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Bernard Hopkins turns 47 today, likely to chase Bute fight in 2012

Bernard Hopkins Lucian ButeBy Dan Ambrose: WBC light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KO’s) turns 47-years-old today and thanks to a successful appeal made to the World Boxing Council and California State Athletic Commission, Hopkins’ loss to Chad Dawson from last year was overturned and changed to a no contest.

However, Hopkins was ordered to fight an immediate rematch with Dawson by the WBC, but it doesn’t look like that fight is going to happen. Hopkins wants to fight IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute and that’s a much bigger paying fight that a rematch with Dawson. Hopkins may get stripped of his WBC title by the World Boxing Council if he fails to defend it against Dawson unless something can be worked out or the WBC choosing to look the other way and let Hopkins fight other guys instead of Dawson.

If Hopkins is to get the Bute fight, he could wait for pretty much the entire year before he gets a shot at the Canadian based fighter, as Bute is negotiating a two-fight deal with Carl Froch. Once Bute gets through those two fights, he could fight WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward, as that’s the fight that Bute and all of boxing wants to see.

Hopkins is lower down in the food chain for a Bute. If Hopkins is to get a Bute fight, Hopkins may have to wait until 2013 before he gets his chance because that’s when Bute will be freed up from the big paying fights and can take on Hopkins.

Hopkins will be 48-years-old by this time next year and it’s very questionable the amount of interest that will be attracted by a fight between Bute and a 48-year-old fighter, especially if Bute is beaten by Froch or Ward. Who wants to see a 48-year-old Hopkins vs. a recently beaten Bute?

Ward already said he won’t fight Hopkins because he respects him too much. Hopkins looked as if he had slipped a notch in his fight against Dawson last year when he looked slow and fell down and hurt himself after falling over Dawson’s back.

You can imagine Hopkins will be even slower this year, and he’s going to need to fight someone good while he waits for Bute to get freed up from his fights. The only money fight out there for Hopkins other than Bute is Jean Pascal. But Hopkins already fought Pascal twice and beat him convincingly in the last time he fought him last year in May. Maybe the fight will do well in Canada, but maybe it won’t.

There may be diminishing returns on that fight because they’ve already battled twice and it’s established that Hopkins is better than Pascal. A rematch between Hopkins and Pascal is further hurt by Pascal not having fought since the Hopkins loss. If Pascal was staying busy and had beaten someone to show that he had bounced back from the defeat, then maybe you could see a Hopkins-Pascal III fight to some people.

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