Bernard Hopkins fights some guy named Jean in Quebec tonight. "Some guy" means "WBC light-heavyweight champ Jean Pascal." Showtime coverage starts at 10 p.m.
Hopkins realizes a loss means his audience-drawing days are gone. Expect some scrap.
From the Montreal Gazette...
Pascal is younger, faster and more athletic. And he has never lost outside Quebec. He brings quick hands into the ring, a solid punch and plenty of toughness.
"I know Bernard has a lot of experience and has many tricks," Pascal said this week. "But I'm hungry and want to make destiny happen.
"It's going to be a technical fight. Hopkins is going to try to wait for my mistakes. But if he waits, he'll wait for the whole fight. I'm home. He has to prove himself and attack me to try and impress the judges."
From the Philadelphia Daily News...
Quebec City — It certainly appeared as though Hopkins was playing more mind games at a Wednesday news conference here at City Hall. The usually verbose former middleweight champion limited his comments to three words, which he asked be translated into English for a predominately French-speaking audience.
Pascal, a native of Haiti, who relocated to the Montreal suburb of Laval, Quebec, when he was 4, instructed members of his team not to do so, because, he said, "In this town, we speak French. When I go to the States, you guys speak in English. There is no translation. Now you are in my country. You are not home."
Hopkins' reaction to Pascal's illogical announcement (most Quebecois speak English as a second language) was to snatch the champion's green-and-gold WBC title belt and act as if he was going to leave the podium with it. When Pascal reached to retrieve it, Hopkins hid it behind his back, as might a bullying child playing keep-away with a toy.
Always found Bernard to be an engaging fellow, in that he speaks a lot more clearly than someone whose head's been punched for decades should. Here's some video I took with my BlackBerry during a promotional media-day over at Joe Hand's Gym in Philly a couple weeks back, where he explained that he sees tonight's fight as one he'll win for the old heads by not tiring when Pascal expects him to tire.
(H/T Michael T. Regan for photo from Hopkins' initial retirement fight vs. Antonio Tarver)
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