By: Hans Themistode
Bernard Hopkins has a ton of respect for unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr.
However, with the Dallas product stating on several occasions that he would love a matchup with four-division titlist Canelo Alvarez, who currently resides three weight classes above him, Hopkins believes he’s lost his mind.
“I like Canelo in that fight,” said Hopkins during a recent interview with Fight Hub TV. “Spence is not a huge guy. Errol Spence can fight but he’s going to have to be a little puncher to be able to get the respect from Canelo.”
Throughout the eight-year career of Spence Jr., the powerful southpaw has faced a litany of well-established fighters. From his 11th round stoppage win over Kell Brook to his decision victory over Shawn Porter, Spence Jr. has established himself as one of the best fighters not only in the welterweight division, but pound for pound.
Most recently, Spence Jr. put to bed any questions surrounding his horrific car crash in October of 2019 with a one-sided beating against Danny Garcia just a few weeks ago. With the win, the Dallas product claimed the scalp of his sixth-former champion. Still, even with success in both the pros and as a 2012 Olympian, Hopkins doesn’t believe that he’ll have the skill or physical ability to win.
“I don’t think Spence understands on that level yet. He can’t keep him off him man.”
Throughout the history of boxing, size hasn’t always been the key ingredient to winning a fight. Recently elected hall of famer in Floyd Mayweather beat several fighters who were much bigger than he was. Eight division champion Manny Pacquiao made a career out of beating larger men. In 2003, Roy Jones Jr. famously moved up from the light heavyweight to take on then heavyweight champion Jon Ruiz, giving up roughly 30 pounds. But while those aforementioned names were success stories, Hopkins believes that there is a difference between what Errol Spence Jr. is attempting to do and what his predecessors did.
“Skills,” explained Hopkins. “I don’t mind fighting a big guy if he don’t got any skills. I’ll get him tired and then beat him. But if he got skills and he’s been walking around comfortable, been in that position and you just walking right into that? Man, there must be something that I’m missing.”