Hopkins to fight Ornelas on Dec. 2
Bernard Hopkins will face fringe contender Enrigue Ornelas on Dec. 2 in Philadelphia as a prelude to his showdown against Roy Jones Jr. early next year, Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions confirmed.
Jones is scheduled to fight Aussie Danny Green in Sydney the same day.
“If both guys win, then we’re off to the races,” Schaefer said. “People will finally get to see the showdown they’ve wanted to see for so long. People keep telling me that they still can’t believe it’s going to happen.”
Hopkins, 44, wanted to get some work in before the Jones fight because he hasn’t been in the ring since he outpointed Kelly Pavlik last October.
Ornelas, a Mexican national who lives in La Habra, Calif., probably isn’t a threat to Hopkins but is an aggressive fighter who will earn his payday.
Ornelas (29-5, 19 knockouts) has lost three of his last seven bouts but each was a close decision to well-known opponents – Sam Soliman, Bronco McKart and Marco Antonio Rubio. Ornelas beat McKart in a rematch.
“Those familiar with Ornelas know he’s a warrior,” Schaefer said. “He comes to fight. He’s not a guy Bernard can take lightly and I know he won’t. Bernard hasn’t fought for a long time and he’s almost 45. And he’s fighting a guy with nothing to lose. Sometimes you get upsets in those situations.
“I don’t think that will happen, though. I know Bernard will be ready. He wants to put on a spectacular performance in his home town.”
Hopkins (49-5-1, 32 KOs) lost a unanimous decision to Jones in 1993. Since then, both have become icons in the sport and know how to sell a fight.
If they win their tune-up fights on Dec. 2, Schaefer won’t have to work too hard to promote the fight.
“I’ll just introduce Roy and Bernard,” he said, “and they’ll take it from there.”
Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected]