Hopkins and Pascal agree to terms for a December 18th fight in Quebec
By Eric Thomas: 45-year-old Bernard Hopkins (51-5-1, 32 KO’s) and WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (26-1, 16 KO’s) have agreed to terms for a December 18th bout in Quebec, according to boxing news from Dan Rafael of ESPN. Hopkins, who has looked fairly pedestrian in his last two fights, says he expects to have the contract signed by this Friday. This is a win-win fight for Pascal, 27, because a fight with Hopkins give him a good payday but without the risk involved in fighting a younger and arguably tougher opponent like Lucian Bute or Tavoris Cloud. Of course, Pascal could always elect to fight an immediate rematch with two-time light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson but Pascal doesn’t want to take that risky fight until he absolutely has to.
Pascal defeated Dawson by an 11th round technical decision on August 14th. Pascal, using a pot shot, run and clinch technique, built up a commanding lead going into the 11th round. However, Dawson turned on the after burners and had Pascal badly hurt when somehow Pascal’s head rammed into Dawson’s at the moment that Dawson was gunning for a knockout. The head butt opened up a large cut over the right eyelid of Dawson and the Canadian doctor immediately stopped the fight rather than letting Dawson attempt to finish the round.
Hopkins says “We agreed to everything. There is no issue. There is no problem with my side and Pascal’s side. The contracts have been drafted. It’s a done deal. All I gotta do is sign.” For Hopkins, this would be a huge win if he can get by Pascal. Hopkins has done pretty zero since pulling a huge upset over Kelly Pavlik in October 2008. Since then, Hopkins threw a year through inactivity and then came back for dull perfomances against Enrique Ornelas and Roy Jones Jr. Hopkins won both fights but looked very average.
when I think of a fight between Hopkins and Pascal, I see it as a case of two magnets repelling each other. Hopkins likes to use the old punch and clinch technique, and so does Pascal. However, Pascal also uses a lot of movement and it makes it tough to hit him when he’s running around the ring. Hopkins is going to have to make the most of his opportunities when he gets in close to Pascal. He can’t just let Pascal clinch him all the time. Hopkins has to keep fighting when Pascal is trying to hold him and stop him from punching.
I think Hopkins will likely have problems with fatigue. He doesn’t seem to be able to fight hard for three minutes of every round any more. However, Pascal also has problems with his stamina, as he looked exhausted by the 8th round against Dawson and that was with a very economical Dawson. A fighter that puts a lot of pressure on Pascal, like Cloud, will likely wear him down quickly and knock him out. Hopkins won’t be that man because he doesn’t have the work rate anymore to wear Pascal out.