Bernard Hopkins Still Motivated by His Critics Entering Fight with Jean Pascal
Bernard Hopkins turns 46 years old in January and is the challenger in his December 18th fight with Jean Pascal on Showtime. Pascal is the WBO and IBC light heavyweight champion who gained his IBC belt beating Chad Dawson in August. At 28 years old, the French Canadian has age on his side in his bout with Hopkins.
The age difference doesn’t bother Hopkins who stays motivated by his critics. Speaking prior to his upcoming fight, Hopkins reflected telling the media “my life has been about proving people wrong. I thank you all for giving me the push that I desperately needed for my career.” Hopkins infamously spent five years in prison but went on to a successful boxing career afterwards, using his doubters as motivation.
Hopkins has a chance to make history by winning the fight. With a victory, he will become the oldest champion surpassing George Foreman who was also 45 when he beat Michael Moorer in 1994. Does being so old make Bernard a fan favorite? Not in his eyes — he says he thinks people 40 years and up are rooting for him but other people want him to lose because they want him out of boxing. Because he’s still effective at his age, Hopkins can probably relate to men like Joe Paterno whom people tried to force out, saying “nobody should be asked to leave his job before he is physically and mentally ready.”
Though Pascal is much younger, Hopkins does not consider that an advantage. Bernard has kept his body in excellent condition throughout his career and that has allowed him to compete at a high level at an advanced age. He says being young makes you succeptable to getting blinded by hype and success, which is something he avoided after maturing spending time in prison.
The Executioner is convinced his wits, experience, and guile will prevail in Quebec. Pascal is younger, ripped, and coming off a win against Chad Dawson. That fight was stopped after a headbutt sent it to the cards which had Pascal in front. Prior to the stoppage, Pascal was in danger and had been getting rocked. He’s vulnerable and I think B-Hop has one last good win in him. I’m going with the challenger.