Bernard Hopkins

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Bernard Hopkins
Bernard Hopkins making a speech at the United States Capitol, Feb. 2014.jpg
Hopkins making a speech at the U.S. Capitol at a summit organized by the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, 2014
Statistics
Real name Bernard Humphrey Hopkins Jr.
Nickname(s)
  • The Executioner
  • The Alien[1]
  • B-Hop
Rated at
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Reach 75 in (191 cm)
Nationality American
Born (1965-01-15) January 15, 1965 (age 51)
Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, U.S.
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 66
Wins 55
Wins by KO 32
Losses 7
Draws 2
No contests 2

Bernard Humphrey Hopkins Jr. (born January 15, 1965) is an American professional boxer who has held multiple world titles at middleweight and light heavyweight. He reigned as middleweight champion from 1994 to 2005, successfully compiling a record 20 title defenses during that period. He won the IBF middleweight title in 1994 and later unified the division when he added the WBA (Super), WBC, Ring magazine, and lineal titles in 2001.[2] He also became the first male boxer to simultaneously hold world titles by all four major boxing sanctioning bodies when he won the WBO title in 2004 (Riddick Bowe was the first to hold heavyweight titles by all four, but in separate reigns, from 1992 to 1995). In 2011, The Ring ranked Hopkins number three on their list of the "10 best middleweight title holders of the last 50 years."[3]

After losing his title to Jermain Taylor in 2005 and failing to regain it in a rematch the same year, Hopkins moved up to light heavyweight and won the IBO and Ring titles from Antonio Tarver at 42 years of age, making two defenses of the Ring title before losing it to Joe Calzaghe in 2008. Three years later, Hopkins defeated Jean Pascal for the WBC and lineal light heavyweight titles,[4] as well as regaining the Ring title. This made Hopkins the oldest boxer in history to win a world title, at the age of 46, breaking George Foreman's record set in 1994. Hopkins later broke his own record by winning the IBF light heavyweight title from Tavoris Cloud in 2013 and again in 2014 when he won the WBA (Super) title from Beibut Shumenov, at age 48 and 49 respectively.[5]

Nicknamed "The Executioner", and later "The Alien", Hopkins is known among observers for his longevity and ability to continue competing successfully at an advanced age. Widely considered one of the greatest boxers of the modern era, he is a highly strategic and defensive boxer known for carrying good speed and power along with counterpunching skills. He credits mastering the boxing fundamentals and a great defense for his longevity in the sport. He is also a very seasoned fighter, being able to take advantage of a wide variety of situations in the ring and implement rough and dirty tactics while fighting on the inside or in a clinch.[6][7][8][9]

In addition to being an active boxer, Hopkins is also a minority partner with Golden Boy Promotions.

Background[edit]

Born to Bernard Hopkins, Sr. and his wife Shirley, Bernard grew up with his family in the Raymond Rosen housing project in Philadelphia. Hopkins turned to crime early in his life. By the age of thirteen he was mugging people and had been stabbed three times. At seventeen, Hopkins was sentenced to 18 years in Graterford Prison for nine felonies. While in prison he witnessed the murder of another inmate in an argument over a pack of cigarettes, but also discovered his passion for boxing. After serving almost five years, Hopkins was released from prison in 1988. He then decided to use boxing as an escape from his previous life, and converted to Islam.[10] While Hopkins was leaving the prison for the final time, the warden told him he'd "see [Hopkins] again when you wind up back in here", to which Hopkins replied "I ain't ever coming back here."[11]

Professional career[edit]

Bernard Hopkins 2010

Middleweight[edit]

Early career[edit]

Hopkins immediately joined the professional boxing ranks as a light heavyweight, losing his debut on October 11, 1988, in Atlantic City, New Jersey to Clinton Mitchell. After a sixteen-month layoff, he resumed his career as a middleweight, winning a unanimous decision over Greg Paige at the Blue Horizon on February 22, 1990.

Between February 1990 and December 1992, Hopkins scored 21 wins without a loss. He won 16 of those fights by knockout, 12 coming in the first round.

Hopkins vs. Jones I[edit]

Hopkins met Roy Jones on May 22, 1993 for the vacant IBF Middleweight title. Hopkins was out-pointed throughout most of the fight, en route to losing a unanimous decision. All three judges scored the fight 116–112 for Jones.

Middleweight Title[edit]

The IBF came again knocking at Hopkins's door on December 17 of that year, matching him with Segundo Mercado in Mercado's hometown of Quito, Ecuador. Mercado knocked Hopkins down twice before Hopkins rallied late and earned a draw. It has been argued that Hopkins was also not properly acclimated to the altitude of nearly 10,000 feet.[12]

The IBF called for an immediate rematch, and on April 29, 1995, Hopkins became a world champion with a seventh-round technical knockout victory in Landover, Maryland.

In his first title defense he defeated Steve Frank, whom he stopped in twenty-four seconds. By the end of 2000, he had defended the IBF title 12 times without a loss, while beating such standouts as John David Jackson, Glen Johnson (undefeated at the time), Simon Brown, and Antwun Echols.

2001 Middleweight Tournament[edit]

The arrival of former welterweight and light middleweight champion Félix Trinidad into the middleweight ranks set off a series of unification fights between major middleweight title-holders. The boxers involved in the tournament would be reigning IBF champion Bernard Hopkins, WBC champion Keith Holmes, WBA champion William Joppy, and Félix Trinidad.

