Hopkins-Pascal on 5/21: Bernard attempting to become the oldest world title holder in boxing history
By Dan Ambrose: 46-year-old Bernard Hopkins (51-5-2, 32 KO’s) looks to become the oldest fighter ever to capture a major title when he takes on WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (26-1-1, 16 KO’s) in a rematch next month on May 21st in an HBO televised bout at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. Hopkins tried his luck last December but failed to capture the WBC belt after getting knocked down a couple of times in a close fight and had to settle for a 12 round majority draw.
Hopkins complained bitterly about the results and felt that he should have won the fight. However, with Hopkins down on the canvas twice, he really didn’t have much room to argue that he deserved a decision under those circumstances. He now vows to win the fight this time and prove that an older fighter like him can still beat the younger guys. We’ll see because Pascal is training harder this time around and has come up with a better strategy to beat Hopkins with this time.
Pascal made the mistake of trying to pot shot his way to victory against Hopkins in what looked to be a poor imitation of Roy Jones Jr’s win over Hopkins many years ago in 1993. However, Pascal didn’t have Jones’ defensive skills and excellent foot speed to avoid Hopkins’ pressuring tactics and was often forced to fight it out with Hopkins on the inside. This favored Hopkins because he showed that he’s got much better inside skills compared to Pascal, even at this late stage in his career.
Pascal has ramp up his offense and let his hands go with rapid nonstop punches the way that Joe Calzaghe did in his win over Hopkins. The way to beat a 46-year-old fighter isn’t to try and pot shot him into submission; you have to set a fast pace by throwing a massive amount of punches in every round and make him use up all his energy. This is where you’ll see the old man in Hopkins come out. He’ll likely start flopping around on the canvas, complaining to the referee about phantom low blows and other such fight delaying actions in order to get a breather in the action. This is what Pascal failed to realize last time he fought Hopkins.