Tonight, Bernard Hopkins will be involved in yet another title fight. This time the 48-year-old faces off against unbeaten IBF light heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud.
As usual, many experts believe Hopkins is too old to deal with the aggressive style of the younger and stronger champion. Personally, I won’t be surprised if Cloud’s aggressiveness is too much for Hopkins. With that said, I also wouldn’t be surprised if Hopkins defies the odds again. He has made a living out of proving others wrong. It is never safe to bet against him. Whenever he starts to look old, he finds a way to rewind the clock and come back better than before. Whether he is able to do so again remains to be seen.
Regardless of tonight’s outcome, Bernard Hopkins will always be remembered as an ageless warrior. I vividly remember how the critics believed he was too old for Felix Trinidad when they fought in 2001. Bernard was 36 years old at the time. I had run a 5K road race with him a few months before. At that time, he commented on how he felt great and planned to be around for a long time. Talk about an understatement.
I was fortunate to sit ringside when he fought Felix Trinidad. Trinidad entered the bout at 40-0. He was fresh off a brutal knockout over William Joppy a few months before. Many expected him to do the same to the older Hopkins. Bernard had different plans however. He put on a boxing clinic and completely dominated Trinidad before stopping him in the final round.
Highlights from that memorable fight can be seen below.
As for Bernard’s longevity, there is no denying his extreme dedication and discipline. He has also adapted his style over time however. Bernard Hopkins is an extremely intelligent fighter. He’s always been well schooled, strategic, and a master of psychological warfare.
In the two clips below, you’ll quickly notice that his boxing IQ is superior to most. He hasn’t lasted this long by accident. Hopkins has always been a student of the game. Younger fighters can learn plenty by studying his habits and style.
Tonight could very well be Bernard’s last fight, but he will certainly be remembered for generations to come.
“It takes no effort to be ordinary. Ordinary is not even a challenge. You can do nothing and be ordinary.” – Bernard Hopkins