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Bernard Hopkins vs. Roy Jones Fight Preview and Prediction

Bernard Hopkins vs. Roy Jones Fight Preview and Prediction
When: Saturday, April 3rd, 2010
Where: Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada
TV: PPV at 9:00 EST
Weight Class: Light Heavyweight—12 rounds

By Scotty L of predictem.com

Bernard Hopkins, 50-5-1 (32 KOs), Philadelphia, PA. Vs. Roy Jones, 54-6 (40 KOs), Pensacola, FLA.

Fight Odds: Bernard Hopkins (-365), Roy Jones (+285)
Over/Under: Over 11.5 (-140), Under 11.5 (Even)

Analysis:  Bernard Hopkins, 45, and Roy Jones, 41, will fight on April 3rd in a rematch from their first fight 17 years ago. It is a big fight that should do good numbers and receive a lot of attention. There is a good case to be made, however, that this fight should not be taking place. The main reason is Roy Jones.

In December, both men fought tune-up bouts to set up this match. Hopkins won his match, while Jones was knocked out in the first round. Common wisdom pointed to the fact that Hopkins-Jones II would never happen. Surprise! All those involved just swept that result under the rug and now we have the fight anyway.

There is rightful concern for the great fighting machine that used to be Roy Jones. For years, he was unparalleled in terms of talent in the ring. He was untouchable during his long prime. But when he lost it, boy, did he lose it quick. After watching opponents not be able to lay a glove on him, Antonio Tarver knocked him halfway out of the ring. Then Glen Johnson knocked him cold in a scary knockout that was of the “retire before you get hurt” variety. Then Tarver beat him again in easy fashion. But he came back, rebuilt with a little string of wins, and was then embarrassed by Joe Calzaghe in a one-sided defeat. He won a few fights before his December humiliation—a first round blitz by a decent fighter in Danny Green, but also a fighter a prime Jones would have absolutely toyed with.

Jones’ fall from the top just might be the most precipitous in modern times. Some, if not most, all-time greats end their careers ungracefully. Not many have been turned into virtual boxing road kill like Jones has. If my vote counted for anything, he wouldn’t be fighting, but it’s inevitably his call. At least he’s not fighting a murderous puncher, but that’s what everyone was saying about Danny Green too.

While Jones has aged horribly, Hopkins is an anomaly—a fighter who has managed to remain a force in boxing into his mid-forties. Out of hundreds of boxing champions through the years, only a very select few have aged as wonderfully as Hopkins. He uses his dead-prime fighting mind and his well-preserved body to make us reconsider our expectations of older fighters. He has beaten top fighters Antonio Tarver, Winky Wright, and Kelly Pavlik since turning 40 and was the underdog in all three fights. He catches a little flack now from those who feel he is inactive and not going after the best, but at 45 and with a Hall of Fame record in place, he has earned the right to pick his spots.

There is a certain amount of genuine bad blood that could actually give way to a good fight. These two have bickered with each other for years after their 1993 bout, when Jones won a clear decision over a still-green Hopkins. Both men’s hubris probably contributed to the rematch never coming off. Hopkins seemed to spend time in Jones’ shadow. With Jones holding a win over him, he was never quite able to earn distinction as the best in the sport. Even though he eventually surpassed Jones in terms of accomplishments, Hopkins still harnesses bitterness over his rival.

Jones is in a position where you have to expect him to be at his absolute best. There are no tomorrows for him. The problem is: how good is his best at this point? His punch resistance is highly questionable. It just doesn’t seem to take a lot to crumple him nowadays. Anything that hits him has the potential of short-circuiting his brain. He obviously will try to employ a style that will camouflage that weakness. Jones is still capable of tremendous athleticism in the ring. He can still be fast, tricky, and a tremendous showman. Some of these things figure to present problems to his 45 year-old opponent.

Hopkins, however, brings a level of ring intelligence into the ring that is among the best in the history of boxing. He dissects more physically formidable opponents with his craft and wits. His vision of what is happening in the ring and what he is doing is amazing. It’s almost as if he has the perception of someone watching in their living room. Surely, you’ve watched a fight and thought about what a fighter should try to do during a fight. It seems so easy to see it, but most fighters don’t have the presence of mind to notice it. Hopkins does. He has the ability to see a fight calmly and the acumen to do something about it.

Scotty's Pick:  I think “B-Hop” will be going into this fight with a high level of concentration. I also expect Jones to do everything in his power to win this fight. I think it will be compelling. Jones will try to use his speed and movement. To some degree, I think he can win a small handful of rounds while Hopkins gets geared up. I think B-Hop will begin to get in better position in the middle rounds and discourage Jones with some hurtful shots. Jones will begin to go into survival mode, not wanting to give his rival the satisfaction of knocking him out. In doing so, he will also give away any chance he has of winning the fight. I think Hopkins will do just enough to keep Jones in a worrisome state over the second half of the fight.

I see Hopkins winning about 8-9 rounds in a clear decision. If he were able to land a clean shot on Jones, who knows? A knockout win for Hopkins would not surprise me. Either way, I think Bernard should win this fight rather handily. Lay the –360 on Bernard Hopkins to win.

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