Hopkins vs Holmes[edit]

On April 14, 2001, Hopkins won a unanimous decision over WBC champion Keith Holmes in New York City. Trinidad, however, knocked out Middleweight mainstay William Joppy in an impressive five rounds.[13] This led to many to believe that Félix Trinidad was simply too much, too strong for Bernard Hopkins.[14]

Hopkins vs Trinidad[edit]

Then, on September 29, 2001, WBA champion Trinidad challenged Hopkins for middleweight unification in Madison Square Garden. The fight was originally scheduled for September 15, but the 9/11 attacks postponed it by two weeks.

For the first time in many years, Hopkins was an underdog in the betting, which led the confident Hopkins to place a $100,000 bet on himself to win the bout. (The $100K came from a sponsorship deal Hopkins had with online casino site Golden Palace; Hopkins even had the GoldenPalace.com website displayed on his back for the fight.[15]) During promotion for the bout, Hopkins caused huge controversy by throwing the Puerto Rico flag on the floor in press conferences in both New York City and Puerto Rico, the latter conference leading to a riot in which Hopkins had to be run to safety from the angry mob.[16]

During the fight, Hopkins was on his way to a lopsided decision victory when, in the 12th and final round, he floored Trinidad. Referee Steve Smoger called a halt to the fight after Trinidad's father (who was also his trainer) entered the ring to stop the fight. It was the first loss of Trinidad's career, and it made Hopkins the first undisputed world middleweight champion since Marvin Hagler in 1987. 'The Ring' magazine and the 'World Boxing Hall of Fame' named Hopkins as the 2001 Fighter of the Year.

He defended the undisputed title six times. Hopkins bested Carl Daniels on February 2 surpassing Carlos Monzón's division record of 14 defenses, 2002, by tenth-round technical knockout; Morrade Hakkar on March 29, 2003, by eighth-round TKO; William Joppy on December 13, 2003, by unanimous decision; and Robert Allen on June 5, 2004, also by unanimous decision.

Undisputed middleweight champion[edit]

Hopkins vs. De La Hoya[edit]

In the highest-paying fight of his career, Hopkins fought six-division titleholder Oscar De La Hoya for the undisputed middleweight championship on September 18, 2004, in Las Vegas. They fought at a catch weight of 158 lbs, two pounds below the middleweight limit of 160 lbs.[17] Hopkins won the bout by knockout in the ninth round with a left hook to the body and thus became the first boxer ever to unify the titles of all four major sanctioning bodies. At the time of the stoppage, Hopkins was ahead on two of the scorecards, with De La Hoya ahead on the other.[18] Hopkins earned a career high of $10 million and De La Hoya made $30 million.

In November 2004, De la Hoya invited Hopkins to join his boxing promotional firm, Golden Boy Promotions, as president of its new East Coast chapter.

At 40 years old, an age at which most boxers are retired, Hopkins reached the middleweight record of 20 title defenses on February 19, 2005, against ranked #1 WBC contender Howard Eastman, the European middleweight champion. Hopkins dominated the fight from start to finish, winning 119–110, 117–111 and 116–112.

Hopkins vs Taylor[edit]

In his next fight on July 16, 2005, Hopkins lost his undisputed middleweight championship to Jermain Taylor via a split decision. Hopkins started slowly but came on strong over the final four rounds. Many press row writers scored the fight for Hopkins.[19]

Light Heavyweight[edit]

Hopkins vs. Tarver[edit]

Following his two losses to Jermain Taylor, Hopkins at 41 decided not to retire and made the decision to jump two weight divisions to face off against The Ring light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver on June 10, 2006. Going into the fight, Tarver was a 3-to-1 favorite and had been the first man ever to TKO Roy Jones Jr. Many now placed Tarver among the sports top competitors. He was constantly ranked in the P4P rankings. However, Bernard Hopkins picked up a lopsided unanimous decision, scoring 118–109 on all three judges scorecards.

Antonio Tarver also lost a $250,000 bet with Hopkins, after he failed to stop Hopkins in the first six rounds.[20]

Hopkins vs Wright[edit]

On July 21, 2007, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Hopkins defended The Ring light heavyweight championship against former undisputed junior middleweight champion Winky Wright. During the weigh-in, Hopkins shoved Wright with an open-hand to the face, igniting a brawl between both fighters' entourages.[21] Hopkins was fined $200,000 for instigating the brawl.[22] Hopkins prevailed with a unanimous decision victory by scores of 117–111, 117–111 and 116–112.[23]

Hopkins vs Calzaghe[edit]

On April 19, 2008, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Hopkins lost The Ring light heavyweight title to Joe Calzaghe via split decision (116–111 and 115–112 for Joe Calzaghe; 114–113 for Hopkins). Hopkins started the fight well, dropping Calzaghe in the first round and using his ring savvy to confuse the challenger. Calzaghe caught up in the later rounds and won a close split decision.[24]

Hopkins vs Pavlik[edit]

On October 18, 2008, Hopkins met middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik in a non-title fight at a catch-weight of 170 lbs. Fans and pundits alike felt that knockout king Kelly Pavlik would become the first man to knock Hopkins out. Pavlik was a 4–1 betting favourite heading into the contest. On the night of the fight, Hopkins turned back the clock to produce a performance he claimed to be the best of his career winning a unanimous decision (117–109, 119–106, 118–108) over the undefeated Pavlik. Hopkins prepared for this fight in the late summer heat at his second home, Danny Hawk's "World Famous" Normandy Gym in Miami Beach, Florida.

During the Ricky Hatton vs. Manny Pacquiao media conferences before their fight on May 3, 2009, Hopkins stated he would be "interested" in a proposed fight with British super middleweight champion Carl Froch.

