As boxing debates go, you could do worse than trying to determine which is the more remarkable feat: 46-year-old Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins trying to become the oldest holder of a widely recognized world championship, which could happen when the seemingly ageless North Philadelphian bids to dethrone WBC light-heavyweight titlist Jean Pascal on May 21 in Montreal, or Manny Pacquiao, 32, winning belts in eight weight divisions, and seemingly getting better with each outing.
Hopkins' ongoing slugfest with Father Time and younger opponents is another matter for another day. The first fighter to try to strengthen his case for historic recognition is Pacquiao, the sensational Filipino southpaw who defends his WBO welterweight crown tomorrow night against bigger, stronger (of course) Shane Mosley, a three-division former champ whose plaque also will someday hang in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
The pick here should be no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention for the last several years: Pacquiao by ninth-round stoppage, which would mark the first time Mosley, 39, has lost inside the distance. "PacMan" is too fast and hits too hard for a faded "Sugar" Shane to keep pace for long, and if you don't think so, ask Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito, other "bigger, stronger" foes who found out that their supposed physical advantages didn't count for much once the bell rang. *