By Ryan Burton
The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, Nev. - Recently, BoxingScene.com and a small group of reporters caught up with future Hall of Fame inductee Bernard after he called the action with Bernardo Osuna for Golden Boy's latest fight card on ESPN. Antonio Orozco stopped KeAndre Gibson in a battle of super lightweight prospects in the main event of the telecast.
After the fight, the attention was focused on the May 6th pay-per-view showdown pitting Canelo Alvarez against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. The action takes place at the already sold out T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be distributed by HBO pay-per-view. As a shareholder in Golden Boy Promotions, Hopkins has a keen interest in the outcome of the mega-fight.
Alvarez will move up 10.5 pounds while Chavez will come down from the full super middleweight weight limit to 164.5 in the all-Mexican grudge match. The fight will have major implications with both fighters wanting to face unbeaten WBC/WBA/IBF/IBO middleweight champion Gennady "GGG" in September plus a whole lot of national pride will be on the line.
"It is the biggest fight of the year. So big where you can't get a ticket unless you probably pay triple the price on somebody's street corner but nevertheless this is a fight about Mexican pride. Who becomes now the spokesman in boxing and who they follow like Chavez Sr. and the Mexican heroes that came before Chavez. This is big stakes. Not just a matchup of two Mexican fighters. You have Chavez (Jr.) who has a historic challenge to fill the shoes and I don't believe they will ever be filled, to represent your culture the way Chavez Sr. did in boxing," said Hopkins, who believes that this fight is the next step in Canelo's quest to become a Mexican legend.
"Alvarez has to beat more than just one fighter that night (to become a legend) which I believe he will and he will beat Triple G when he fights him and maybe one more historic name and fight that might come from another weight division or is hanging around that we aren't even mentioning because the talk is of these two or three guys. If he does that, he will convince a lot of people that he deserves to be in that conversation. The great thing is that he has those names to be able to now (try to) deny him of that. When you have real live, not even opponents but fighters, that can derail the historic build up to be able to say that he belongs in that legendary Hispanic Mexican heritage of the greats, that is a big deal."
The Guadalara, Jalisco native is already a two-division champion and the most popular fighter in Mexico but Hopkins believes he has a lot more to offer and knocking out Chavez Jr. could be the next step in his growth process that began with his only career loss which came at the hands of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
"Right now what we do have is Canelo Alvarez being able to sell out stadiums, being able to captivate what Chavez Sr. did and what other fighters did and he has the opportunity to take it even further and beating a legend's son, stopping him. The sky is the limit of where his legacy can end up. But it has to start from a foundation and it already started from the Mayweather fight which I believe was his best schooling of hard knocks, Harvard education in boxing," Hopkins stated.
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