On December 2, 2009, Bernard Hopkins fought in his home city of Philadelphia for the first time since 2003 beating Enrique Ornelas via 12-round unanimous decision (120–109, 119–109 & 118–110) in what served as a tune-up bout for the 44-year-old Hopkins who had not fought since his October 18, 2008 12-round upset victory over undisputed middleweight champion, Kelly Pavlik.

The bout was supposed to be a tune-up for a scheduled March 13, 2010 rematch with Roy Jones, Jr. The rematch was later postponed as a result of Jones, Jr. falling to a first-round technical knockout loss to Australian, Danny Green.

Hopkins vs. Jones II[edit]

Hopkins and old foe Roy Jones Jr. agreed to fight in a rematch on April 3, 2010 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The two boxers fought again 17 years after their first bout in 1993. Hopkins defeated Jones by a unanimous decision in a 12-round bout marred by illegal blows and a skirmish at the end of the sixth round involving ring entourage, the referee and security guards. Judges Don Trella and Glenn Trowbridge scored it 117–110 for Hopkins, while Dave Moretti favored him 118–109. The Associated Press had it 119–108, scoring 11 of 12 rounds for Hopkins.[25]

He then challenged WBA Heavyweight Champion David Haye who had successfully defended his title against John Ruiz.[26] Following Hopkins challenge, Haye ruled out the fight stating Bernard was only looking for a payday.[27] Hopkins later stated his intentions to fight Lucian Bute following Bute's third-round technical knockout victory over Edison Miranda. Golden Boy Promotions also tried to approach retired boxer Joe Calzaghe for a potential rematch in 2010, but Calzaghe, who stated he no longer had the appetite, turned the offer down.[28]

Hopkins vs. Pascal I & II[edit]

Pascal defending versus Hopkins.

At 45 years old, Hopkins fought Lineal/WBC/The Ring light-heavyweight champion Jean Pascal on December 18, 2010 at the Colisée Pepsi in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. The bout ended in a majority draw decision. Judge Steve Morrow had it 114–112 for Hopkins, but was overruled by Claude Paquette (113–113) and Daniel Van de Wiele (114–114).[29] Following the controversy of the fight, WBC chairman José Sulaimán sanctioned an immediate rematch.

On May 21, 2011, at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Hopkins defeated Pascal by unanimous decision to capture the Lineal/WBC/The Ring light-heavyweight championships.[30][31] The official scores were 115–113, 116–112 and 115–114.[32] With the win, Hopkins became the oldest man in the history of the sport to win a major world title, supplanting George Foreman, who had previously held the distinction after his knockout victory over Michael Moorer.[33] Hopkins won at 46 years, 4 months, 6 days, while Foreman was 45 years, 10 months. After the bout, ESPN columnist Dan Rafael stated: "Bernard Hopkins already had lived several boxing lifetimes, but he was born yet again in Saturday's decision over Jean Pascal, becoming the oldest champion in history."[33]

Hopkins vs. Dawson I & II[edit]

Hopkins told the world of boxing that his next fight was going to be against former champion Chad Dawson. They fought on October 15, 2011. Hopkins lost via TKO for being unable to continue after injuring his shoulder when Dawson threw him off of his back.

After an investigation by the WBC following a protest filed by Oscar De La Hoya, the WBC ruled that Dawson intentionally fouled Hopkins and returned the belt to Hopkins. The Ring magazine also decided to continue to recognize Hopkins as their champion pending the California State Athletic Commission's ruling on a protest filed on behalf of Hopkins.[34] Also on December 13, California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) has ruled that the decision will be overturned to a no-contest upon official review and the testimony of referee of the bout, Pat Russell.[35]

A rematch with Dawson was set for April 28, 2012. Hopkins lost the bout via majority decision. Hopkins would not fight again in 2012, making it the first calendar year since 1989 that he did not win a fight.[36]

Hopkins vs. Cloud[edit]

Hopkins would make his return to the ring on March 9, 2013 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, against IBF Light Heavyweight Champion and Ring No. 2 ranked Light Heavyweight, Tavoris Cloud. Hopkins broke his own record becoming the oldest man in the history of the sport to win a major world boxing title, by defeating Cloud by unanimous decision.[37]

Hopkins vs. Murat[edit]

Hopkins defended the IBF Light Heavyweight Championship against Karo Murat on October 26, 2013. The mandatory title defense was originally scheduled for July 13, 2013, but was later postponed due to visa issues for Murat. In the meantime, the IBF originally made Sergey Kovalev Hopkins's new mandatory challenger, but Kovalev instead faced and beat then WBO champion Nathan Cleverly to win the title, so Murat was reinstated as the IBF mandatory challenger and the bout was rescheduled for October 26, 2013.[38] Hopkins won by unanimous decision with two scores of 119–108 and one of 117–110.[39]

Hopkins vs. Shumenov[edit]

Hopkins fought Beibut Shumenov in a championship unification bout on April 19, 2014, where Hopkins would be defending the IBF Light Heavyweight title and Shumenov would be defending the WBA Super and IBA Light Heavyweight titles, the latter not on the line for Hopkins. On fight night Hopkins knocked down Shumenov with a jab and followed with a powerful overhand right that nailed Shumenov on the side of the head and dropped him with only less than two minutes left in the round. Hopkins won by split decision with scores of 113-114, 116-111 and 116-111, becoming the oldest boxer in history to unify titles in a weight division.[40]

Hopkins vs. Kovalev[edit]

Shortly after Sergey Kovalev defeated Blake Caparello in a second-round knockout on August 2, 2014, Hopkins announced he would face the former in a match where his WBA Super and IBF titles would be on the line against Kovalev's WBO title. The match was signed after neither fighter could secure a contest with WBC and lineal champion Adonis Stevenson. The fight took place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on November 8, 2014 and was televised by HBO; this marked the end of a feud between Hopkins' promoter Golden Boy Promotions and the network which saw HBO cut ties with Golden Boy fighters.

