Thursday, January 24, 2008

Calzaghe/Hopkins

Well, the fight many have been clamoring for will happen April 19 in Las Vegas, Nev. Veterans Joe Calzaghe and Bernard Hopkins will meet in a battle of two of the best fighters in the world.

The two fighters have combined to make 40 title defenses n their careers.

The 35-year-old Calzaghe is 44-0 and is the top super middleweight in the world.

The 43-year-old Hopkins is 48-4-1 and is one of the craftiest fighters in the world. Hopkins has established himself in recent years with wins against Felix Trinidad, Antonio Tarver, Winky Wright and Oscar De La Hoya.

Hopkins is a tough fighter on the inside, a smart fighter who never seems to get old in the ring. He likes to test his opponents mentally with taunts and he has already done that with Calzaghe saying he would never lose to a white boy.

Meanwhile, Calzaghe is a hero in the United Kingdom and has genuine respect from boxing people around the world.

Calzaghe is a beautiful technician in the ring and he counts American Jeff Lacy and Germany's Mikkel Kessler among his victims.

This is arguably Calzaghe's biggest fight to date. He is taking on one of the world's best fighters and he is doing so here in the United States, where he can prove to many that he is the best.

For boxing, this is a great matchup and expect 18,000 fans, many of them British to show up.

As for my take on the fight, if Hopkins is still able to mount a consistent, 12-round attack, I believe this will be his night.

Hopkins has proven he can fight at various weights and he'll take advantage of every legal rule in the books in the ring. He's just a tough as nails fighter and for this fight, he'll be very motivated.

Many thought he'd lose to Trindad, Wright and Tarver, but in each of those fights he fought with great skills, innovation and pure toughness.

I expect the fight to be close throughout, but I also expect Hopkins to take enough control of the fight from the mid to late rounds. My prediction is Hopkins by a score of 116-113.

— Felix