This coming weekend a rare phenomenon in sport will take place as Father Time is put to the test once again.
It is not often in sport that a man is able to defy the ageing process which claims all athletes, but boxing has one of these incredible men who is able to show that age truly is just a number.
Bernard 'The Alien' Hopkins, at age 49, is an incredible example to all young athletes and society in general that if you look after yourself and live a healthy lifestyle that you can defy the expectations of age.
With a record of 55 wins, six losses and two draws, and having faced the likes of Roy Jones Jr, Glen Johnson, Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya, Jermain Taylor, Antonio Tarver, Joe Calzaghe, Kelly Pavlik, Jean Pascal, Chad Dawson and so many others he is pure and simply a legend of the noble art.
He has developed a style whereby he dictates the pace of the fight and makes his opponent fight in a way which suits him. His vast experience and good technical ability have created a master of the ring.
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Devastating punching of Kovalev
This weekend he will face perhaps his most dangerous test in years as he looks to unify the light heavyweight division against the devastating puncher Sergey Kovalev.
Kovalev, aged 31 from Russia, has built a formidable reputation for himself with a highly impressive record of 25 wins and one draw. The most remarkable part of his record is that 23 of his wins have come by way of knock out.
Kovalev is a vicious puncher who also seems to have a good technical foundation to work from. He gained the WBO world title last year he travelling to Wales and defeating the then champion Nathan Cleverly in brutal fashion.
Full credit has to go to both Hopkins and Kovalev for agreeing to the fight which is eagerly anticipated throughout the boxing community. It would have been easy for both to take routine defences as so many champions do.
Dangerous for Hopkins' health?
Some fear that this fight is dangerous for Hopkins health, but that would seem a naive stereotype based on Hopkins age rather than the man himself. Hopkins is a defensive genius and to write him off in this fight shows a complete lack of boxing understanding.
Hopkins is a world class fighter who wants to become the undisputed champion of his weight class and you can't bet against him proving the doubters wrong once again. Kovalev is looking to prove that he is the real deal and if he is to win the he will have to look to set a high pace. He cannot let Hopkins dictate the pace as he usually does.
The respective strategies
Kovalev will look to back Hopkins up and unload his heavy shots. If he isn't able to land these shots early on then he should force Hopkins to work for every second of every round and look to take advantage of possible tiring late on.
For Hopkins the key is to keep Kovalev at distance and to avoid heavy shots. He will look to use all his ring craft and hold when he needs to and land leading right hand to put question marks in Kovalev's mind.
Hopkins too smart?
This really should make for fascinating viewing and it is a very tough fight to pick a winner but for my money Hopkins will come away with a point victory.
He is too smart and experienced and will make Kovalev fight in a way which suits him best.
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