In a one-sided fight, Hopkins was knocked down in the first round by Kovalev. Although he became the first fighter to take Kovalev past eight rounds, Hopkins lost every single round on all three judges' scorecards and took a 120-107, 120-107, 120-106 unanimous decision defeat, losing his titles.[41]

In 2015, Hopkins called out Carl Froch again stating he would like to fight him in a farewell match, only for Froch to decline the offer calling it a "lose-lose situation". Hopkins also eyed James DeGale and Gennady Golovkin.[42][43]

The Final One[edit]

Hopkins vs. Smith Jr.[edit]

Hopkins made an announcement confirming he wanted a final farewell fight before the end of 2016, which would be his first fight in over two years since losing to Kovalev in a lop sided unanimous decision. Hopkins also confirmed he would retire after this fight, whether it be at cruiserweight or light heavyweight, putting an end to his 28 year career.[44][45][46]

A deal was made in October for Hopkins to fight American boxer Joe Smith Jr., who last fought Fonfara in June knocking him out in less than 3 minutes. The fight would be a HBO main event on December 17, 2016 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Originally a co-feature with Salido vs. Muira until Salido injured his lower back and pulled out of the fight, making the Hopkins farewell the sole main event of the card. The support bout is now scheduled to be Oleksandr Usyk defending his WBO cruiserweight title against Thabiso Mchunu.[47][48][49]

Hopkins did not contact trainer Naazim Richardson to train him for his final bout, instead having Kovalev's trainer John David Jackson, a former boxer whom Hopkins defeated in 1997, train him.[50]

