Now that the Jean Pascal-Bernard Hopkins rematch is all but etched in stone, how fair will the next fight be?
In other words, if the fight is in Canada and the judges and referee are all Canadiens, can Hopkins get a fair shake? Hopkins doesn't think so and neither does Golden Boy Promotions CEO Ricahrd Schaefer.
Hopkins told ESPN.com that he has no issues with fighting in Canada except for one thing.
"As Bernard has said, he is willing to go back to Canada, assuming that it's neutral officials. Bernard was very impressed with the fan support he got in Quebec City. By the end of the night the crowd was cheering, 'Hopkins! Hopkins!' So he has no problem going back to Canada, but it has to be neutral officials. If not, the fight will take place in the United States."
Golden Boy won the purse bid to promote the match after Pascal and his promoter Yvon Michel.
Hopkins and Pascal fought to a draw last December. The WBC ordered an immediate rematch. The rematch will be fought on HBO ppv on May 21.
All of this talk about judges and referees brings us back to an age-old argument. What can/should boxing do about the hometown advantage?
Paulie Malignaggi was the victim of a hometown bias when he lost a decision to Juan "Baby Bull" Diaz in 2009. Two of the three judges in that fight were from Texas. The third was from Oklahoma. The referee was also from Texas. The scores -118-110, 116-112, and 115-113- supported Malignaggi's claim that there was some hometown cooking going on.
Malignaggi won the rematch, 116-111, on all three scorecards. The rematch was fought in Chicago.
Naturally Pascal's camp will probably want at least one Canadien judge. Or at the very least he wouldn't want all three judges to be American. Any boxer would want to make sure that he gets a fair shake.