|Doghouse Boxing Predictions on Bernard Hopkins vs Joe Calzaghe
Compiled by Benny Henderson Jr - AKA "Big Dog" (April 19, 2008) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © HBO)
A fight that has been six years in the making is finally going down, and the fight fans witnessing the action at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV, as well as the millions viewing the carnage live on HBO’s World Championship Boxing 9:45 PM ET/6:45 PM PT, should get a huge dose of some premier pugilistic action as Philadelphia’s very own Bernard Hopkins 48-4-1 (32) takes on the “Pride of Whales” Joe Calzaghe 44-0 (32) in a twelve round in defense of his Ring Magazine light heavyweight title.
B-Hop needs no introduction; the man has came, seen and just about conquered all in his quest to be the best. “The Executioner” has defeated the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad along with a slew of others in becoming the longest ever reigning middleweight champion to reign with 20 title defenses.
Calzaghe, was a 168-pound killing machine devouring all in his sights, but now has decided to climb on American soil to try his hand at taking Hopkins’ Ring Magazine 175-pound title. Both have had triumphs throughout their career, and both look to continue their success in what little time may be left in their pro careers.
Will the old dog once again prove to be a spoiler and upset Calzaghe’s American debut, or will Joe bang his way into his forty-fifth consecutive victory?
Jason Petock: Far be it for me to call myself an expert (I'm clearly not), but there is no disputing what Bernard Hopkins has accomplished in the ring during his career. He has re-invented himself these past few ("twilight" supposedly) years, and has continued to show everyone that he isn't going anywhere (at least not yet) and can still compete and maintain a level of competitiveness and skill while being far older than his opponents. He has defied all of his critics and the media, striving for excellence and dispelling myths and expectations in the process. Calzaghe is an accomplished fighter in his own right and should not be overlooked, I just think in my simple and humble opinion that Hopkins is going to just be too experienced and cagey for the high volume Calzaghe. Look for the right hand of B-Hop during the fight. I won't call a round or give too much of a detailed prediction. No expert here, remember?
Rob Scott: Looking at the predictions of my fellow doghouse writers, as well as the other boxing media, it seems everyone has been caught up in an "Is" time warp when it comes to Bernard Hopkins. Whenever someone refers to him, we all seem to write in stone what he (is) able to do; not once embracing or acknowledging the word "was". True he beat Trinidad, but that was in 2001. True he beat Antonio Tarver, but that was in 2006. He even beat the southpaw style of Winky Wright, but that was nine months ago. I say these things because, I acknowledge, the fact of what goes up, must come down. While Hopkins has slowed the aging process when it comes to boxing, he and no one, has been able to stop that process.
Yes, he has had his hand raised, but can anyone truly say he is what he used to be? The punch-grab version of Hopkins has been more evident than the Executioner version. I just don't think Calzaghe is intimidated or caught up in any way. I may be in the minority, but I think Calzaghe has the ability to change the writing styles of us all, by bringing to light the difference in Hopkins' is and was traits. Can Hopkins do it again? Yes, but it's not about whether if he can go to the well once again, it's about how much water is left. I'm just having this gut feeling that in this fight, Hopkins' Well will inevitably run dry. Calzaghe - Split Decision
Vikram Birring: Joe Calzaghe makes his American debut against boxing legend Bernard Hopkins. Calzaghe impressed many with his performance against Mikkel Kessler in November, and now looks to make the biggest statement of his career against the light heavyweight juggernaut. Hopkins handed Winky Wright and Antonio Tarver their first losses in years, and now looks to do the same against the undefeated Welshman. His preparation is unmatched, and he is surrounded by the best team in the business: Mackie Shilstone, Freddie Roach, John David Jackson, and Nazim Richardson. Still, it will be difficult to shut down Calzaghe's speed and output, but the genius Hopkins seemingly always finds a way to make his opponents fight his style.
Danny Seratelli: Bernard won't take a fight he doesn't think he is going to win. Everyone doubted him against Winky and Tarver and he had the recipe to beat both fighters. Age is a factor for Bernard and may be a factor for Joe but that creates the chess match. Bernard is a master at winning close boring rounds, but was outworked early by Jermain Taylor in their two fights and came on late. Joe will try to win the rounds by totally outworking Bernard, but Bernard will use every trick, angle, head, clinch, etc... in the book. This won't be a walk in the park for Joe. His level of opposition for the most part has not been up to Bernard’s and the fact that he is fighting in the USA for the first time will probably be a factor as well. Joe has been totally awesome his last few fights, Bernard will attempt to bring him back down to earth, however it will be tough to do and it will get too down and dirty....Calzaghe by late round DQ
Holli Hearne: I'm picking Calzaghe. While Bernard Hopkins has the handicap of age, 43, he's in shape. He's only lost 4 fights in his career and boasts 32 KO's. Joe Calzaghe, on the other hand, is younger, 36, with fast hands, light feet, and no losses to blemish his professional record. He also sports 32 KO's. Hopkins has only slightly more fights under his belt than does Calzaghe but at the end of the day, Calzaghe didn't have to stoop to tacky racist humor to make himself look tough. My guess: Hopkins is a little bit scared of his opponent and his lack of class told his dirty little secret.
