Bernard Hopkins “Carl Froch is looking for an easy way out.”

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“He says it’s a lose-lose sitvibe-bernard-hopkinsuation, but he’s in a lose-lose situation if he fights somebody that we know he can beat,” said Bernard Hopkins of Carl Froch’s insistence on pursuing Julio Cesar Chavez Jr for what will most likely be the final outing of the Nottingham man’s career.

Hopkins(55-7, 32KO’s) is unbelievably banging the battle-drum again at the tender age of fifty, having lost a wide points decision along with his WBA Super and IBF light-heavyweight titles in November against Sergey Kovalev.

His comments – as reported on sky sports.com/boxing- ridicule Froch(33-2, 24KO’s) for not challenging himself on his way out of the sport by picking a fighter who will present the least amount of problems for him in the ring.

“I don’t think anybody, at least I think, is picking Chavez to beat Carl Froch. Carl Froch is looking for an easy way out.”

In addition, Hopkins believes that Froch is actively avoiding him and sees his recent landslide loss to Kovalev as one of the key factors as to why ‘The Cobra’ is slithering away from him.

“Somebody got in his ear and said: ‘don’t underestimate Bernard because Bernard is always good at redeeming himself after a loss and coming back strong. I’m going to be dead serious – I called his bluff.”

Whether anything like this manufactured dialogue occurred or not is irrelevant. This flagrant outburst against Froch looks to me as if Hopkins is pursuing another big-name fight, and a move down to the super-middleweight division -where Froch holds the WBA Super belt- would be more intriguing than a competing with the also-rans of the 175 .lb. Class.

Hopkins has made a habit of taking out big names whose styles were tailor-made for his own and Froch, who abandons all notion of defence when going full throttle, could well fall in to that category against the slick and subtle Philadelphia veteran.

An added dimension to this situation is the fear that Froch could besmear his sparkling legacy if he struggles to beat a middle-aged man in convincing fashion. If that happened in his last professional fight then our last image of him, when he annihilated George Groves at Wembley with a one-punch knockout, could possibly be replaced with him chasing shadows for twelve rounds. Hopkins dismisses this notion as rubbish given how highly regarded the men he has beaten in the past are still regarded.

“How could he ruin his legacy losing to a Bernard Hopkins? So that means Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad and all these guys ruined their legacy? The media would kill the fight if it didn’t have no merit to it. That is so weak.”

Let us not forget how he worked over Kelly Pavlik, Antonio Tarver, and Jean Pascal either, when he was in his forties.

Froch would undoubtedly have a difficult evening against Hopkins and for me it would be an evenly-fought contest regardless of what age each participant is at the time. The main factor for why most people would likely prefer Froch to fight Chavez is that that match would be a spectacle of violence.

Both Froch and Chavez have enough holes in their defences and iron in their chins to ensure a long, hard, gruelling encounter that would hopefully be celebrated for years after. And despite the damage such an encounter would cause to him, it would be a more fitting goodbye given the manner in which Froch has fought on his way to and at the top of the sport.