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Jones vs. Hopkins II set for spring 2010!

But is it the sequel that came a few years too late?

According to the Examiner, former world champions and long time rivals Roy Jones Jr and Bernard Hopkins have reached an agreement to meet each other in a light heavyweight contest early next year.  After failed attempts on multiple occasions to come to an agreement at the negotiating table, both Jones and Hopkins have agreed to a 50-50 split, with one stipulation in the contract stating that the winner gets 60% if he wins by way of knockout. 

Jones also has a fight scheduled for December 2 in Australia against IBO cruiserweight champion Danny Green.  There will be no Hopkins vs. Jones rematch if Jones is unable to secure a victory over Green in December.  Such a rematch is long overdue, but perhaps it is happening just a few years too late as Jones is now 40 years of age and Hopkins is 44. After all, a number of critics have already dispelled Jones as a world class fighter, claiming that he has been over the hill for a number of years. Furthermore, Jones has not scored a win over an elite level opponent since November of 2003 when he outpointed Antonio Tarver to regain the light heavyweight championship of the world.

Since the win over Tarver, Jones has twice lost to Tarver [the first of the two coming by way of a shocking 2nd round knockout], been brutally knocked out at the hands of previous Hopkins KO victim Glenn Johnson, and was soundly outpointed by Joe Calzaghe last November. Hopkins, on the other hand, went on to defeat Tarver by a wide unanimous decision in June of 2006 and also handed middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik his first professional defeat last October. However, Jones did score a relatively one-sided decision win over Hopkins in 1993 and many feel as though Jones still has the unorthodox fighting style to once again give The Executioner fits.

Risky business for Hopkins is that he is in fact a consensus top three pound for pound entrant in most respectable pound for pound rankings, and should he lose to a version of Jones many believe to be a shell of his former self, it could indeed harm Hopkins all-time legacy and once again elevate Jones to the plateau of one of boxing's best pound for pound competitors in the world today. Should the two fighters meet in the spring, it will be interesting to see what results in one of boxing's most anticipated rematches of the last 15 years!

photo courtesy: sports illustrated