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Hopkins - Hoya Preview
By George J. Elsasser (July 28, 2004) 
Photo ©
Don’t look now, but believe it or not, September is no more than 3-wood to the green down that proverbial pike. And come the 18th of the month it is Bernard Hopkins hosting Oscar de la Hoya out at Vegas town.

So, what to expect ? Well, some 18 years in my less than illustrious past I once hosted a small town USA weekly radio boxing show, and the agonizing portion was in predicting outcomes.

Hardly a week went by when back at the friendly confines of the community pub I would be reminded of my sad track record - but this upcoming argument over the Hopkins unified middleweight baubles looks to me like a gimme of all gimmes.

Bernard a middleweight champ for all seasons. Oscar a reconstructed welter at best, with reduced punching power as he gingerly stepped up the weight ladder from lightweight, jr. welter, welter, jr. middle.

Bernard the stronger physically, much bigger puncher, and guess wot? The better skilled in the science category as well, and what could possibly short circuit the victory you ask - only in his waking up very old the day of the fight.

Oscar had his moments at them lighter divisions … good size and speed over most foes … and most "names" he handled with ease were yesterday’s news when they shared the ring with "Golden Boy."

Have always seen them early year comparisons to Ray Leonard insulting to the one called "Sugar Ray" … and the Mosley double-debits plus the flee from the scene late in the Trinidad fight hinted the Hoya glitter may be less than golden.

Returning to Hopkins and the boxing edge … ’Nard does it without flair, and any flurry camouflages a game plan, while the Oscar flurries are more forced than natural, and strictly of the pitter-patter variety.

Expectations here, is Hopkins any way he chooses … early, late, clean or messy … it will be the Bernard Hopkins show in a laugher.


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