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Shaw thinks Hopkins will beat Pascal

Bernard Hopkins Jean PascalBy Dan Ambrose: Promoter Gary Shaw thinks that former middleweight and light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (51—5-1, 32 KO’s) will beat World Boxing Council (WBC) light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (26-1, 16 KO’s) on December 18th in Quebec, Canada. In an interview by Stephen Edwards at Boxingtalk.com, Shaw says “I think Pascal is making a big mistake by fighting Hopkins. I have all the respect in the world for Hopkins. I think he is going to beat Pascal. I hope I’m wrong, because of our [referring to his fighter Chad Dawson] rematch clause but that’s how I feel.” You have to wonder whether Shaw might still have hurt feelings towards Pascal because of his win over Dawson last month on August 14th.

Dawson was supposed to have won that fight, but instead he looked timid and ended up getting beaten by an 11th round technical decision. Hopkins, 45, is coming off of two consecutive mediocre performances against first Enrique Ornelas and recently Roy Jones Jr. last April. We can’t really tell how good Hopkins is at this point, because he hasn’t really looked good in two years since beating Kelly Pavlik by a 12 round decision in October 2008. Instead of following that win up immediately with a big money fight, Hopkins stayed out of the ring for the next 14 months and didn’t return to action until facing Ornelas in December 2009.

The time away from the ring really seemed to hurt Hopkins because he looked old and slow against Ornelas, and nothing like the same fighter that beat Pavlik 14 months prior. Hopkins looked little better in his win over 41-year-old Roy Jones Jr. in April of this year, winning the fight by a 12 round decision but looking slow, and not throwing a lot of punches. Hopkins appears to have deteriorated since his narrow decision loss to Joe Calzaghe and his fight with Pavlik in 2008.

I think Shaw is remembering Hopkins of old, but not the Hopkins that exists now. Pascal should beat Hopkins rather easily. Hopkins will try his punch and grab routine, but that’s not enough to beat a fast and powerful fighter like Pascal. I think even if Hopkins can win some rounds based on his popularity rather than what’s really happening in the fight, I still see him losing by 9 rounds to 3.


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