Friday, October 17, 2008

Pavlik-Hopkins: Hopkins wins, Hopkins wins

This weekend Bernard Hopkins will earn another significant pay-day participating in a fight he probably can't win, but also is not likely to get hurt. On top of that, a loss to 26 year-old Kelly Pavlik won't tarnish the legacy of the 43 year-old Hopkins. And lastly, a win by Hopkins really shouldn't be considered an upset.

The last time we saw Hopkins, he was out-hustled by Joe Calzaghe en-route to losing a decision and his light heavyweight title. However, Calzaghe is a veteran of 20 plus title fights, was a south-paw, and is more versatile than the bigger punching Pavlik. This will be Pavlik's fourth title bout, and it's a fact that he's never been in the ring with another fighter like Hopkins. That said, Pavlik's strength and youth should be enough to get by Hopkins, who can fight no more than four or five rounds out of a 12-round bout.

Pavlik's punching power will no doubt keep Hopkins focused, and fighting more to make Pavlik look bad, instead of beating him up. Most likely Hopkins attack plan is to bring Pavlik to him, while making himself to appear to be right there, but hard to reach. Hoping to force Pavlik into over committing and leaving him vulnerable to Hopkins counters. Pavlik is pretty vanilla style-wise, which is a big tactical advantage for Hopkins.

I expect Pavlik to win the fight, but I do believe because of styles, Hopkins will get more clean shots at Pavlik than he did Calzaghe. I just don't think it will be enough. Bernard Hopkins is just too smart and good to get his ass kicked by Kelly Pavlik. He's just not good enough in 2008 to beat him. Having said that, I wouldn't bet on this fight unless it was with someone else's money.

Regardless of the out-come, Hopkins wins. If he loses, he'll leave the ring with another big pay-day along with his legacy. If he wins, he'll leave the ring with a bigger legacy, and set up for another huge pay-day against a fighter who will be favored to beat him, but one he's capable of beating.

Hopkins Wins, Hopkins Wins!

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