De La Hoya thinks Hopkins will beat Pascal
By Dan Ambrose: Oscar De La Hoya feels that the soon to be 46-year-old Bernard Hopkins (51-5-1, 32 KO’s) will give WBC light heavyweight Jean Pascal big problems when they meet up on December 18th at the Pepsi Coliseum, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. De La Hoya, who knows first hand how good Hopkins can be, was stopped by him in the 9th round six years ago. De La Hoya thinks that Hopkins will be able to take advantage of his knowledge and skills to beat the younger 27-year-old Pascal.
The reason why anyone is questioning whether Hopkins can win this fight is because of how average he has looked in his last two fights against Enrique Ornelas and Roy Jones Jr. Hopkins took over a year off from boxing after winning an impressive 12 round decision over Kelly Pavlik in 2008, and the Hopkins that emerged after that long layoff wasn’t the same Hopkins that had fought Pavlik. For some boxing fans, they assumed that perhaps Hopkins hadn’t trained as hard for the Ornelas fight as he did for the Pavlik fight.
However, when Hopkins looked yet again average in beating Roy Jones Jr. recently in April, it’s caused people to wonder whether hopkins is finally starting to show his age. Hopkins didn’t look at all good in the Jones fight, throwing few punches, wrestling a lot and falling down from rabbit shots. It was a win that most fighters would be happy to get, but it wasn’t the kind of performance that Hopkins is accustomed to giving. And it also wasn’t the kind of fight that would make you think that Hopkins would have a good chance at beating Pascal.
Right now, Pascal is looking a lot better than Hopkins in his recent wins against Chad Dawson and Adrian Diaconu. Granted, Pascal was beaten two years ago by Carl Froch, but that was against a fighter that never stopped coming forward and throwing punches all fight long. Hopkins isn’t as aggressive as Froch, doesn’t hit as hard nor does he throw as many punches as Froch does at this point in Hopkins’ career. He won’t likely be able to do the same kinds of things that Froch did to wear Pascal down.
In an article at the dailynews.com, De La Hoya says “I believe Jean Pascal’s style is going to make Bernard shine. He is a very aggressive fighter and he throws punches from all angles. And I believe Bernard is going to pick him apart.” I don’t think that De La Hoya is seeing Hopkins the way he is now. I think De La Hoya is remembering Hopkins from six years ago when he’s talking about Hopkins’ skills. I don’t think Hopkins has those skills anymore or at least he hasn’t been showing them as of late.