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WOULD JOE CALZAGHE BEAT BERNARD HOPKINS?

Bernard Hopkins is, without question, a great fighter, a legend, even if it is he that is the first to say so. His well-honed and crafty ring skills coupled with his heart, belief, and dedication have enabled Hopkins to reign supreme for many years and this simply must confer nobility on Hopkins in the boxing realm. We could mention Jermaine Taylor but this is an exception and also a moot point. Hopkins’ ability in the ring enables him to challenge and beat all styles of fighter - this guy is so talented that not even age can catch up with him! He has however been known to make a mistake but luckily for him it occurred outside of the ring and was oral in nature - the ‘white boy’ incident that we are now all too familiar with. Nevertheless, Bernard Hopkins is a fighter whom wins, and is a gifted boxer that has earned his place in boxing’s hall of fame and in doing so earned the right to call himself a legend.

Joe Calzaghe is, without question, a great fighter, a legend, although you would be hard-pressed to get this statement out of the man himself. His hand speed, mobility, conditioning, heart, focus, and ability to adapt have enabled Calzaghe to totally dominate his division for over a decade and this, as with Hopkins, must confer nobility in the boxing realm, with the added advantage of there being no moot points, as there have been with Hopkins. Joe Calzaghe is a true warrior that has always found a way to win and as a result has propelled himself to the dizzy heights of boxing superstardom. Joe Calzaghe, through his brilliance and dogged determination, has established himself as a boxing legend, with or without Bernard Hopkins.

Would Calzaghe beat Hopkins? It’s very difficult, but not impossible, to imagine Hopkins possessing the punching power to stop someone with ‘terminator’-like qualities. You can hit Calzaghe with everything you’ve got and the man not only keeps coming, but actually steps it up another gear almost as if to act as a deterrent to any further attempt to assault him, and it usually works too!

For Hopkins to win it is very much more likely to be on points, but is this a realistic expectation? If Hopkins could sit back and fight only when he feels comfortable to do so, sneaking home the odd punch here and there and fighting at his own pace, then maybe. A lot of Hopkins’ opponents have been so wary of his abilities, and have perhaps been a little ‘psyched out’ from the pre-fight psychological games that Hopkins likes to play, that Hopkins has been able to get away with winning in this fashion. With Joe Calzaghe as your opponent you’re going to need something more, a lot more in fact. Calzaghe will not have been psyched out in any way and although aware and appreciative of Hopkins’ considerable talent, I don’t think ‘wary’ is in Calzaghe’s vocabulary. Calzaghe’s work-rate will be undeterred and extreme, forcing the ever-green Hopkins to work hard and constant which will undoubtedly have a deleterious effect physically and mentally as the fight wears on because Hopkins is a man that likes to fight at his own pace.

Hopkins’ ability to deal with varying styles of fighters is impressive, but when he meets Calzaghe it’ll feel like he’s fighting all those warriors at the same time and this will be difficult for Hopkins to deal with – Calzaghe’s repertoire is so vast he should be sectioned under the mental health act for multiple personality disorder! Further to this, Calzaghe’s knack of ‘feeling out’ an opponent is second to none and will be equally difficult for Hopkins to deal with. Calzaghe can drop what’s not working, identify and exploit what is or is likely to work, and experiment under the greatest of pressures. Joe Calzaghe can do at a moment’s notice what most fighters never accomplish in their whole careers and that is, CHANGE! Calzaghe is without question a chameleon, in a metaphorical sense. However, if Joe takes his ‘eye off the ball’ for even the briefest of moments then you can bet on Hopkins punishing him for this indiscretion, but Team-Calzaghe will have ensured this is not an option.

The outcome is that Joe’s work-rate, mobility, and adaption to whatever strategy Hopkins chooses to employ, will dishearten and tire the exceptional Hopkins whom will no doubt make every effort to go out on his shield. Bewildered, fatigued, and hurt, Hopkins will begin to lose all sight of hope around the middle of the fight and will become more and more likely to be stopped with each passing second from midway on. The skinny, pasty ‘white boy’ from an obscure valley in South Wales will comprehensively destroy the loquacious, American superstar for whom colour will not be an issue after this fight owing to his newly-acquired literal likeness to a chameleon in that he’ll be muti-coloured as a result of extensive bruising to his head, face and body! There are not many certainties in the gambling capital of the world, Las Vegas, but Joe Calzaghe beating Bernard Hopkins is definitely one of them! As regal as Bernard Hopkins is, it’s Joe Calzaghe to win clearly on points or late stoppage and to be crowned King of the two legends.
 
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