The Jean Pascal vs Bernard Hopkins rematch next Saturday, May 21st at the Bell Centre in Montreal took an ugly turn when Hopkins was accused of using performance enhance drugs in his last dance against Pascal.
Truth be told, Hopkins took the ugly turn long ago when he chose to become a stinker/spoiler type of fighter as he got older and then started whining about the results and acting out in the ring. I was astounded as anyone else to see him turn back the years after suffering two early knockdowns to roar back and actually take the fight to another fighter as he did in his prime.
But this is Jean Pascal who is not noted for his power, but for his fading stamina in big fights, and sure as shootin’, he was running on empty by the end which gave the oldtimer Hopkins room enough to claim he was robbed, which he does with every loss anyway, so no big deal there.
It’s a shame Golden Boy hasn’t done more to clean up the drug issues they started with their accusations against Manny Pacquiao, yet Oscar has been typically silent on accusations against one of his business partners and done nothing to clean up drug testing in Golden Boy much less boxing as a whole.
Since there only few examples of boxers using performance enhancing drugs, it’s not clear boxing needs a drug rinse, but hopefully down the road a few more procedures can be implemented to get ahead of the curve and put down these ugly, useless rumors.
I hope Pascal and Hopkins can pull their acts together and give us a definitive result this fight instead of histrionics. I won’t hold my breath since I’d guess Pascal will be content to pace himself better and it’s doubtful Hopkins will be as “up” as he was for their first fight, a classic in the beginning that digressed into sloppiness by the end when Pascal got too tired to fight with Hopkins too slow to capitalize.
A better fight for me next Saturday is young Nathan Cleverly attempting to “unify” the WBO interim Lightheavyweight belt against regular WBO champ Juergen Braehmer. Both fighters are still in their athletic primes and talented although 32 yr old Braehmer has a significant edge in experience over 24 yr old Cleverly.
Brits seem to have taken to Cleverly who made a splash when he graduated with his Mathematics degree, so the O2 Arena in Greenwich should really be rocking for this. The British hoopla may offset Braemer’s advantages coming into the fight since he’s been strictly a Germanic zone fighter, even becoming deathly ill in his last canceled outing against Shumenov in Kazakhstan, his sole travel outing . Braehmer also has over a year’s worth of rust.
The odds should be fairly even, so take your pick.
Finally, sadly I close with the news that Roy Jones Jr. is bent on going out on his shield against a very powerful cruiserweight Denis Lebedev at Sport Complex Krylatskoe in Moscow. Jones has had no legs left to manuever for some time now with his punch resistance wearing thin as well.
So, that’s the Saturday, May 21st lineup, a decent weekend for boxing.