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
66 fights 55 wins 7 losses
By knockout 32 0
By decision 23 7
Draws 2
No contests 2
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Age Location Notes
67 N/A N/A United States Joe Smith Jr. N/A – (12) Dec 17, 2016 51 years, 337 days United States The Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S.
66 Loss 55–7–2 (2) Russia Sergey Kovalev UD 12 Nov 8, 2014 49 years, 297 days United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Lost WBA (Super) and IBF light heavyweight titles;
For WBO light heavyweight title
65 Win 55–6–2 (2) Kazakhstan Beibut Shumenov SD 12 Apr 19, 2014 49 years, 94 days United States D.C. Armory, Washington, D.C., U.S. Retained IBF light heavyweight title;
Won WBA (Super) light heavyweight title
64 Win 54–6–2 (2) Germany Karo Murat UD 12 Oct 26, 2013 48 years, 284 days United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Retained IBF light heavyweight title
63 Win 53–6–2 (2) United States Tavoris Cloud UD 12 Mar 9, 2013 48 years, 53 days United States Barclays Center, New York City, New York, U.S. Won IBF light heavyweight title
62 Loss 52–6–2 (2) United States Chad Dawson MD 12 Apr 28, 2012 47 years, 104 days United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Lost WBC, The Ring, and lineal light heavyweight titles
61 NC 52–5–2 (2) United States Chad Dawson TKO 2 (12), 2:48 Oct 15, 2011 46 years, 273 days United States Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, U.S. Retained WBC, The Ring, and lineal light heavyweight titles;
Originally a TKO win for Dawson, later ruled an NC after an incorrect referee call
60 Win 52–5–2 (1) Canada Jean Pascal UD 12 May 21, 2011 46 years, 126 days Canada Centre Bell, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Won WBC, The Ring, and lineal light heavyweight titles
59 Draw 51–5–2 (1) Canada Jean Pascal MD 12 Dec 18, 2010 45 years, 337 days Canada Colisée Pepsi, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada For WBC, IBO, The Ring, and lineal light heavyweight titles
58 Win 51–5–1 (1) United States Roy Jones Jr. UD 12 Apr 3, 2010 45 years, 78 days United States Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
57 Win 50–5–1 (1) Mexico Enrique Ornelas UD 12 Dec 2, 2009 44 years, 321 days United States Liacouras Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
56 Win 49–5–1 (1) United States Kelly Pavlik UD 12 Oct 18, 2008 43 years, 277 days United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
55 Loss 48–5–1 (1) United Kingdom Joe Calzaghe SD 12 Apr 19, 2008 43 years, 95 days United States Thomas & Mack Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Lost The Ring light heavyweight title
54 Win 48–4–1 (1) United States Winky Wright UD 12 Jul 21, 2007 42 years, 187 days United States Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained The Ring light heavyweight title
53 Win 47–4–1 (1) United States Antonio Tarver UD 12 Jun 10, 2006 41 years, 146 days United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Won IBO and The Ring light heavyweight titles
52 Loss 46–4–1 (1) United States Jermain Taylor UD 12 Dec 3, 2005 40 years, 322 days United States Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. For WBA (Super), WBC, WBO, The Ring, and lineal middleweight titles
51 Loss 46–3–1 (1) United States Jermain Taylor SD 12 Jul 16, 2005 40 years, 182 days United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Lost WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, WBO, The Ring, and lineal middleweight titles
50 Win 46–2–1 (1) United Kingdom Howard Eastman UD 12 Feb 19, 2005 40 years, 35 days United States Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, U.S. Retained WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, WBO, The Ring, and lineal middleweight titles
49 Win 45–2–1 (1) United States Oscar De La Hoya KO 9 (12), 1:38 Sep 18, 2004 39 years, 247 days United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, The Ring, and lineal middleweight titles;
Won WBO middleweight title
48 Win 44–2–1 (1) United States Robert Allen UD 12 Jun 5, 2004 39 years, 142 days United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, The Ring, and lineal middleweight titles
47 Win 43–2–1 (1) United States William Joppy UD 12 Dec 13, 2003 38 years, 332 days United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Retained WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, The Ring, and lineal middleweight titles
46 Win 42–2–1 (1) France Morrade Hakkar RTD 8 (12), 3:00 Mar 29, 2003 38 years, 73 days United States Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. Retained WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, The Ring, and lineal middleweight titles
45 Win 41–2–1 (1) United States Carl Daniels RTD 10 (12), 3:00 Feb 2, 2002 37 years, 18 days United States Sovereign Center, Reading, Pennsylvania, U.S. Retained WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, The Ring, and lineal middleweight titles
44 Win 40–2–1 (1) Puerto Rico Félix Trinidad TKO 12 (12), 1:18 Sep 29, 2001 36 years, 257 days United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S. Retained IBF and WBC middleweight titles;
Won WBA (Super), vacant The Ring and lineal middleweight titles
43 Win 39–2–1 (1) United States Keith Holmes UD 12 Apr 14, 2001 36 years, 89 days United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S. Retained IBF middleweight title;
Won WBC middleweight title
42 Win 38–2–1 (1) United States Antwun Echols TKO 11 (12), 1:42 Dec 1, 2000 35 years, 321 days United States The Venetian Las Vegas, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained IBF middleweight title
41 Win 37–2–1 (1) Canada Syd Vanderpool UD 12 May 13, 2000 35 years, 119 days United States Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S. Retained IBF middleweight title
40 Win 36–2–1 (1) United States Antwun Echols UD 12 Dec 12, 1999 34 years, 331 days United States Miccosukee Resort and Gaming, Miami, Florida, U.S. Retained IBF middleweight title
39 Win 35–2–1 (1) United States Robert Allen TKO 7 (12), 1:18 Feb 6, 1999 34 years, 22 days United States Convention Center, Washington, D.C., U.S. Retained IBF middleweight title
38 NC 34–2–1 (1) United States Robert Allen NC 4 (12), 2:57 Aug 28, 1998 33 years, 225 days United States Las Vegas Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, U.S. Retained IBF middleweight title;
NC after Hopkins was unable to continue from being accidentally pushed out of the ring by the referee
37 Win 34–2–1 United States Simon Brown TKO 6 (12), 1:00 Jan 31, 1998 33 years, 16 days United States Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Retained IBF middleweight title
36 Win 33–2–1 United States Andrew Council UD 12 Nov 18, 1997 32 years, 307 days United States The Show Place Arena, Upper Marlboro, Maryland, U.S. Retained IBF middleweight title
35 Win 32–2–1 Jamaica Glen Johnson TKO 11 (12), 1:23 Jul 20, 1997 32 years, 186 days United States Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Indio, California, U.S. Retained IBF middleweight title
34 Win 31–2–1 United States John David Jackson TKO 7 (12), 2:22 Apr 19, 1997 32 years, 94 days United States Municipal Memorial Auditorium, Shreveport, Louisiana, U.S. Retained IBF middleweight title
33 Win 30–2–1 United States William Bo James TKO 11 (12), 2:02 Jul 16, 1996 31 years, 183 days United States Resorts Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Retained IBF middleweight title
32 Win 29–2–1 United States Joe Lipsey KO 4 (12), 2:50 Mar 16, 1996 31 years, 61 days United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained IBF middleweight title
31 Win 28–2–1 Guyana Steve Frank TKO 1 (12), 0:24 Jan 27, 1996 31 years, 12 days United States Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. Retained IBF middleweight title
30 Win 27–2–1 Ecuador Segundo Mercado TKO 7 (12), 1:10 Apr 29, 1995 30 years, 104 days United States USAir Arena, Landover, Maryland, U.S. Won vacant IBF middleweight title
29 Draw 26–2–1 Ecuador Segundo Mercado SD 12 Dec 17, 1994 29 years, 336 days Ecuador Coliseo General Rumiñahui, Quito, Ecuador For vacant IBF middleweight title
28 Win 26–2 Mexico Lupe Aquino UD 12 May 17, 1994 29 years, 122 days United States Resorts Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Retained USBA middleweight title
27 Win 25–2 United States Melvin Wynn TKO 3 (10), 0:48 Feb 26, 1994 29 years, 42 days United States Sands, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
26 Win 24–2 United States Wendall Hall TKO 3 (12), 0:28 Nov 23, 1993 28 years, 312 days United States The Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. Retained USBA middleweight title
25 Win 23–2 United States Roy Ritchie TKO 7 (12), 1:47 Aug 3, 1993 28 years, 200 days United States Riviera, Winchester, Nevada, U.S. Retained USBA middleweight title
24 Loss 22–2 United States Roy Jones Jr. UD 12 May 22, 1993 28 years, 127 days United States Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Washington, D.C., U.S. For vacant IBF middleweight title
23 Win 22–1 United States Gilbert Baptist UD 12 Feb 16, 1993 28 years, 32 days United States McNichols Sports Arena, Denver, Colorado, U.S. Retained USBA middleweight title
22 Win 21–1 United States Wayne Powell TKO 1 (12), 0:21 Dec 4, 1992 29 years, 323 days United States Resorts Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Won vacant USBA middleweight title
21 Win 20–1 United States Eric Rhinehart KO 1 (10), 1:47 Sep 14, 1992 27 years, 243 days United States Eli's Pier 34, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
20 Win 19–1 United States James Stokes KO 1 (10), 1:44 Aug 28, 1992 27 years, 226 days United States Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
19 Win 18–1 Colombia Anibal Miranda PTS 10 May 21, 1992 27 years, 127 days France Cirque d'hiver, Paris, France
18 Win 17–1 United States Randy Smith UD 10 Apr 3, 1992 27 years, 79 days United States Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
17 Win 16–1 United States Dennis Milton RTD 4 (10), 3:00 Jan 31, 1992 27 years, 16 days United States The Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
16 Win 15–1 United States Willie Kemp UD 10 Dec 13, 1991 26 years, 332 days United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
15 Win 14–1 United States David McCluskey TKO 7 (10) Nov 26, 1991 26 years, 315 days United States The Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
14 Win 13–1 United States Ralph Moncrief TKO 1 (10), 1:28 Sep 23, 1991 26 years, 251 days United States The Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
13 Win 12–1 United States Danny Mitchell TKO 1 (8), 3:00 Jul 9, 1991 26 years, 175 days United States The Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
12 Win 11–1 United States Pedro Marquez TKO 1 0:56 Jun 20, 1991 26 years, 157 days United States Parsippany, New Jersey, U.S.
11 Win 10–1 United States Steve Langley TKO 3 (6), 1:10 Mar 18, 1991 26 years, 62 days United States The Mirage, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
10 Win 9–1 United States Richard Quiles KO 1 (6) Feb 26, 1991 26 years, 42 days United States National Guard Armory, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
9 Win 8–1 United States Mike Sapp TKO 1 (8), 0:35 Nov 17, 1990 25 years, 306 days United States National Guard Armory, Fort Myers, Florida, U.S.
8 Win 7–1 United States Darren Oliver TKO 1 Oct 20, 1990 25 years, 269 days United States Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
7 Win 6–1 United States Percy Harris UD 6 Aug 5, 1990 23 years, 270 days United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
6 Win 5–1 United States Khalif Shabazz KO 1 (6), 0:36 Jun 30, 1990 25 years, 166 days United States Trump's Castle, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
5 Win 4–1 United States Jouvin Mercado TKO 2 (4), 0:43 May 31, 1990 25 years, 136 days United States War Memorial Auditorium, Rochester, New York, U.S.
4 Win 3–1 United States Eddie Tyler TKO 1 May 18, 1990 25 years, 123 days United States Sands, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
3 Win 2–1 United States Keith Gray TKO 1 Apr 26, 1990 25 years, 101 days United States The Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
2 Win 1–1 United States Greg Paige UD 4 Feb 22, 1990 25 years, 38 days United States The Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
1 Loss 0–1 United States Clinton Mitchell MD 4 Oct 11, 1988 23 years, 270 days United States Resorts Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Professional debut

