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Old guys unite: Foreman never thought his title record would be eclipsed

Steve Cofield
Boxing

"It happened, it happened!" was the call from a shocked Jim Lampley when George Foreman rocked the boxing world at 45 years old in 1994 by beating WBA/IBF heavyweight champion Michael Moorer.

Next week, it has a chance to "happen" again when 46-year-old Bernard Hopkins takes on WBC light heavyweight champ Jean Pascal. If Hopkins take the title, he'll become the oldest fight in boxing history to win a title belt.

"I thought such a record would last a lot longer than it has lasted because 45 is phenomenal and just think, Bernard Hopkins is 46.  He's probably the only one who could break such a record because not only does he possess this big punch to get a knockout, but he's also a good boxer and at times, a counter-puncher.  He can pull it off, no doubt about it," Foreman said during a media teleconference this week.

The jovial big man gave Hopkins (51-5-2, 32 KOs) his props, but said the record has to be snapped in similar to fashion to what did versus in the 10th round of their fight.

"I was just sitting there on the edge, hoping that he'd pull it off, but Bernard has to realize, as I did when I fought Michael Moorer, you must get a knockout.  This fight and the record will not be broken on a unanimous decision.  There must be a knockout."

This is a rematch of very good fight back in December. Hopkins lost a tight decision in Quebec City. The American is headed back to Pascal's homecourt again, this time in Montreal.

Foreman thinks a motivated Hopkins will finish Pascal this time, but warned the veteran fighter that he is on the road.

"Well, one thing you got to understand is that hometown thing.  It gives you an extra something in your body that you generally don't have.  I mean, it gives you more courage.  It gives you more speed.  He is able to land shots that Bernard Hopkins is not able to land.  Bernard is a decisive, good, crisp puncher.  He doesn't waste time on throwing nothing shots.  The champion—he doesn't mind.  Any shot is a point and I think he's better equipped to win because he's not looking for a knockout.  It's a point system and he is better equipped to win this fight on the point system [in Montreal]."

If Hopkins beats Pascal, he's not riding off into the sunset. He confirmed that he has an agreement in place with Showtime on a three-fight deal. He first defense of the WBC strap would be against Chad Dawson. That's if Dawson beats Adrian Diaconu on the Montreal undercard next week.

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