Hopkins vs. Pascal: Jean has to tire Bernard out if he wants to win
By Dan Ambrose: What WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (26-1-1, 16 KO’s) failed to do in his fight against 46-year-old Bernard Hopkins (51-5-2, 32 KO’s) last December was set a high pace to tire out Hopkins and get him clinching and flopping around to try and get rest breaks. Instead of seeing Hopkins as an old car that can’t go over a certain speed, Pascal let Hopkins coast and rest in their fight by staying on the outside and throwing only rare pot shots all night.
That was the same game plan that Pascal used in the Chad Dawson fight last year in August. It worked for that fight but only because Dawson isn’t someone that likes to throw a lot of punches. Hopkins and Pascal are fighting a rematch on May 21st after being ordered by the WBC to make the fight happen or risk getting the belt stripped. This is Pascal’s chance to learn from the mistakes he made in the first fight and improve on his performance by taking the fight to Hopkins and setting a blistering fast pace in the fight.
If Pascal can fight all out and throw a massive of punches like Joe Calzaghe did in his win over Hopkins, this should be an easy fight for Pascal. He’s the much younger fighter at 28 compared to the 46-year-old Hopkins. Pascal just has to realize what he has in front of him and make Hopkins work hard. I’m not talking about letting Hopkins wrestle and hold on the inside.
Forget about that. I’m talking about throwing a lot of fast combinations and making Hopkins have throw a lot of fast punches too to try and keep up. If Pascal can make Hopkins work hard like Calzaghe did, we’ll see the flopping around from Hopkins in the 2nd half of the fight as he tries to buy time to rest and get the referee to take off points against Pascal so Hopkins can get an extra edge.