By Chris Williams: 49-year-old IBF/WBA light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs) says he’s motivated by the dangerous that the hard hitting Sergey Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 KOs) brings to the table in their fight in less than two months on November 8th on HBO Championship Boxing at the Boardwalk Hall, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA.
Hopkins, who turns 50 next January, says he likes the idea of going towards danger rather than going away from it like many fighters do. He doesn’t want to be one of those fighters that takes the easy path, and who says ‘It’s up to my promoter’, when asked if he would be interested in fighting a tough opponent.
“I need the threat,” Hopkins said via Bostonherald.com. “When you fight a dangerous guy, you got to fight a perfect fight. It’s like you’re on a tightrope 1,000 feet in the air and you got to go five miles on it. If you fall, there’s no safety net…I know what I need. I need to run toward the gun.”
Hopkins chose not to dodge Chad Dawson when he was considered the best fighter in the 175 pound division. Hopkins took the fight and gave it his best shot in losing by a close 12 round majority decision. Back then, not too many fighters wanted to face Dawson because he was considered the No.1 fighter in the division at that time.
Things have changed since then but back then, Dawson was the man. Now Hopkins is going after the Russian Kovalev, who is seen by many boxing fans as the No.1 guys. WBC champion Adonis Stevenson was considered by some fans as the too fighter in the division, but after his struggles to defeat Andrezj Fonfara in his last fight, Stevenson is no longer mentioned as the top guy by fans. It’s down to Hopkins and Kovalev proving who the best guy is in the light heavyweight division.
Hopkins is going to use his brains and his boxing skills to take away Kovalev’s power on November 8th, and leave him as confused and helpless as Hopkins’ recent opponents Beibut Shumenov, Karo Murat and Tavoris Cloud were in his fights against them.
Kovalev is going to try and score a quick knockout in this fight. You can expect him to come out fast looking to unload everything he had on Hopkins in the early going. Hopkins will be ready for whatever Kovalev brings to the table, and he’ll block and take whatever big shots that the Russian fighter throws at him.
By the 5th round, Kovalev will likely be exhausted from throwing and missing punches, and he won’t have the same power that he came into the fight with. At that point, Hopkins will start taking over the fight and will dominate down the stretch run. Hopkins won’t be able to knock Kovalev out, but he’s going to get him a boxing lesson in the last 7 rounds of the fight and win going away.
A victory over Kovalev will leave only Stevenson for Hopkins to face in the future. Even if that fight doesn’t happen, Hopkins will be recognized as the No.1 guy in the division.