Doghouse Boxing's Hopkins-v-De La Hoya fight predictions
Compiled by Anthony Cocks, Site Editor (September 16, 2004)
Well kids, it's only two more sleeps until the much anticipated middleweight showdown between undisputed champion Bernard Hopkins and Oscar De La Hoya takes place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are a lot of variables in this fight, and while conventional wisdom suggests that Hopkins will successfully defend his middleweight championship for the 19th time, convention regularly goes out the window when two warriors step into the square circle to battle for ultimate bragging rights. Read on to find out who the esteemed Doghouse Boxing scribes believe is going to win this intriguing match-up and why…
Photo © Chris Farina
Aaron Imholte: Bernard Hopkins will be way too much for Oscar De La Hoya. He is a better boxer with way too much power for Oscar to handle. If this one goes past 10 rounds, I would be utterly shocked. Bernard by 8th round TKO.
Martin Wade: I’m a suspicious man; probably as suspicious as Hopkins himself and my ears are usually perked by labels. In the buildup to this mega fight I’ve heard words that all observers of the sweet science should be wary of, “perfect”, “complete” and my all time favorite “ageless”. I don’t believe in ageless, and I believe speed is the great magnifying glass of even the most immaculately conditioned older athlete. De La Hoya is no slouch and there’s nothing on Hopkins ledger that suggest he’s faced anywhere near the consistent class that Oscar has, no matter how angry he is. Oscar will box and keep Hopkins pumping the gas and when Hopkins gets Oscar in trouble he will see why the Golden Boy has never cleanly been defeated. De La Hoya by decision.
Victor Garcia: Oscar De La Hoya will use his advanced speed and footwork to fire shots from all angles, while Bernard Hopkins will establish his range early and use his superior power to try and wear down his often fading opponent. However, De La Hoya knows his limitations and this being the most difficult fight of his career, he will look to pace himself in order to finish stronger than he has in past outings. Still, this fight should offer some surprises as De La Hoya will be able to land enough to make the ageless Hopkins look old and slow at times. For his part, Hopkins will bully a slowing De La Hoya in the later rounds, punishing him with power shots like no other man has. In the end, the Executioner will win this, but De La Hoya’s pride will keep him from being stopped. With Dave Moretti and Paul Smithtwo of three judges who worked De La Hoya’s fight against Sturmjudging this contest, there may be fear of some discrepancies in the scorecards, but Hopkins should be successful enough to get the nod from all three officials at ringside.
Henry Dyck: Expect De La Hoya to be in the best shape of his career, because he'll need to be. For him to win he'll need to use his hand speed and the entire ring to outbox the methodical counter-punching Hopkins. However, I do believe that Oscar will surprise some with his willingness to trade throughout the fight. This may or may not work to his advantage as it could surprise Hopkins. If he makes one mistake though, the Executioner will earn his namesake. I see the Golden Boy putting on the best performance of his career and outboxing Hopkins over 12 rounds en route to a very close split decision.
Peter Chhim: Hopkins SD De La Hoya. As the fight draws nearer, I'm starting to find more reasons to give Oscar a chance against Bernard. He's the best boxer that Hopkins has ever faced, and his movement and speed could be the key in keeping his endurance at the high level he'll need to maintain. The De La Hoya who banked the early portion of his fight with Felix Trinidad has a good chance of upsetting Hopkins. Having said that though, this isn't the same De La Hoya. He's movement isn't what it used to be, his speed, while still fast, isn't much faster than Hopkins, and his extra weight seems to have drawn some of his stamina. I look for Hopkins to concede the first few rounds of the fight, biding his time, while giving De La Hoya a false sense of security. Once the fight hits the midway point, Hopkins will turn on the burners, and you'll see the Golden Boy get stopped, or survive a unanimous, or split decision.
Ed Ludwig: The Super Fight is days away and for me choosing a winner isn't easy by any means. There are so many things to look at in this fight such as De La Hoya's power or lack thereof since his jump in weight. His poor performance against Felix Sturm left more questions then answers. Bernard Hopkins continues to get better as time passes and he shows no signs of slowing down. The Golden Boy has a lot of heart but I think Hopkins has the desire and wants it more. I'll make it short and simple, Hopkins will win a close split decision.
Ben Carey: Oscar may outbox Bernard in the early stages but eventually Hopkins' natural middleweight strength will catch up with him down the stretch. Hopkins was able to dominate Trinidad and it's worth remembering that Oscar was outstrengthed by Mosley. How an earth can he fend off Hopkins then? I can see De La Hoya fading around the 9th and taking shellacking in the latter stages. I doubt he'll have banked enough rounds by then to take the decision. Hopkins UD.
