Steve Bunce on Boxing: Bernard Hopkins' latest move out-Hollywoods Rocky v La Motta

On paper the fight is only slightly less ridiculous than De Niro v Stallone

There is a new film starring two of Hollywood's most famous fighters called Grudge Match coming out this year and in this latest celluloid fistic caper Robert De Niro, aka Jake La Motta, fights Sylvester Stallone, aka Rocky Balboa, for revenge 30 years after their last fight.

Both have Oscars, both have deep scars from their sacrifices inside the boxing ring in pursuit of acting glory and both, it would appear, have a grudge to settle; it all sounds perfectly and brilliantly Hollywood and the trailer has its moments.

In 1980's Raging Bull De Niro portrayed the brilliant and often psychotic world champion Jake La Motta so perfectly that the real Jake, a man whose company you never forget, became a little concerned when De Niro allegedly took his legendary research a bit far with one of the fighter's six wives.

Stallone has built a career on playing the Philadelphia fighting legend Rocky, a man he first created from his days as a bum loser and then took through to his days as a brain-damaged millionaire, struggling with the death of his baby turtles and Mickey his cornerman. What else could these two do but fight?

In theory the return to the ring of Sly could get him into trouble with the Boxing Hall of Fame, which convenes each summer in Canastota, New York, to induct the living and the dead from boxing's finest nights in a surprisingly joyless few days of solemn recognition. However, to prove that the men behind the Hall have a sense of humour they included Sylvester Stallone a couple of years ago, which is funny until you look at the men they reject every 12 months. Stallone, or his alter-ego Rocky Balboa, is meant to stay retired and not end his exile to fight 70-year-old De Niro.

Away from Hollywood an equally bizarre fight is moving closer and closer to becoming reality and I can't help thinking that it has probably done the rounds a bit like the original script for Grudge Match. In one corner is boxing's youthful, unbeaten and insanely rich Floyd Mayweather and in the other corner is the old man, felon and self-confessed alien Bernard Hopkins.

Mayweather has not lost in 45 fights and competes with majesty in a weight division two stone below the one that Hopkins, at 48 years of age, is still dominating in style. Hopkins has offered to drop weight to make the fight happen; it's a fight that on paper is only slightly less ridiculous than De Niro v Stallone.

However, Richard Schaefer, the boss at Golden Boy, the company that promotes both Hopkins and Mayweather, has broken his silence and when the Swiss-born, multimillionaire philatelist talks, people listen: "I have a plan. The number 50 is out there; Bernard is approaching 50 and Floyd is getting close to 50 fights without a loss. We all know that Rocky Marciano retired undefeated after 49 fights. Floyd can go to 50 and this is a fight that gets my promotional juices going." Hopkins has promised to lose a stone and Mayweather has not yet ruled out gaining a few pounds.

On Saturday night in Atlantic City Hopkins, who turns 49 in January, retained his IBF light-heavyweight title in a slugfest against Karo Murat, who was 18 years younger. It was world title fight No 32 for Hopkins and he entered the ring wearing a full-face green alien mask; he left with a big smile knowing that he was closer to Mayweather and a fight that Hollywood's boxing writers would love to have invented.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Ed Miliband and David Cameron are neck and neck in the polls
election 2015Armando Iannucci: on how British politics is broken
News
i100
Life and Style
Great minds like Einstein don't think alike
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer - Leeds

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer - Leeds This i...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Bristol

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power