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Pavlik vs Hopkins: Prediction

Posted by beeshabo on October 17, 2008

Tomorrow night, future Hall of Famer Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins will not only take on a young lion in Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik, but he will be fighting the odds and the critics who say his 43 old body should not be competing at this level, But can he prove everyone wrong?

Over the years, Hopkins has became much more of a survivor than a fighter, he uses more skill than will, and at 43, why would he do anything different? He must preserve himself in each and every bout, I think Hopkins also questions his own abilities, he’s not too sure how he’s going to perform, or if he can actually do enough to win, he seems comfortable making the fights competitive, and along with that, he’s to man, just boring. Hopkins was once the reigning Middle Champ, breaking records on title defenses, but he feels he was never given the type of opportunities that should have came his way, after a long career, Hopkins still fights the best, but not to win, he’s not too worried about that, but does enough to show he’s still here, he does enough to get people thinking about him, he wants to remain in the mouths of the best, and he does.

On the other side of the ring, will be Youngstown’s own Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik, the current Middleweight king, a blue collared warrior with the strive to tangle with the best, he reminds me of an old fashioned brawler, he wants to stand toe to toe, he wants to fight and knows how to win. As good as Pavlik is, he’s still young and blew up quick, he went from a prospect to a contender to the undisputed Middleweight Champion in the same year (2007). Now with a record of 34 wins and 30 by way of knockout, he attempts to add the name of a legend to his growing list of victims. But can he?

Prediction: Kelly Pavlik is fun to watch, he comes in to fight, he doesn’t run or dance around, he’ll be there and he won’t let you rest. Blessed with tremendous power, Pavlik throws a beautiful left right combo that floats off his shoulders, although that’s his bread and butter, I think he must hold back from throwing that combo as much, Hopkins will use it against him with that sneaky right hand. Hopkins is very crafty, he knows every trick in the book and is never shy to use them, he doesn’t have one punch knockout power, but it’s the way he throws his punches, they hurt because his opponents don’t see them coming (ask Joe Calzaghe). This will make Hopkins dangerous for the first half of the bout, and now with Hopkins having to preserve his energy early for the second half of the fight, he can vulnerable in times when he lays back and attempts to cruise through some rounds, that’s when Pavlik’s pressure can further wear down Hopkins. Kelly is strong, tall and lean, and he fights tall, which is a key element for him in this fight, but, he tends to come straight forward rather than give angles, Hopkins is too experienced to let him get away with it, Pavlik must circle and stay light on his fight to make Hopkins miss.

I see a very slow passed battle for the first few rounds, Pavlik will up the pace around rounds 4 and 5 when Hopkins does less to conserve energy, but Pavlik also can’t get too confident or over anxious, Hopkins knows how to take away a fighters best punch, if Pavlik indeed starts to land the left right, he then must mix it up and not be so predictable. Also, Pavlik must work the body, Hopkins takes a good shot to the chin, but we don’t know much about his 43 year old rib cage. Now for Hopkins to claim victory, he needs to just be him, hit and hold, tie Pavlik up and frustrate him, use that sneaky right hand when Pavlik leans into his punches.

As much as I want Pavlik to win, it’s not guaranteed nor easy, he must be careful in there, old Hopkins can still throw down. I still go with Pavlik via Unanimous Decision. But…but, don’t be surprised if he has to get off the canvas to do so.

I stand by my prediction, but like I said before, and I’ll say it again, this is boxing, anything can happen! Stay tuned.

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