Hopkins seeks Pascal, history in rematch

By Francis Walker
Updated: May 16, 2011

NEW YORK, NY—The rematch between WBC light-heavyweight champion, Jean Pascal and Bernard Hopkins will commence from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada on Saturday. HBO will televise the fight here in the United States beginning at 10 PM. The co-featured attraction is Chad Dawson vs. Adrian Diaconu.

The last time these two fought, Pascal, despite having drawn two knockdowns against his much older challenger, was lucky to escape with a 12-round split draw. The stakes are even higher in the rematch. Should Pascal lose his title, Hopkins would surpass the legendary George Foreman by becoming the oldest boxer to win a world title at age 46.

Foreman became the oldest fighter to win a world title when he shockingly knocked out Michael Moorer (KO 10) to claim the unified WBA/IBF heavyweight titles.

Hopkins embraces the opportunity to make history.

“For me, personally, it’s a great achievement to be still doing what I do at a high level and to be able to do it and make history at the same time,” Hopkins said during a recent conference call. “Now that I’m here, it’s more appreciated to me to last this long in the game. This is a game where if you get 10 years out of this sport, you’re considered lucky. So, to get two decades and come upon history at least four or five times in my career with the defenses as a middleweight and of course, I beat Tarver to become the only middleweight to become a light heavyweight champion. I mean, you put all this stuff together and then you look at what I’m ready to do now, next Saturday, with the opportunity to surpass George Foreman with 190 days outside of when he beat the Michael Moorer. As Jim Lampley said, “It happened; it happened on HBO.”

Hopkins, a boxing encyclopedia, likens himself to the legendary Archie Moore.

“I mean, you say Archie Moore, you say Bernard Hopkins,” Hopkins continued. “I consider it-and he was one of the greats also that accomplished a great achievement in his forties. So it is surreal that Archie Moore, if you know anything about history, which I believe you do, fought in Montreal, Canada and he fought [Yvon] Durelle in Canada for the championship after getting knocked down once or twice. He came back and won that fight. Archie Moore was victorious.”

Moore was over 40 when he fought Durrelle. Hopkins said: “This fight is more about history than redemption,” said Hopkins. “I want to be known as the modern day Archie Moore. Moore also went up to Montreal when he was over the age of 40, faced a younger hometown favorite [Yvon Durrelle] and knocked him out. It means more to me to break the age record and prove that I am representing not just the older fighters, but older athletes in any sport.”

Hopkins, a crafty, aggressive-boxer, has the tools to rob any fighter of their best attribute and suffocate them inside the ring with well-timed attack and good pressure. Considering how Hopkins dominated Pascal following the second knockdown early in the bout, he dominated the champion for more than half of the fight. Hopkins should have been given the nod and he should win on Saturday. However, Hopkins is open to the possible reality that he may have to knock Pascal out to beat him.

“I would love to go in there and get my knockout,” Hopkins continued. “That would stop my drought. The last time I had a knockout was Oscar de la Hoya. I’ve been in a drought for many years, but I’ll take a good beat-down, sort of like a William Joppy type of beat-down. It’d probably be better for Pascal to get knocked out than take a 12-round beating because we know that everybody that fought, well, not everybody, but most of the young fighters that were in the ring with me for more than eight to ten rounds weren’t the same after that. I don’t have to mention any names, we know who they are.”

Kelly Pavlik is a classic example. Hopkins plans to beat Pascal the way he beat up Pavlik a couple years back.

“My thing is to execute,” Hopkins added: “If I win every round and fight every round, it’s like you win the fight. You win the fight. Beat this guy up. You just make it seem one-sided. I’m looking to put that type of performance on. The only way to do that is to put the pressure on Pascal. I don’t believe he can fight backing up. I believe that, when you’re going to a target, things can happen. I’m aware of that.”

The stakes are high because, the winner of Pascal vs. Hopkins 2 will fight the winner of Dawson vs. Diaconu. Hopkins would also like to fight IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute and WBA super middleweight champion, Andre Ward.

“The winner of Chad Dawson-Adrian Diaconu fight would be a fight that would happen in the fall,” Hopkins said. “Then, I would love to fight, if he is done with his contract over there at Showtime, I’d love to go back to Canada and I’d love to fight Bute and then if there’s another optional fight there, maybe the winner of the Super Six. That would be over by then and I assume the winner of that would be freed up to do something. To me, that will be really representing Archie Moore in a big way.”

Hopkins vs. Pascal 2 HBO face-off – check it out.

For those planning to attend “Dynasty II: Pascal vs. Hopkins” live, tickets are priced at C$500, C$350, C$250, C$175, C$110, C$75, C$50 and C$35. The Bell Centre box office can be reached (514) 790-2525 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (514) 790-2525 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or (877) 668-8269 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (877) 668-8269 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

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

The fight can be seen on HBO in the U.S. and 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.