Titles in boxing[edit]

Regional titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Reggie Johnson
USBA middleweight champion
December 4, 1992 – December 1994
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Robert Allen
Minor world titles
Preceded by
Antonio Tarver
IBO light heavyweight champion
June 10, 2006 – June 2007
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Antonio Tarver
Major world titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Roy Jones Jr.
IBF middleweight champion
April 29, 1995 – July 16, 2005
Succeeded by
Jermain Taylor
Preceded by
Keith Holmes
WBC middleweight champion
April 14, 2001 – July 16, 2005
Preceded by
Félix Trinidad
as champion
WBA middleweight champion
Super title

September 29, 2001 – July 16, 2005
Vacant
Title last held by
Sumbu Kalambay
The Ring middleweight champion
September 29, 2001 – July 16, 2005
Vacant
Title last held by
James Toney
Lineal middleweight champion
September 29, 2001 – July 16, 2005
Preceded by
Oscar De La Hoya
WBO middleweight champion
September 18, 2004 – July 16, 2005
Vacant
Title last held by
Marvin Hagler
Undisputed middleweight champion
September 18, 2004 – July 16, 2005
Preceded by
Antonio Tarver
The Ring light heavyweight champion
June 10, 2006 – April 19, 2008
Succeeded by
Joe Calzaghe
Preceded by
Jean Pascal
WBC light heavyweight champion
May 12, 2011 – April 29, 2012
Succeeded by
Chad Dawson
The Ring light heavyweight champion
May 21, 2011 – April 29, 2012
Lineal light heavyweight champion
May 21, 2011 – April 29, 2012
Preceded by
Tavoris Cloud
IBF light heavyweight champion
March 9, 2013 – November 8, 2014
Succeeded by
Sergey Kovalev
Preceded by
Beibut Shumenov
WBA light heavyweight champion
Super title

April 19, 2014 – November 8, 2014
Honorary titles
Non-transferable title WBO Super champion
December 2004 – May 2006
Non-transferable title

Pay-per-view bouts[edit]

Date Fight Billing Buys Revenue
September 29, 2001 Trinidad vs. Hopkins And Then There Was One 475,000 $20.4m
September 18, 2004 De La Hoya vs. Hopkins It's History 1,000,000 $56m
July 16, 2005 Hopkins vs. Taylor Next In Line 370,000 $17.5m
December 3, 2005 Taylor vs. Hopkins II No Respect 410,000 $20.5m
June 10, 2006 Tarver vs. Hopkins Fight To The Finish 330,000 $16.5m
July 21, 2007 Hopkins vs. Wright Coming To Fight 330,000 $16.5m
April 3, 2010 Hopkins vs. Jones II The Rivals 150,000 $7.5m
Total 7 Pay Per View Fights 3,065,000 $154.9m

Coaches[edit]

Hopkins has been coached by Philadelphia-based English "Bouie" Fisher from 1989 until their split in 2002 which resulted in Fisher taking Hopkins to court, claiming he was underpaid by $255,000. They re-united in 2003, but split again in 2005, again with Fisher claiming to be underpaid, this time to the tune of $200,000. Naazim Richardson, Fishers long-term assistant took over as Hopkins' head coach from 2005. Fisher won the Eddie Futch-John F.X. Condon Award, awarded by the Boxing Writers Association of America, for Trainer of the Year in 2001. Bouie died aged 83 in June 2011.

