George Foreman: “Bernard will get a knockout”

By Francis Walker BASN Staff Writer
Updated: May 17, 2011

NEW YORK, NY-–WBC light-heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (26-1-1, 16 KOs) is eagerly anticipating his rematch with former undisputed world light-heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (51-5-2, 32 KOs). “Dynasty 2: Pascal vs. Hopkins” can be seen live in the United States in HBO “World Championship Boxing” beginning at 10PM/ET.

The co-featured attraction will match former light-heavyweight titlist Chad Dawson (29-1, 17 KOs) vs. Adrian Diaconu (27-2, 15 KOs).

Pascal has been prepping and is ready for Hopkins. The last time these two fought proved to be one of the best fights of 2010. Pascal scored two clean knockdowns in the first four rounds, but it was Hopkins who took control of the fight afterwards and punished Pascal throughout. Many people believe that Pascal deserved to lose his title, but the judges had mixed feelings. Pascal retained, via 12-round split-draw.

A lot of people voicing their opinion as to who would win include none other than the legendary George Foreman.

“The first fight is going to have to be erased,” Foreman said recently. “The decision was not of quality. The second time around, Bernard will get a knockout.”

Should Hopkins beat Pascal, “The Executioner” will become the oldest fighter in the history of boxing to win a world title at age 46. Foreman was 45 when he became the oldest fighter to win a world heavyweight championship when he knocked out Michael Moorer (KO 10), in November 1994 to claim the unified WBA/IBF titles. Foreman was trailing each of the three the judges’ scorecards at the time of the miraculous one-punch knockout.

“Bernard has to realize, as I did when I fought Michael Moorer, you must get a knockout,” Foreman added. “This fight and the record will not be broken on a unanimous decision. There must be a knockout.”

Pascal is unfazed by Foreman’s prediction, cheerleading for Hopkins.

“I have a lot of respect for Foreman,” Pascal said. “He’s a great legend. And, it’s not upsetting at all because if I win, it will going to be an even stronger exploit, because somebody like George Foreman believes that Hopkins still has what it takes to beat me.”

Pascal is a very fast boxer and relies heavily on his movement and ability to box effectively. Pascal has been a world champion for nearly two years. Even though he has a solid win over Chad Dawson, perhaps his biggest win was when he overcame a dislocated right shoulder to outpoint Diaconu in their 2009 rematch. Pascal outpointed Diaconu to claim the WBC 175-pound title in June 2009.

Pascal doesn’t plan on helping Hopkins make history. Pascal hopes to make Hopkins history by turning him away unsuccessfully. The winner of Pascal vs. Hopkins 2 will fight the winner of Dawson vs. Diaconu. HBO has expressed interest in matching the winners which is why there is no rematch clause for Pascal-Hopkins.

“There is no rematch clause,” said Pascal’s promoter Yvon Michel. “There is not a request on either side for rematch. But we realized also, that any way if you have a rematch clause on the fight that nobody wants to see, no network will be willing to buy it. So, that doesn’t mean anything. If you don’t have a rematch clause, but everybody wants to see a rematch, and networks are willing to pay whatever to show it, then you can have it. So, that’s why we haven’t insisted or asked Golden Boy to have anything.”

“Dynasty 2: Pascal vs. Hopkins” can be seen live on HBO in the U.S. The bout can also be seen live on pay-per-view in Canada on Canal Indigo, Bell TV, Shaw TV, Viewer’s Choice and Sasktel in French and English beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Tickets for “Dynasty 2: Pascal vs. Hopkins” are priced at C$500, C$350, C$250, C$175, C$110, C$75, C$50 and C$35, are on sale now and may be purchased at the Bell Centre box office or by calling (514) 790-2525, (514) 790-2525 or (877) 668-8269, (877) 668-8269.

Tickets are also available online at www.evenko.ca.

Roy Jones, Jr. to fight in Russia on Saturday

The legendary Roy Jones, Jr. (54-7, 40 KOs) travels to Moscow, Russia (of all places) on Saturday to challenge former world title contender, Dennis Lebedev (21-1, 16 KOs) to a scheduled 12-round cruiserweight bout.

Jones, once regarded as the best fight in the world pound-for-pound, spent years as a middleweight, super middleweight, and undisputed world light-heavyweight champion prior to becoming the first former middleweight champion in more than 100 years to win a heavyweight title. Jones outpointed John Ruiz to claim the WBA title in March 2003.

Jones, once recognized for his catlike reflexes and superhuman speed, exceptional power, and unmatched precision, is no longer the same fighter that beat Bernard Hopkins with one arm and that knocked lout Virgil Hill with one of the greatest body-punch knockouts in history.

The future Boxing Hall of Fame fighter from Pensacola, FL, at age 42, is only a fraction of what he was 10 years ago. Jones, who punished the likes of James Toney Antonio Tarver, Vinny Pazienza, and Montell Griffin, has suffered terrible knockout defeats and poor/bloody decision losses to Tarver, Hopkins, Glen Johnson, Danny Green, and Joe Calzaghe.

On Saturday, Jones will be in Russia taking on a much younger, bigger, and stronger upcoming boxer in Lebedev, who is 31. Anything is possible in boxing, but Jones has a very little to no chance to beat Lebedev. This is Lebedev’s first bout since losing a disputed 12-round decision to WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck in December. What an opportunity for Lebedev to have a victory against a fighter with such an impressive resume’ as Roy Jones, Jr.

Jones, after all these years, remains a sight to see. However, he is only a fraction, a shell, a glimpse of what he once was. It defies time to ask a 42 year-old man to compete against the likes of a younger, bigger, stronger, and fresher fighter like Lebedev when a fighter like Jones has declined immensely through the years.

It will be sad to see Jones punished as Lebedev’s stepping stone on Saturday.