Hopkins vs. Pascal: Bernard hinting at retirement if he loses
By Reid Johnson: Former middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins (51-5-1, 32 KO’s) is asking a lot of his eroding skills in his upcoming fight World Boxing Council (WBC) light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (26-1, 17 KO’s) on December 18th at the Pepsi Coliseum, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. Hopkins is 45-years-old now and hasn’t looked like the same fighter he once was in his last two fights. It looks as if age is starting to creep in on the still youthful looking Hopkins.
While he still looks young, his ability to pull the trigger and fight hard have been showing changes in his last two bouts. Hopkins hasn’t done himself any favors by taking on Pascal, a fighter with blazing hand speed and excellent defensive skills. Pascal is the type of fighter that Hopkins has always had problems against. Hopkins mainly does well against stationary fighters with less than fast hand speed.
Hopkins is able to walk them down and get them up against the ropes so that Hopkins can work on the inside with his wrestling and clinching style of fighting. Pascal probably won’t allow himself to be pushed around and shoved up against the ropes, meaning that if Hopkins has any chance of winning this fight, he’s going to have to do it by trading fast punches with Pascal. Hopkins probably doesn’t have the work rate or the energy to fight like that against a young fighter like 28-year-old Pascal.
In an article at the Nydailynews.com, Hopkins said “The win is the most important thing to me, because I know if I win I go further. If I lose, I go home. I look at it as the playoffs. There’s no tomorrow. You got to go. There are no excuses.”
Few people see Hopkins retiring if he loses to Pascal. There’s too many other chances for Hopkins to take on guys like Lucian Bute, Andre Ward, Carl Froch, Tavoris Cloud and Chad Dawson for Hopkins to give it up just yet if he gets beaten. But there will be a point where Hopkins will have little choice but to retire once he starts taking losses over and over again. Pascal may not be the end for Hopkins, but he could be the beginning of the end for him.