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Hopkins vs Calzaghe: Prediction

Posted by beeshabo on April 18, 2008

This Saturday, April 19th, Bernard Hopkins and Joe Calzaghe will square off in one of the most highly anticipated showdowns (of the higher weight classes) of 2008. Okay, there is already so much talk about this fight, I’ve heard that Calzaghe has no chance to Hopkins will be outworked by the Welsh Fighter, let’s face it, neither man has ever seen what he’s about to see come Saturday night, they’re both in a league of their own. Both are extremely accomplished fighter’s, Hopkins is the best Middleweight of the last 20 years, while on the other side of the ocean stands Calzaghe, the best Super Middleweight in the history of that division, so when these two men fight each other at the 175lb Light Heavyweight limit, What will happen? Well here’s what I think……

This is a very tough fight to call, both men posses great skills, and both can be unpredictable, I don’t see a scenario where either man is outclassed or dominated by the other. I will list my keys to victory for both champions as I believe both have a good chance of winning.

Hopkins: Keys to Victory

Box – Early in his career, Hopkins was more of a fighter, he liked to mix it up, but as his knowledge and experience grew, he became more conservative and learned to adapt and use his wisdom to bend the rules in his favor, he must use these strategic tricks to frustrate Calzaghe. Use angles, lead rights and lefts, tie up the Welshmen, be “dirty” (as Hopkins is considered to be) and get Calzaghe off his rhythm.

Start Fast – Hopkins cannot hold back in the early going, Calzaghe produces an incredible work rate and throws a lot of punches, if Hopkins starts slow, he may find himself playing “Catch-up” down the stretch where his aging body may betray him.

Get Inside – Calzaghe has a long reach, and knows how to use it, Hopkins must get passed that and take away Calzaghe’s advantage on the outside, by getting close, he will enable himself to engage on the inside where we all know he can be more successful.

Keep Hands High – Calzaghe is known for his fast hands and patented flurries, Hopkins must keep his hands high to protect himself from the barrage of punches Calzaghe is accustomed to throwing, then he can counter with his own stunning right hand.

Calzaghe: Keys to Victory

Do Not Wait – So many times before, we’ve seen fighters wait around to see what Hopkins will do, giving the Executioner an advantage, waiting on Hopkins only helps him set traps and use his experience to get his foe. Calzaghe must go after him, from the “git-go”, circle, bang away, let his hands go, and whatever…he must not WAIT.

Work – Calzaghe needs to be Calzaghe, throw punches, outwork Hopkins, keep up the pace and test those 43 year old legs.

Step Left – Out of all the weaponry Hopkins is equipped with, Calzaghe really on has one punch to be very weary of, and that is Hopkins’ right hand, it’s strong, he conceals is well, and it’ll hurt Calzaghe if he’s not careful, Joe must circle left, away from the right.

Overall, I think this will be an interesting fight, I’d hate to be one of the Judges on this night because this will be a close and competitive fight. I believe it will start slow, and eventually get better as the fight progresses and the fighters get comfortable. I cannot wait, but I’m having a hard time picking a winner, yet I can tell you that I will be rooting for Calzaghe – ALL THE WAY!!

Here is a poll (courtesy of ESPN.com)

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