The amazing Bernard Hopkins

Benard Hopkins AlienSaturday night I was bored and was alerted by fellow 7poundbag.com contributor and good friend EJ that Hopkins was fighting on Showtime.

My interest was peaked so I decided to tune in and watch the senior citizen (by boxing’s standards) that I have admired and criticized throughout his career. Hopkin’s trash talk has often turned me off him, but there is no denying the talent he holds as a world champion at the advanced age of 49 years old. The man is simply denying Father Time.

Beibut Shumenov was his opponent and I had never heard of him. Hopkins didn’t disappoint as he became the oldest fighter to unify the major titles in the light heavyweight division when he won a 12-round split decision to improve to 55-6-2 (with 32 KO’s). Shumenov dropped to 14-2 (with nine KO’s).

It was a relatively slow fight and boring at times, but Hopkins did what he usually does: Let the other boxer bring it to him and he picked him apart. Shumenov’s defense wasn’t very good and Hopkins jabbed him to death as he won the surprisingly split decision verdict.

In the 11th round, Hopkins hit Shumenov with a short right hook that dropped Shumenov to the canvas in the highlight of the night.Benard Hopkins

Hopkins has always reminded me a little of another great middleweight champion in “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler. He doesn’t have the intimidating presence Hagler had (the bald head and goatee) but he’s a heavy hitter that can also be a shrewd boxing technician in the ring. He knows how to lay back and let a fighter come to him while he uses his jab effectively and closes in for the kill (like a lion hunting his prey) when he has somebody injured or hurt.

Hopkins has turned his life around after he very easily could have become just another a statistic in the Philadelphia neighborhood he grew up in. He was arrested 30 times before he turned 17 and eventually was sentenced to 18 years in prison for armed robbery. But, Hopkins didn’t become institutionalized like so many do, he turned to boxing and in the process, he became a legend. In the process of turning his life around, Hopkins changed boxing history. Makes you wonder, “What if he didn’t find boxing?” He could have easily been just another lifer prisoner and featured on MSNBC’s Lockup series.

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Big time sports fan of the Lakers, Raiders, Angels and Dodgers. From 1990-1995, I worked at the Glendale News-Press and I had a blast. I covered mainly high school sporting events and Glendale Community College athletic events, but also attended Dodgers, Raiders, and Rams games. I also write for Joel Huerto (former co-writer and editor at the GNP) at onemanfastbreak.net. I watch a lot of sports on TV (basketball, football, usually just postseason MLB) and UFC.

4 Comments

  1. As you know DJ, I’m fond of saying that father time is undefeated. Well I guess I’m wrong because Hopkins just put a loss on father time’s record.

  2. We discussed it last night. He doesn’t get hit a lot, but I hope he doesn’t end up “punch drunk” from the accumulation of the years he has fought. He’s a freaking legend.

  3. Good read, Darren.

    Hopkins is a freak of nature.

    Next to Money Mayweather, he is the most dominant defensive fighter that I have ever had the pleasure of watching.

    Some think his fights are boring. But, isn’t the objective to hit the other guy while not being hit yourself?

    Guys that fight like Arturo Gatti get most of the headlines. But, they also end up drinking their meals thru a straw once they hit 40 years old.

  4. I agree, Sonya. The fight on Saturday was particularly boring, though….except for the knockdown in the 11th and a few other rounds. But, he’s a crafty old veteran who is a great boxer.

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