Controversy[edit]

On December 7, 2007, Hopkins and Calzaghe met face to face in the media room set up for the Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Ricky Hatton fight. Hopkins and Calzaghe began shouting insults and taunting each other, with Hopkins shouting, "You're not even in my league! I would never let a white boy beat me. I would never lose to a white boy. I couldn't go back to the projects if I let a white boy beat me." Hopkins would later explain his comments, saying that it was not meant to be taken as a racial slur or a reflection of his feelings on white fighters, but simply said to create some hype for his fight with Calzaghe.[citation needed] On January 23, 2008, the fight was officially announced to take place on April 19, 2008, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Hopkins lost the fight.

In late 2010, Hopkins suggested that African American fighters who possessed what he described as a "slick" inner-city style of fighting would be successful against Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao. "Maybe I'm biased because I'm black, but I think that this is what is said at people's homes and around the dinner table among black boxing fans and fighters. Most of them won't say it [in public] because they're not being real and they don't have the balls to say it. But I do think that a fighter like the Ray Leonards or anyone like that would beat a guy [like Pacquiao] if they come with their game. Listen, this ain't a racial thing, but then again, maybe it is. But the style that is embedded in most of us black fighters, that style could be a problem to any other style of fighting."[51][52]

On May 11, 2011, Hopkins questioned Minnesota Vikings quarterback Donovan McNabb's racial credentials in a Philadelphia Daily News online article. Marcus Hayes of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that according to Hopkins, McNabb had a privileged childhood in suburban Chicago and, as a result, is not black enough or tough enough, at least compared with, say, himself, Michael Vick and Terrell Owens. Hopkins saying in part, "He's got a suntan. That's all... McNabb is the guy in the house, while everybody else is on the field... He's the one who got the extra coat. The extra servings . . . He thought he was one of them."[53]

