The Joe Calzaghe vs. Bernard Hopkins fight went as expected, or at least as I expected. Calzaghe the slightly younger, faster, fresher, hungrier fighter of the two won the fight by a decision. Now having said this, Calzaghe is not all that young and fresh at age 36, but he is still hungry in the sense of worldwide recognition and lucrative paydays.
This was Joe’s coming out to the world party against the best he has ever faced in Hopkins. For Hopkins at age 43, he has been there and done that many times, however he still craves the paydays and the attention, somewhat. What a shock! For me it was clear that Bernard is just “cashing in” to quote my friend, boxing trainer John Russell. Bernard was there to fight, but not really there to win the fight.
Certainly he was not trying to take the fight. He had no real game plan, except lean his head down and throw the right hand hard. It worked in round one as it found its mark on Joe’s chin and he scored the only knockdown of the fight. Joe to his credit took the punch well and got right up. Calzaghe possesses a solid beard. Hopkins only other plan was to tie up and decrease Calzaghe’s tremendous work and punch output. It worked to some degree, but not as he would have hoped due to Referee Joe Cortez effectively breaking the fighters immediately at every clinch. I felt Joe may have done this too much with the Mayweather vs. Hatton fight, but he did the right thing this time out as Bernard was really not trying to fight on the inside. He was just trying to tie up and run the clock.
I said this was Calzaghe’s best opponent by a mile and it showed as Joe at times really did not know how to handle Bernard tactics or lack there of. Calzaghe was following instead of cutting off the ring and the one punch that would have worked the best against the head down Hopkins, the uppercut, he only threw a few times the entire fight. Having said this Calzaghe clearly won the fight.
Clearly did you hear that Adalaide Byrd? How she could have scored the fight for Hopkins is crazy. Although there were not any dramatic moments other than the knockdown of Calzaghe in round one, it was fairly easy to see who was making the entire fight. If not for Calzaghe attempting to be fight, there would have been nothing to see. I could see the fight being a bit closer if Hopkins had been able to get away with getting two points taken off Calzaghe for a few weak low blows, but Cortez properly did not give in to the not so Oscar worthy performance by Bernard.
It would have been nearly impossible for Calzaghe or anyone to look good against Hopkins, but on a few occasions Joe did look sloppy and I still hate when he slaps with his punches from time to time, but it is part of who he is and how he performs.
So despite it not being a scintillating performance, Calzaghe still has a remarkable record of 45-0. He most likely will now face another opponent he should have faced years ago in Roy Jones Jr. who now at age 39 can be nearly be called Roy Jones Senior. It would be a somewhat interesting but way too tactical fight, but I expect it to happen.
Then I would hope to see Calzaghe take on Middleweight Champ Kelly Pavlik in what, if all goes well for both, the battle of unbeatens. That would be an excellent fight and, I think, nearly an even matchup. We’ll just have to wait and see.
As for legendary Bernard Hopkins now 48-5-1, he should dedicate full-time work to Golden Boy Promotions and maybe he should share some of his brilliant boxing skills and tricks with young fighters and even trainers. Bernard can probably fight 5 more years and never be beaten badly, but 5 losses are enough for this future hall of famer, don’t ya think? Well I have plenty more to say, but I have to go back to unpacking boxes in my new house in Anthem, here in Las Vegas. I can’t believe I have all this _ _ _ _!