I remember literally chasing Bernard around Tampa International Airport prior to his bout with Antonio Tarver. Vividly recalling how sure I was that he’d lose to Tarver, I placed the footage of that moment from memory- against that which I’d just seen.
I was sure.
THE NON-RADIOACTIVE ZONE: ENTERING AREA 50-DONE.
I had just witnessed Bernard Hopkins systematically dismantle Karo Murat and father time once again. But this time, I peaked at the shadow of father time’s face which hovered around him both during and after the fight. It wore a knowing grin of wryness. As humans, we don’t possess the keenest vision among living things, and our sense of perception is not as sharp as some that exist in the wild. Yet Bernard wants to now tell us he’s an ‘Alien’, and that as such, he can out-duel someone else who’s skill set seems to be supernatural.
The consensus #1 pound for pound best fighter on the planet, Floyd Mayweather, is not a UFO. But I’m going to call him “The Predator”. Not because he looks like it at all (even though his dad Floyd Sr., a few years back, had a striking resemblance to whatever it was that was ice grilling Arnold Schwarzenegger), but because he “acts like it” in the ring.
Al Haymon has also not made up his mind yet about just who Floyd will face, and Hopkins is not out of the question yet.
Probing you in a methodical, almost high-tech way straight out of science fiction, Mayweather’s game is predicated on stealth, speed, uncanny accuracy and precision. Everything about him is carefully coordinated and calibrated, including his conditioning- which along with Pacquiao’s, is the best in the sport. If he is given time and space to operate and to “see you”, he will set his radar and place a red dot on your head for the entire evening.
Hopkins is very serious about negotiating a deal to get Mayweather in the ring, and I’ll be damned if this thing isn’t looking serious. It is! It would entail the former “Executioner” almost execute himself in coming down to 160lbs to face Floyd, who would probably weigh no more than what he just weighed last month- about 150lbs. The reason this is plausible is because of what we just saw in his bout with Canelo, as Hopkins would weigh no more than maybe 165lbs on fight night. Hopkins, a true Spartan with discipline like no other, would probably get down to 160lbs some 2 months prior to the bout itself in order to completely acclimate. He would nuance himself on what he felt he needed to do to beat Floyd.
The reason he wants to fight Mayweather is because he thinks he saw something that he can exploit to beat him. Not unlike how he saw something against Trinidad, De La Hoya, Tarver, Pavlik, Pascal and Cloud. But I saw something too the other night, something that I didn’t see when I stopped him and Nazim Richardson to tell them they were crazy for facing Tarver. I asked him why he was taking this fight at 40, while making it sound as though it was the worst number in the world. He stopped, removed his glasses, got directly in my face and said: “Because I can win it.” He stared at me for like 5 thick seconds as those words hung in the air for what seemed 5 minutes. I instantly changed my mind (you saw how he mummified Tarver).
But I don’t think that the ‘Alien’ can possibly beat the ‘Predator’.
I am sure of it.
I’m genuinely curious about this fight because of Bernard’s exploits in the past and a little uncertainty over how Floyd would react to him in the ring. Hopkins is nothing if not full of guile, grit, moxy and all of the savvy of one of the very best fighters to ever live. Once again, all of this was on full display the other night, as Bernard, at a ridiculous 48, solved and answered any questions thrown at him by Murat. But all anyone has to do is understand who Murat, Cloud, or even Pascal weren’t when considering facing Mayweather the way he wants to do it.
The best thing about this fight would be the press conferences and sound bites coming from Mayweather and Hopkins. Not far behind, would be the mind games and philosophical nature of Richardson, and the colorful candor of Floyd Sr. complete with rhymes. I’m pretty sure at some point however, that Bernard would make it ugly, in an attempt to unravel, intimidate and prod the uber-sensitive Mayweather. The fun of Showtime’s “All Access” wouldn’t even be able to be put into words, as Hopkins would win the war of insults and the comedy show. Everything he’d do to bother Mayweather would work.
This fight has elements of Holmes vs. Ali all over it. Hopkins was able to hit Murat (whose name might as well be “Borat”) with well timed and sneaky shots throughout the fight. But he was also nailed “flush” in ways we’ve never seen by a crude fighter no one would confuse with a smooth technician. If he were a Baseball pitcher, he’d be Tim Wakefield, and have no fastball while working with a tricky knuckleball in the 70mph range. Now think of Floyd as a 37 year-old Barry Bonds. He’d smack him all over the place. The 11 years between them are immense. For persepective, how do you think the Bernard you saw the other night would fare against the version of him that annihilated Trinidad?
Coming down to 160lbs to challenge Floyd Mayweather would be suicidal. He probably thinks it would help him with speed and sharpen his reflexes- and it would. But he would be slower than Canelo was in both hand and foot speed, and the speed disparity would be adjacent to Ali’s butchery of the great Archie Moore. I’ve seen it across some social media comments that this would be a boring fight. I totally disagree, and feel it’d be entertaining for all the wrong reasons. “The Predator” would gradually strike “The Alien” with abandon, and eventually give him a savage beating.
I think Floyd Mayweather conclusively ends Bernard Hopkins legendary career in the 10th round with a rather one-sided beating, as Nazim Richardson throws in the towel to rescue and embrace the proud warrior from outer space.