By Rick Reeno
Sources close to HBO have informed BoxingScene that Bernard Hopkins and Felix Sturm are close to meeting in the ring next January. HBO has set aside a January date for the record breaking 20th title defense by Bernard Hopkins. Felix Sturm is the number one contender to the crown of Hopkins and Hopkins has already stated that he will "not" vacate any of his titles.
Hopkins has said that Felix Sturm is his mandatory and he will give Sturm his deserved shot at the title. Most remember Felix Sturm as the young undefeated fighter who almost pulled of the upset by beating Oscar De La Hoya only a few months ago. The near upset almost derailed the biggest fight of the year, Hopkins vs. De La Hoya.
Sturm used a pistol like jab to keep De La Hoya at bay as he pumped the jab into the face of De La Hoya all night long. The defense of Sturm also played a key role in the fight as De La Hoya was not able to get off many shots and was frustrated enough that he could not come up with a backup plan. The fight was close, De La Hoya got the decision nod from the judges but most fans cried robbery.
Sturm will more then likely never face Oscar De La Hoya in a rematch but, he will get the chance to face the man who knocked Oscar out, the WBA/IBF/WBO/WBC middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins.
As good as Sturm did against De La Hoya, most experts credit his good performance on the fact that De La Hoya came into the bout in the worst shape of his career and did not take Sturm seriously.
Experts do not give Sturm much of a shot against Hopkins due to his lack of power and aggression. Sturm never tried to take it to Oscar in the late rounds of their fight and because of that, he lost several of the late rounds.
One thing is certian, it will take a lot more then a good jab to beat Bernard Hopkins.