Ken Hissner: Calzaghe by Decision
John Novoselac: After 2 losses, Bernard Hopkins appears to be rejuvenated moving up to the light heavy weight limit, rattling off 2 straight wins over favored opponents by forcing them to fight his kind of fight: slow, tactical, and at times, rough and dirty. Does Joe Calzaghe have the answers that neither Antonio Tarver nor Winky Wright could provide in his high work rate and unusual use of angles? Or, can Bernard make it too tough for the Welshman to properly execute his game plan? I see the savvy and guile of the older fighter paying off one more time in a close, possibly controversial, decision victory. Hopkins UD
Eric Marks: I'm going with the underdog: "The Executioner." Too crafty, too much experience, too much determination. With all due respect to Calzaghe, he has not fought the caliber of competition that Hopkins has faced nor does have the defensive prowess of others Hopkins has been in the ring with. Thus, B-Hop should not have trouble hitting him. I suspect the fight will go the distance without any knockdowns with Bernard winning a unanimous decision by scores of 115-113 and 116-112 twice
Dimitrios Verteouris: Bernard Hopkins faces a tough opponent come April 19 . It's something that he is used to doing throughout his career. Hopkins being 43 years old is about the only thing that Calzaghe has going for him. I really can't see Calzaghe winning the fight in impressive fashion. I mean, who looks good against Nard? I think Joe is going to be in for a surprise. Hopkins has beaten the best southpaws the world has offered. I really don't think a fighter like Joe who doesn't do anything special but slap one million punches in a fight can do anything to impress Hop. I think Bernard will try and set the tone in the first two rounds by using a lot of dirty tactics such as headbutts, elbows, holding, and hitting. He knows all the tricks. After he applies some mind games, Calzaghe will get frustrated. The only thing Joe will do is continue to throw punches just to try and score. The problem is, the more you throw against Hopkins, you are guaranteed to be countered with a beautiful punch. Hopkins by UD 12.
Benny Henderson Jr.: It is hard for me to pick against B-Hop, the old dog has silenced the critics more than a time or two, but either way, and at the dismay of my ten year old son (Hopkins Fan) I am going to be picking as well as rooting for the “Pride of Whales”. Hopkins is by far the technical fighter in this go around, but I see Calzaghe as the stronger much busier fighter, and that is the key to Joe winning, being busy. It should be a good scrap, nothing to write home about, but if Calzaghe can wear down the old man, he should get the nod via close decision; I mean I am not fully counting B-Hop out. So Bernard, I honestly could give a rats butt about race, but I’ll tickle you and your fans fancy and say, Joe will be the first and probably the only white boy to beat yah.
Realtorchill: If my life depended on it I would say JC would win 115-113. However, I believe that BHOP will bring his full bag of tricks and for some reason, I believe he will receive the benefit of the doubt, therefore the fight will be scored a draw. I expect Calzaghe to throw several more punches in the fight, but I question how accurate he will be against a defensive specialist like Bernard Hopkins.
Gabriel Montoya: Joe Calzaghe is a dangerous fight for Bernard Hopkins not because of his style, (Hopkins is 12-0 against southpaws and faced elite fighters
before) but because of where he is in his career. Joe is riding a hot streak and his confidence is at an all time high. Hopkins is coming off two fights in two years against Tarver who was far from streaking and Winky Wright way out of his weight class. Calzaghe is an undefeated (hasn't lost in 17 years), smart, versatile fighter who overwhelms opponents with his output and adjustments. Whether or not where Hopkins is at in his career (43 years old and fighting sporadically) becomes an issue is a giant X factor.
This fight comes down to adaptability, to who makes the final adjustment. When you factor in that everyone Calzaghe has faced was getting into the ring with the best fighter they have faced while Hopkins has been on both ends of that spectrum, class and elite level experience may be the difference in the fight. Simply put, Bernard may have more tools in his bag than Calzaghe. However, I feel his youth and energetic output may be just enough to pull out a close one. I think this fight will end up with Calzaghe taking the decision while Hopkins will have a strong case that while he lost the points battle, he won the fight. Joe Calzaghe by SD.
Anthony Cocks: Hopkins looked like a rejuvenated man in his lone outing at 175 pounds, a savagely one-sided beatdown of Antonio Tarver. Calzaghe presents a different riddle, and with his high punch output the obvious question is whether the 43-year-old Hopkins can keep up the pace. I liked Hopkins to figure out Calzaghe by the middle rounds and pull away down the stretch, stopping him late as the Welshman looks to salvage the fight with a come from behind KO.
David Douse: Reiterating my admiration for Joe Calzaghe's achievements in going 44-0, and whilst acknowledging his status as the world's longest reigning champion, I am sticking with my original opinion that Bernard Hopkins will be the man to bring an end to the Pride of Wales golden run and hand Joe Calzaghe his first professional defeat. I don't think victory for B-Hop will come easy, and my feeling is that Bernard will have to work hard for the win. However, as I suggested in my article titled B-HOP, CAN HE DO IT AGAIN? I believe that Hopkins will be taking Calzaghe into uncharted territory for a kind of fistic experience the Welshman has never before experienced and will eventually bring Joe unraveled. Hopkins by UD for me but I don't rule out the possibility of Hopkins winning by late round stoppage.
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