his big name to the fight. It seems as if Adamek wasn’t being considered for his ability to draw Polish fans from the New Jersey area, as well as from overseas. Perhaps Hopkins and Golden Boy assumed that Adamek would take the short end money for the fight, knowing that whether he wins or loses, he would ultimately gain by being in a title fight with a fighter as famous as Hopkins.

I can see how that would help Adamek’s career, because he’s still largely unknown to many casual boxing fans in the U.S. and in Canada. However, he deserved to be paid more than $500,000 for a fight of this magnitude. For sure, it wasn’t going to be a mega fight or anything close to it, but it would have attracted a lot of attention just the same for both fighters.

With this fight off the table, it leaves the 44-year-old Hopkins without an opponent. Hopkins defeated Kelly Pavlik by a one-sided 12-round unanimous decision five months ago in October 2008. However, the glow of that victory is quickly fading and Hopkins needs to get back in the ring before he ages even more. At this point in his career, if he’s intent on finishing strong with his career, he needs to fight more often than once a year.

Right now, he has no potential prospects out there with a big enough name for him to fight and get a guaranteed huge payday. Joe Calzaghe retired and doesn’t want to come out of retirement to give Hopkins and rematch. Roy Jones Jr. isn’t interested in fighting Hopkins, so he can forget that.

A fight against Chad Dawson, the IBF light heavyweight champion, would be a great fight and one that the cable networks would likely be interested in. However, Hopkins wants no part of Dawson. I can’t blame him. Dawson would bring too many strength’s – youth, power, speed, work rate, size, you name it – and it would be hard to see Hopkins being able to use his craftiness to pound out a decision against such a fighter.

Denmark’s Mikkel Kessler, the WBA super middleweight champion, would be a great option, but, again, this would be a very tough fight for Hopkins to win and it’s doubtful he’d want to take this fight. Even if he did, it would probably be tough to negotiate the terms, because Kessler would want to be paid well for the fight and would never take a low fee of $500,000 for such a fight.

A bout against Lucian Bute, the IBF super middleweight champion, or one of the heavyweight champions might be interesting as well. Clearly, a fight against one of the top middleweight champions probably wouldn’t be the best of ideas, because none of them, other than Pavlik, have much of a name in the U.S., and it’s doubtful that Hopkins could ever land a fight with Arthur Abraham or Kelly Sturm, the IBF and WBC middleweight champions.

At the end of the day, Hopkins might as well retire, because unless he’s willing to take on the best fighters in his own weight class, like Dawson, there’s not much out there for him. He can move up to heavyweight, but I see him losing to whoever he faces.

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