By: Anthony Zute George
As Bernard Hopkins takes on Tavoris Cloud this weekend, I cannot help but think of when he all but fought his way out of the main event spotlight of the sweet science. After that dreadful rematch against Roy Jones Jr., Hopkins was done getting big fights, or so we thought.
Along comes Jean Pascal. After Pascal upset Chad Dawson, he called out, of all people “The Executioner”, who was literally at home, on the couch, just enjoying the sport he once cashed checks doing. Hopkins, who is no dummy and a smart businessman, jumped on the opportunity.
To Hopkins credit, he did entertain a bit more in the first Pascal fight than what we are use to seeing in a Hopkins fight (which is to say I did not have to fight to stay awake).
Hopkins did eventually get two fights out of Pascal and looked better than him each time. Breaking the record as the oldest man to win a boxing championship… Yippee! What a way to end a saga! Right? Wrong!
Chad Dawson felt he needed to try and crack the Hopkins code and did to some degree. Dawson is widely recognized as the winner over Hopkins in their second fight, their first fight ending abruptly and controversially.
Much to this writer’s approval, Dawson never whispers the name B-Hop again and instead parlays his win into a lucrative showdown with 168 pound king Andre Ward. The end of Hopkins. Right? Wrong!
It is Tavoris Cloud’s chance to once again give Hopkins legitimacy in a HBO main event. The premium network originally balked on the Hopkins resurrection when he fought Pascal, but has been drinking the “Cool Aid” ever since. I have no idea why the boxing world wants to keep investing in Bernard Hopkins, his fights as painful as a circumcision, and offer no real reward for his opponents.
Short of Cloud blowing Hopkins away in an impressive knockout, this fight provides absolutely no upside for him. I suppose I should just shut up, sit back, and watch the fight. If Cloud wants to get his shot at a true boxing legend, who am I to put a black cloud over it? After all, Cloud is a grown man and has a right to do what he pleases. The fact that I feel that he and the rest of the boxing world is out of their mind for constantly falling for the same act over and over and over again, then maybe I am the insane one!
Let us see, if we are all struggling to stay awake Saturday night that means I win. I hate to win at the expense of the sport I love so much. But, it appears to me the writing is on the wall on this one, in BIG BOLD WRITING!
I have to commend the networks for their early match ups though. HBO Boxing gave us a great triple header; led by Mikey Garcia’s coming out party over Orlando Salido. ESPN Friday Night Fights has given us some really top names in the sport, with Lamont Peterson vs. Kendall Holt leading the charge, and The NBC Sports Network has not lost any steam, continue to dial up competitive cards for the fans.
Showtime, well most of their really good fights have either been delayed or cancelled, which is why you get a Richard Abril vs. Sharif Bogere and a Ishe Smith vs. K9 Bundrage topping their early shows… but the effort is there.
While all the action has not been sizzling, it is a clear indication that boxing is not going anywhere and the stage is set for a huge 2013. Floyd Mayweather Jr., Saul Canelo Alvarez, Nonito Donaire, Andre Ward and Sergio Martinez still have yet to lace them up this year, meaning the best is yet to come. I’ll take it.
I would like to give a special shout out to the Mad Boxing Genius, glad to see he has not forgotten the sport of boxing and I am expecting a kick ass comeback. In fact I am demanding it! I will not allow you to go on hiatus again. Unlike B-Hop, boxing is not better with you out of the game.