The very nearly 45 year old B-Hop Bernard Hopkins won a lopsided decision over 29 year old Mexican fighter Enrique Ornelas last night. Hopkins won on all three cards, 120-108, 119-109 and 118-110.
This was supposed to be a fight to help Hopkins shake off his rust, since he hasn’t fought in over a year. In his last fight, B-Hop destroyed middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik but that was a long time ago, especially for a 45 year old fighter. And this was supposed to be the fight that set up an anticipated matchup between Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr, a fight that was almost 20 years in the making between two of the greats of their generation.
However, Jones was KOed in his bout against Danny Green. Hopkins knew the result before his bout, but pro that he is he went in the ring and still dispatched Ornelas.
The fight was slow in the early rounds, but as he usually does B-Hop picked up the pace in the middle rounds. He stunned Ornelas with a big right uppercut in the 6th and he hurt Ornelas with a big body shot in the 8th. In the 12th B-Hop unleashed his patented closing round flurry and stung Ornelas with several hard shots to close the fight.
Ornelas, for his part, did give B-Hop credit for being the better fighter (even at his advanced age). But he also tried to slip in a few excuses, saying that Hopkins is known to “hit and hold” and wondering why the ref wasn’t warning Hopkins.
But even though Hopkins won, what’s next? Can he still sell a fight against Roy Jones Jr, given that RJJ was KOed? Hopkins has said that this fight against Ornelas was going to be the start of a trifecta of fights that would be the end of his career. The third fight is supposed to be a bout against David Haye, the newly crowned heavyweight champion. The middle fight was supposed to be the bout against RJJ, but that certainly looks like it is off now.
So should he fight Haye now? That might not be possible, given that Haye has a mandatory defense against John Ruiz and then a potential rematch against the man he beat for the title, Russian giant Nikolai Valuev.
Perhaps cruiserweight champ Tomasz Adamek?
Or super middleweight Lucian Bute?
Where will B-Hop go now as he looks to put the finishing touches on a superb, hall of fame, career?