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Hopkins still contemplating Jones rematch, but has that rematch lost all signficance?

Less than 24 hours prior to Bernard Hopkins' unanimous decision win over Enrique Ornelas, living legend and former pound for pound king Roy Jones Jr. had been stopped in 122 seconds by Danny Green in Australia. What's next for Hopkins? In the televised post fight interview on Versus, it appeared as though Hopkins was still trying to sell his proposed rematch with Jones.

Hopkins spoke about Jones' stunning loss to Green, as he explained in his televised post-fight interview, "Roy Jones Jr. lost on his feet, not on his back...knocked out and TKO'd are totally different. It was a TKO and there was some punches thrown. I seen more of them miss than more of them hit. It was more of a flurry. The referee was watching everything and the man's in his hometown. I mean, my whole thing is for a legendary champion like Roy Jones Jr., I think the public don't want to see him hurt, but in the same token, I mean, let the man at least defend himself to the point where he either going down, down or basically quit." Unfortunately, a loss is a loss, especially one that comes by way of a stoppage. A Hopkins vs. Jones rematch was probably coming twelve years too late, before Jones even lost to Green.

Hopkins continued, in a blatant attempt to try to promote the now meaningless rematch with Jones, "My thing was how did he get knocked out? Was it on the canvas? Was it like Tarver? Was it like Glen Johnson? They said, 'no he was on the ropes like he normally do and the guy was pounding him away, got some shots in there. He was a little wobbly but the referee stopped it.' I mean, I think for a guy like that, I don't think they would've stopped the fight like that based the punches that I just seen. Listen, I was ringside when I seen Joe Calzaghe wailing on Roy Jones Jr with a cut and the referee gave him the benefit of the doubt because of his legendary status. I mean, he didn't get pounded from post to post, but Roy wasn't throwing no punches and the guy was throwing punches. Say a percentage got through, but most of them were missing."

Even though Jones didn't get knocked out cold, as he did in the rematch with Antonio Tarver and the fight against Glen Johnson, the point of the matter is he was not throwing any punches against Green following the knock down. He rose to his feet, the referee allowed the fight to continue, and Green wailed away at Jones with a series of unanswered punches for almost a minute. At one point, when the referee broke the two fighters apart, it even looked as though Jones' legs were unsteady as he wobbled back into the ropes. Whether Jones was stopped on his feet or on his back, the point of the matter is that he was in no condition to win the fight and he was not fighting back at all.

Does Roy's loss jeopardize the chances of the Hopkins vs. Jones rematch occurring? Hopkins replied, "No, because my whole thing is everybody knows what happens when you go over to Europe. That's why I would never go over there." What Hopkins should take into account is that everybody also knows what happens when the referee lets a fight go on for too long, especially when that fight involves a man who has twice been knocked out cold, and was knocked down and disoriented in the fight that he is trying to make excuses for.

This commentator would rather see a fight of that nature stopped a couple seconds too soon rather than a few rounds too late. Hopkins pointed out that Jones was taking a beating against Calzaghe with a cut over his eye and blood pouring down his face. While that remains entirely true, Calzaghe didn't drop Jones in the first round of that fight, nor did he have Jones on queer street at any point. One must also take into account that we are one year removed from Jones' fight against Calzaghe, and sadly enough, Jones is yet another painful year older.

Should Hopkins decide to go through with the rematch against Jones, I think it would be a disservice to the sport of boxing. At this point, Hopkins vs. Jones II would be extremely difficult to sell. In my humble opinion, Hopkins would have absolutely nothing to gain from fighting or beating the deteriorated version of Jones who lost to Green. Hopkins wants to exact revenge on the only man he believes to have legitimately beaten him, but that was a young undefeated phenom who beat him in 1993!

It is not considered genuine revenge, when one beats his nemesis 16 years later, after he's been knocked out three times and beaten a total of five times. Imagine if George Foreman decided in 1990 that he wanted to fight Muhammad Ali in a rematch in order to 'settle the score'? The world would have down right laughed at him! At a certain point in time, a rematch losses its significance. Hopkins would be well advised to skip the Jones rematch and look else where.

At the end of his post-interview, Hopkins pledged that he would be heavyweight champion of the world in 2010. How about WBA heavyweight champion David Haye? Hopkins is a partner with Golden Boy Promotions and Haye recently signed with Golden Boy, so that's a pretty easy fight to make. I happen to think it's an excellent fight that would attract a lot of attention in the United States as well as the United Kingdom.

photo courtesy: hbo