Krishen Rangi: Hopkins. Oscar's appetite for the spectacular has finally brought him against someone who no promoter, television company, referee, or judge can defend him against. The size differential alone makes this a match that never should have been made, not that I am complaining. It won't take longer than 6 rounds for Hopkins to dispose of De La Hoya. It will be a bad beating, worse than the one it took Trinidad three years to recover from. Nothing to feel sorry about however, Oscar's taking home $30 million.
Tom Gray: I believe that Hopkins will lose four of the first six rounds and then take command in the last half of the fight. Oscar will fight valiantly and last the distance but drop a close, but unanimous decision. I'm leaving the door open for Oscar though, because you never write off true world class, which he certainly is.
Luke Dodemaide: I'm gonna go with my gut feeling and say Oscar De La Hoya by unanimous decision. The word on the street is that the Golden Boy is in the shape of his life, which is essential if he is to execute the hit and run gameplan effectivley that is crucial for him in this fight. And who knows, father time has got to catch up with Bernard Hopkins sometime... right?.
Alex Pierpaoli: These two have been fighting in my head since this fight was first announced. I am very fond of long reigning middleweight kings but I'm trying to be objective. The only way Goldie wins is if he goes to the graveyard and digs up his welterweight legs. I don't see that as very likely. Hopkins wins big.
Benny Henderson Jr.: To close to pick, but since I have to or Chee will run me off the website, I think De La Hoya will pull it off. I believe he will look back on the Strum fight and use that as motivation and rise to the occasion. Well, at least I hope so.
Gary Pino: The De La Hoya-Hopkins bout is a classic match-up between boxer and puncher. My pick in this fight is Oscar De La Hoya by decision. I feel Oscar will be razor sharp with his combinations early and Hopkins will chase him for a good part of the evening looking for the knockout. Fueling my decision is the history of De La Hoya when he is the underdog. Oscar wins on points.
Rob Scott: I predict Hopkins by 8th-9th round TKO. Oscar is the faster fighter, from a punches-in-bunches standpoint, but to me, Hopkins is a more rapid 1 or 2 in-and-out shot standpoint. At some point he will catch De La Hoya, similar to the way he caught Allen in their last fight. The difference is, I don't think Oscar will recover, but strange things have happened in boxing.
Spud Woollatt: Like most I pick Hopkins. DLH is simply not a natural middleweight. When the fight finishes is completely dependent on which Hopkins turns up. If it is a determined Hopkins who wants to create a massive impression then the fight will be over by the middle rounds, if not Hopkins will do enough for a unanimous decision on the scorecards.
Jim Cawkwell: I'm choosing to be optimistic about just how competitive this fight will be. This fight is an opportunity for De La Hoya to prove his greatness beyond reproach. I feel that he has trained accordingly and I'm hoping that this challenge will bring the best out of him. However, Hopkins has entirely too many advantages to allow him to succumb to the 'Golden Boy'. Bernard Hopkins will take a unanimous decision after an entertaining fight.
Sean Gadd: Hopkins should win this fight. Oscar does have a chance of proving the boxing world wrong but the safe bet is on a Hopkins victory.
I see this fight going the distance. Oscar has always had a pretty good chin and is very capable of staying out of danger when needed. This is by no means an easy fight for the champion. De La Hoya is coming to win and Hopkins needs to be at his very best to make sure the Golden Boy does not steal the show.
Juan Angel Zurita: De La Hoya will be in great shape against Hopkins and that will allow him to be competitive for the first half of the fight. However, like we've seen in some of his biggest fights, De La Hoya will fade in the latter half of the fight and Hopkins will come on. Unfortunately for him, he won't be in the ring against a Felix Trinidad, Shane Mosley, or Felix Sturm. He'll be in against Bernard Hopkins, a fine conditioned, rock solid, mauler, the best middleweight since Marvin Hagler. The most probable outcome is Hopkins via decision, but it wouldn't shock me to see De La Hoya's corner throw in the towel somewhere between rounds nine thru eleven.
Anthony Cocks: For De La Hoya to have any chance of defeating Hopkins he needs to box like he did in the first half of the Trinidad fight, and apply the pressure like he did in the second half of the Vargas fight. Unfortunately for the Golden Boy, Hopkins is a far more complete fighter than either Trinidad or Vargas. Although Hopkins tends to struggle with mobile boxers, De La Hoya's habit of fading down the stretch will be the telling factor as Hopkins completes the execution with a TKO during the championship rounds.
Bonus Prediction: If De La Hoya somehow manages to survive the twelve rounds, expect the official verdict to be a split or majority draw.
Next Predictions compiled by Elisa Harrison:.
Tom Dickey: There was once an old Boxing saying, "Never underestimate the heart of a champion." I'll go with an upset and say Oscar de la Hoya. I think he will squeak out a close decision. I think he will get inside and outwork Hopkins.
