By Jordan Buscarini – Cedar City, Utah
This coming Saturday two all-time greats will step into the ring in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Mandalay Bay for a re-match that is well overdue, possibly too long overdue. That is one reason that tickets priced at $100.00 are still available for a bout that ten years ago could have been one of the highest grossing fights the sport has seen. Yet still, this fight between 41 year old Roy Jones Jr. and 45 year old Bernard Hopkins still brings intrigue to the table and should be embraced by boxing fans globally for the 5 following reasons.
1– We have all become accustomed to seeing the press conference stare downs and pre meditated shenanigans that take place weeks before the event in hopes to arouse interest. In this particular scenario, nothing is pre meditated, it is well documented that the bad blood between these two individuals is 100 percent genuine. Real animosity and hate between two fighters always makes a high profiled fight more desirable for the consumer, regardless how old the participants may be. The hate these two share for one another is enough to produce a great showing by both fighters.
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2– Curiosity on the mentality of Roy Jones Jr. We would have to go all the way back to 2002 if we wanted to view the last Roy Jones victory that came by way of KO. Since the three consecutive losses he suffered to Antonio Tarver (twice) and Glen Johnson, Jones hasn’t exactly impressed the experts on his comeback trail. He defeated Prince Badi Ajamu, Anthony Hanshaw and Felix Trinidad all by decision, he was dismantled by Joe Calzaghe in a fight that went 12 rounds, won by TKO over Sheika and Lacy and then was embarrassed by Danny Green. But if you honestly believe Roy Jones will come into this fight with the same mindset of his last five, you’re completely crazy; therefore I believe Junior has a few surprises for us all.
3– When is the last time a 45 year old fighter was favored to defeat his opponent 4 years his junior? That’s the case here, it seems that father time has been searching for Bernard Hopkins for awhile now, but can’t seem to track him down. Hopkins looked fantastic against Pavlik, and extremely respectable in his decision losses to Jermain Taylor (one unanimous, one split) and Joe Calzaghe. Bottom line, B-Hop is a rare breed, at 45 years old he is still a legit contender, and I’m even willing to say the sport has never seen someone his age still so productive. When compared to Jones, Hopkins appears to be a spring chicken even though he is on the wrong side of 40.
4– Beginning Saturday, the next four weekends are filled with bouts that have caught my eye. April 3rd we will see Ruiz and Haye do battle for the WBA Heavyweight crown, Evander Holyfield continues his improbable quest as he takes on Francios Botha April 10th, Kelly Pavlik meets up with Sergio Martinez April 17th and then two weeks later on the first day of May, Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather go head to head in one of the most anticipated fights boxing has ever had. Why not kick start the next 30 days of boxing with a fight that has the marquee value of Jones-Hopkins? Consider it an under card fight for Mayweather- Mosley.
5– History; Yes, this fight should of happened long ago, that’s the same story that you will continue to read for the next several days, weeks, months and even years after the bout takes place. But regardless how far from their hay-day these two boxers are, they are still legends, and legends are always intriguing. You would be lying to yourself if you honestly say that a fight like Dirrell and Abraham is more interesting. It seems like the right thing to say, because the sexy opinion is that this fight is a joke. 700,000 people dropped 50 bucks to watch Joshua Clottey play peek-a-boo with Manny Pacquiao for 12 rounds, and all 700,000 people knew that Clottey had no chance to win that fight. If you’re looking for entertainment value, I will guarantee you Jones-Hopkins will provide much more bang for bucks, forget the fact they are old, just sit back and enjoy two greats while they are still providing us with something to talk about.
Fight Prediction: My heart says Jones, but my head says Hopkins; I’ll go with my heart on this one and say Junior ends his stellar career on a positive note and walks away with a split decision victory.
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Jordan Buscarini graduated from Southern Utah University in 2010 with a degree in broadcasting with a minor in journalism. Is currently the Sports Director at Castle Country Radio in Price, Utah as well as the host of the Daily Sports Show “Drive Time Sports”