In late 2013 he again suggested that African Americans possess a "slick" style of boxing which is superior to other styles (presumably practiced by non-African Americans). "The great Sugar Ray Leonard, right now, if he was boxing, the way that they want you to fight, the people that pull the strings of the puppet, he would be boring today. Ray Robinson – the great Robinson – would be boring today…Because the feeders of the people that buy entertainment. They're being fed that if they duck, don't buy it. If they're slick, and they beat [their opponent] nine out of the 12 rounds, and the guy just can't hit him because they were slick and smart enough to hit and not get hit, 'He's not crowd-pleasing, he don't sell tickets.' Because they done fed the followers and they done fed [that] to the customers. The customers will drink anything that you give them if it's promoted right…But when you take away the skill and you take away the slick, and you take away the boxing ability and say that's not entertaining, or that's not entertainment, then, to me, it's like trying to erase a culture that you know has dominated the sport way back then where you were slick. And I'm talking about black fighters. Yes, I said it", said Hopkins.[54]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rafael, Dan (October 27, 2013) Hopkins otherworldly in decision win. ESPN.com
  2. ^ "The Lineal Middleweight Champions". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia. 
  3. ^ Fischer, Doug. (September 30, 2011) 10: Best middleweight titleholders of the last 50 years | RingTV. Ringtv.craveonline.com. Retrieved on August 5, 2012.
  4. ^ "The Lineal Light Heavyweight Champions". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia. 
  5. ^ Hopkins vs Cloud live results: Round 12 – Bernard Hopkins wins unanimous decision to become oldest world champ ever. SBNation.com. Retrieved on November 20, 2013.
  6. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aH053p5IQg0
  7. ^ http://www.doghouseboxing.com/Benz/Benz041212.htm
  8. ^ http://www.secondsout.com/archive/anthony-evans/taylor-dirty-hopkins-is-no-great
  9. ^ http://www.boxingscene.com/kovalev-explains-why-bernard-hopkins-dirty-fighter--83715
  10. ^ Steve Bunce (November 11, 2001) The forgotten prince Guardian. Retrieved on July 29, 2009.
  11. ^ Jake Donovan (July 15, 2005). "Still Waiting for Bernard Hopkins to Grow Old?" July 15, 2005.
  12. ^ Rafael, Dan (January 15, 2008). "Can Jones be serious?". ESPN. Retrieved August 23, 2008. 
  13. ^ Boxing, BBC (May 13, 2001). "Triumphant Trinidad stops Joppy". BBC Boxing. Retrieved June 3, 2008. 
  14. ^ Fans, Boxing (September 9, 2001). "How far can Felix go?". BBC. Retrieved June 3, 2008. 
  15. ^ JPG image of Hopkin's back. boxingfutures.com
  16. ^ Manuel Suarez (July 12, 2001). Riot in Puerto Rico during a Trinidad-Hopkins press conference. latinosportslegends.com
  17. ^ Kevin Iole (August 21, 2004). "In ring, Hopkins will finally dictate". reviewjournal.com. Retrieved March 30, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Body blow". CNN. September 19, 2004. Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  19. ^ Mulvaney, Kieran (October 1, 2005). "Lacy, Corrales, Common Foe Joppy Predict Outcome". ESPN. Retrieved October 24, 2008. 
  20. ^ Rec, Box (June 10, 2006). "Antonio Tarver vs. Bernard Hopkins Fight News/Stats". BoxRec.com. Retrieved August 26, 2008. 
  21. ^ Willis, George (July 21, 2007). "Hopkins, Wright Brawl at Weigh-in". New York Post. Retrieved June 3, 2008. 
  22. ^ "Hopkins fined $200,000 for weigh-in scuffle with Wright". ESPN. August 17, 2007. Retrieved June 3, 2008. 
  23. ^ Rafael, Dan (July 23, 2007). "Hopkins keeps title with entertaining win over Wright". ESPN.com. Retrieved June 3, 2008. 
  24. ^ "BBC SPORT | Boxing | Calzaghe rallies to beat Hopkins". news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  25. ^ "Bernard Hopkins wins unanimous decision over Roy Jones Jr. – ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. April 4, 2010. Retrieved March 30, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Hopkins beats Jones and eyes Haye". BBC News. April 4, 2010. Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  27. ^ "Haye dismisses Hopkins challenge". BBC News. April 5, 2010. Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  28. ^ Vester, Mark (June 3, 2010). "Joe Calzaghe Turns Down Bernard Hopkins Rematch". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved June 3, 2010. 
  29. ^ Iorfida, Chris (December 19, 2010). "Pascal, Hopkins box to entertaining draw". Cbc.ca. 
  30. ^ Hopkins-Pascal WBC title rematch ordered. AFP. January 6, 2011.
  31. ^ Hopkins does it!!!. Fightnews.com (May 21, 2011). Retrieved on August 5, 2012.
  32. ^ LaBate, Chris (May 22, 2011). "Bernard Hopkins Beats Jean Pascal To Make History". Boxing Scene. Retrieved May 22, 2011. 
  33. ^ a b "Bernard Hopkins becomes oldest champ". ESPN. May 22, 2011. Retrieved May 22, 2011. 
  34. ^ RING light heavweight belt won't change hands pending appeal | RingTV. Ringtv.craveonline.com. October 18, 2011.
  35. ^ Rosenthal, Michael. (December 14, 2011) California commission rules Hopkins-Dawson fight 'no-decision' | RingTV. Ringtv.craveonline.com. Retrieved on August 5, 2012.
  36. ^ Parker, Graham (2012-04-29). "Chad Dawson beats Bernard Hopkins - as it happened". the Guardian. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  37. ^ "Hopkins win shows mastery of craft". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  38. ^ Bernard Hopkins to fight Karo Murat on October 19 | Boxing News. ESPN.co.uk (July 21, 2013). Retrieved on November 20, 2013.
  39. ^ Greisman, David P. (October 27, 2013) Bernard Hopkins Brawls His Way To Overcome Murat – Boxing News. Boxingscene.com. Retrieved on November 20, 2013.
  40. ^ "Boxing: Bernard Hopkins, 49, unifies titles with split decision win over Beibut Shumenov". The Washington Post. April 20, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2014. 
  41. ^ "Kovalev defeats Bernard Hopkins". Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  42. ^ O'Hara, Ryan (2015-06-04). "Bernard Hopkins To Retire In 2015 - Tha Boxing Voice". Tha Boxing Voice. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  43. ^ "Carl Froch: Bernard Hopkins fight would be a 'lose-lose situation'". BBC Sport. 2015-02-06. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  44. ^ "Bernard Hopkins Next Fight To Come Before End Of 2016". Boxing News and Views. 2016-10-10. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  45. ^ "Bernard Hopkin's Final Fight: Golden Boy President Gives Status - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  46. ^ "Ring legend Bernard Hopkins to retire after farewell fight". Sky Sports. October 18, 2016. Retrieved October 18, 2016. 
  47. ^ "Orlando Salido hurts back, is off Dec. 17 HBO card - The Ring". The Ring. 2016-10-17. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  48. ^ "Deal in place for Smith vs. Hopkins Dec. 17 on HBO - The Ring". The Ring. 2016-10-17. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  49. ^ "Hopkins to end boxing career with Smith bout". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  50. ^ "Bernard Hopkins gets new trainer for final fight". November 30, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016. 
  51. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 26, 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-16. 
  52. ^ http://thewellversed.com/2010/11/19/bernard-hopkins-says-pacquiao-ducking-african-americans-mayweather-would-beat-him/
  53. ^ http://articles.philly.com/2011-05-11/sports/29532616_1_rich-burg-bernard-hopkins-donovan-mcnabb
  54. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 22, 2015. Retrieved 2014-12-09. 

Further reading[edit]

  • David Van Deusen, "B-Hop's Claim Racist?" www.boxing.com, October 21, 2013.

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Félix Trinidad
The Ring Fighter of the Year
2001
Succeeded by
Vernon Forrest
BWAA Fighter of the Year
2001
Preceded by
Roy Jones Jr.
The Ring Pound for Pound #1 boxer
May 15, 2004 – July 16, 2005
Succeeded by
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Preceded by
Nonito Donaire
KO5 Vic Darchinyan
The Ring Upset of the Year
UD12 Kelly Pavlik

2008
Succeeded by
Juan Carlos Salgado
KO1 Jorge Linares
Records
Preceded by
George Foreman
Age 45
Oldest boxer to win a world title
Age 45

March 9, 2013 – present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Archie Moore
Oldest world champion
April 18, 2013 – present