Posted by MICHAEL AMAKOR on Dec 16, 2010

Hopkins vs De la Hoya Pre-Fight Analysis

Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins first made a fan of me with his brutal stoppage of  Joe “The Sledgehammer” Lipsky in the 4th round  back in 1996. His ring entrance, costume,  executioner mask, and burly bodyguards walking behind him with his battle axes in a funeral type procession along with his hard core staccato eloquence was truly menacing to watch, you knew by the way he carried himself that he was the real deal and could fight.

Post fight Hopkins lamented about not getting the best fights out there because he was being promoted at the time by Butch Lewis, a rival of Don King who controlled and promoted the bigger names in the division, he urged both of them to work together to give him a chance to fulfill his potential as the “Hagler of the nineties”. But it was not until 2002 that he was finally able to showcase his skills on the world stage in the middleweight championship unification series promoted by Don King when he stopped the fearsome and over-hyped Felix Trinidad in the grand finale to become the undisputed Middleweight champion.

He often pontificates about how he will retire any opponent, suffice it to say that Lipsky retired after the kayo at the hands of Hopkins,  and Tito left the game one fight later, so when Hopkins says he will retire Oscar De La Hoya, I cannot help but pay close attention 

This is a great fight on paper, however this match-up typifies many things currently  wrong with the sweat science, Hopkins has been a titliist since 1993 and he should have moved up the divisional ladder all the way up to the Light Heavyweights by now. Instead, he is fixated with  remaining the Middleweight Champ, it has been maddening for fight fans not being able to watch him match his will against Joe Calzaghe, Sven Otke, Roy Jones or the alphabet Super middleweight champions for a piece of their belts because of his unwillingness to venture out of turf into the unknown.

Sometime you cannot fault his logic when you examine the facts, especially considering the politics involved in signing up for these fights with the controlling and manipulative Don King as a major stakeholder. This situation which to a degree is no fault of his has to led to this upcoming fight with Oscar De la Hoya who is coming in for the first time in his career as an under dog. Oscar himself has been forced inspite of himself into this fight by gift decisions and skipping mandatory challengers out of his natural weight up into the jaws of the Middleweight division King Hopkins. 

I would hate for the brilliant career of De la Hoya to come to an end at the hands of Hopkins because it would be such a gift to Hopkins, and if you don’t believe me, just watch Hopkins two ugly fights with Antwun Echols to know that Oscar is indeed out of his league and in deep water for this fight, it is by no miracle that Oscar is considered the underdog for this fight.

On the other hand it would be a shame if Bernard Hopkins (who surpassed Carlos Manzon’s record for the most defenses of the middleweight title and is the current undisputed WBC, IBF and WBA Champion) should lose everything to a blown up welterweight even if he is the gifted “Golden Boy”. If that happens boxing will become a mass of excitable confusion. We may see Shane Mosley slug it out with De la Hoya in a trilogy and beat him again…Wow or De La Hoya will simply carry on his crusade of cleaning out boxing by stepping up into the ring against Calzaghe for the WBO Super Middleweight title…Just imagine that and the fun of it all.

Anyway, putting all that aside and what we have is an exciting and intriguing match up, that will have severe ramifications for both fighters and for the sport of boxing as a whole. Both guys are on a mission fighting for fame and Boxing Immortality.

Bottom line is that it will either remind us of a classic David beating  Goliath epic, or  we will be treated to the heartache of watching a bully gleefully beat an unlucky soul pushed forward as the ring leader of a mutiny against his authority.

Enough said – May the best man win


Michael Amakor has written 174 post in this blog.

Michael “Keep Punching” Amakor has been the Chief Scribe of popular boxing website FightKings.Com since 2003. He has written over 100 articles about boxing that have been vicariously read and extensively blogged across the internet and on major boxing websites. He can be seen regularly at the fights giving round by round commentary and he is a regular commentator on the boxing radio and TV circuit.

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