Aladdin Freeman: Oscar De La Hoya will come in very sharp for this fight and will be very effective for about 4 rounds using his legs. However, I think this will backfire on him and he'll tire himself out allowing Bernard Hopkins who will be providing constant pressure to catch up to him and make the fight a rough one for Oscar. I like Hopkins to win by TKO before round 10.
Stephen Jones: Hopkins has a lot more to offer than Oscar at this weight , and regardless of how he or Oscar looked in their last outings, I am convinced that Bernard will be just one bridge too far for ODLH. If you are holding me to a prediction, not a stoppage win (Oscar is too shrewd for that), nonetheless a very one sided points win where the quality work is all Bernard's.
Chris Robinson: I have to go with logic and take Hopkins in this one. I think the fight will be somewhat lackluster with De la Hoya moving and Hopkins chasing much of the bout. During the second half of the fight I think De la Hoya will become tired and Hopkins will begin to land more often. I see De la Hoya lasting the distance but taking somewhat of a beating down the stretch on his way toward losing a clear decision.
Darren Yates: I see Hopkins winning by TKO or Oscar's corner throwing in the towel in the ninth round after receiving a sustained beating. This will not be a repeat of Hagler-Leonard, there are some similarities but there are also a lot of different circumstances. I don't think Hopkins will just follow DLH around the ring ineffectively. DLH will be pursued around the ring in a way he has not experienced yet. Hopkins can fight a full 3 minutes a round for 12 rounds, DLH cannot. You only have to see how fresh Hopkins was in the 12th rounds against Trinidad & Joppy to know he will not run out of gas. DLH has faded in the later rounds against Mosley, Quartey (after DLH dropped Quartey in the 12th, Ike came back and had DLH in trouble) & others.
Oscar can't run all night, he has to stop and engage at some point and if Hopkins establishes his longer jab early, DLH will be done. It will be interesting to see what DLH does if he is outboxed, will he choose to brawl or just run and survive. DLH is not clincher and I really respect that, running is the only way to survive and that cost him against Trinidad. Also if Mosley can out slug DLH, Hopkins will have no problems. Oscar is very tough and has a good chin so I don't think we'll see a one punch KO here. Even though DLH takes a good punch, he doesn't like it and it effects him mentally. Hopkins will take punches in this bout and it will just inspire him to fight more, it will feel more like a fight to him.
Don't expect to see the same Hopkins we saw last time against Allen, more like the one we saw against Trinidad & Joppy.
Danny Serratelli: Speed kills...... Oscar de la Hoya by Split Decision.
George Elsasser: Hopkins early or late … guess is he gets it done by halfway mark.
Jeff Mayweather: Hopkins vs De la Hoya, a great fight, hopefully it lives up to the hype. This is a fight in which styles will play a major part in who emerges victorious. Oscar de la Hoya has to fight a close to perfect fight to walk away with his hand raised in victory. He has to re-duplicate the blueprint he gave Hopkins on how to beat Trinidad. This time around Oscar has to do to Hopkins what he did to Trinidad. He can't afford to trade punches, he can't afford to get tired down the stretch. He will have to win with speed of feet and speed of hands. Hopkins is a very hungry fighter who has toiled in obscurity for a very long time and is basking in this moment of time, it doesn't get any better for him. He's bigger, stronger and can fight also. If De la Hoya fights as he did against Felix Sturm he loses, maybe even gets stopped. If he boxes and can maintain it from round one to round twelve, he wins by decision. There is no way if De la Hoya is still standing after twelve rounds -barring there are no knock downs- that he should be out-pointed by Hopkins. It's a very interesting fight, yet I lean a little toward Hopkins more because of his size and at times he can get a little dirty and make the fight extremely ugly.
I like Hopkins but I hope De la Hoya wins because unfortunately my older brother just happens to be in Oscar's corner. If I didn't share that with my readers I wouldn't be Keeping it Real. With that being said... 'It's Fight Time.'
Kenny Perrault: My prediction for the Bernard Hopkins - Oscar de la Hoya fight should be a no brainer, Bernard Hopkins. Over the years it's been hard to go against Oscar but this is the first time I've felt that he was out of his league. Hopkins will prove to be too much for the Golden Boy, winning by a tougher than expected decision.
Elisa Harrison: I believe that the outcome of this match will be heavily influenced by the strategy planned by Floyd Mayweather, Sr. and Bouie Fisher, (two of the best trainers in the business), and how well their individual charges can follow the laid out plans. I would like to see Oscar win but it won't be easy. However, and even more importantly, is anyone concerned about the judging of this fight?
I have two wishes: 1) That the fight will live up to expectations and 2) That the appointed officials will render a solid decision. Simple as #2 may sound, more often than we care to remember, it has proven to be a monumental problem for judges in Las Vegas.
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