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Bernard Hopkins – An Ageless Warrior

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.

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It takes no effort to be ordinary. Ordinary is not even a challenge. You can do nothing and be ordinary. – Bernard Hopkins

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8 comments

8 Comments so far

  1. Eric March 10th, 2013 10:08 am

    Damn, a 48 year old champion. Could Hopkins become the first 50 year old world boxing champ? I heard the guy avoids all sweets, red meat, and eats mainly turkey, vegetables, occasionally a piece of buffalo steak, and will drink nothing stronger than a very occasional glass of red wine for his heart. It was said he saw his parents addicted to drugs, alcohol, and junk food die early, so maybe this how a very profound effect on Hopkins. His ultra-strict diet obviously hasn’t hurt him and is polar opposite than the old school fighter’s diet of steak, steak, steak, and more steak.

  2. Amit March 10th, 2013 12:11 pm

    Whenever the critics write him off as too old, he comes back with unbelievable performances – tarver, pavlik and now this.
    He loves being the underdog.
    I’d love to know what he eats and his day to day training and lifestyle because he’s truly defied the norm.

  3. RickFlair March 10th, 2013 4:06 pm

    It’s amazing to me how many times people will fall for the same trick. Lance Armstrong, Marion Jones, Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire, Sean Sherk, Allistair Overeem, all the BALCO clients, A-Rod and all the guys at Biogenesis, I mean the list goes on and on.

    If B-Hop throwing a temper tantrum after Pascal suggested taking a blood test enough to raise speculation, I’m wondering what will. Bernard has a good schtick going with the monastic level post fight dieting, but this shouldn’t come as a surprise. For McGuire it was Androstene-3b-ol, for Overeem it was comically Horse beef. The red herrings are as abundant abd rampant as the cheating itself.

    When are we going to start looking at egregious statistical outliers and expect a legitimate explanation why they deviated from a well established norm. This is no longer the pink elephant in the room. It’s now the whale in the bathtub. It rewards those that cheat and that that are apathetic to an even playing field. It deflects attention from those who actively pursue credibility for the sport (eg Donaire) and steals notoriety from clean accomplishments from previous eras.

    Do a quick google news search and see how many credentialed fight journalist are NOT talking about this.

  4. RickFlair March 10th, 2013 4:10 pm

    And a preemptive response to those quick to lob out the default “Innocent until proven guilty, he’s never tested positive”.

    Neither did Lance.

  5. Nathan March 10th, 2013 6:04 pm

    I don’t care if B-Hop is on dragon testosterone, he’s a legend and a true maestro of the sport.

  6. Hop March 11th, 2013 2:22 am

    RickFlair, in response to your post, I still feel that while it is possible (for all I know) that you are right about BHop, I certainly need more than what you have provided (superior performances in his late forties & his taking offense at a remark). I mean, aren’t these guys tested? I admit that I am ignorant about the specifics regarding testing. Please educate me (us).

    As for Bernard Hopkins, he is probably #6 or #7 on my personal all-time favorite boxer list — and not b/c my last name is also Hopkins — ha! (If what you claim about him is proven true, however, then that will change immediately.) That last vid above is an excellent boxing tutorial.

    One last question/comment, RF: Do you also then believe that George Foreman was on PED’s? — b/c I definitely DON’T.

  7. James March 11th, 2013 11:58 am

    RickFlair,
    Managing to be a reader of this blog, and yet think that people who surpass established norms should be assumed cheats is quite a remarkable achievement in itself.

  8. Eric March 11th, 2013 1:43 pm

    George swore by the performance enhancing power of Wendys, McDonalds, Burger King, Kfc, pizza hutt, and maybe an occasional slice of cake or pie. George was/is a “freak” and could probably still knockout half the fringe heavyweight contenders even today. Damn, don’t we wish we all had Foreman’s genetics.

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