*49-year-old Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins (as he likes to be referred to nowadays) has had one of the greatest and long lasting careers in boxing. He’s fought some of the best in the light heavyweight division and will no doubt be selected as a candidate to be inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
But what we may have seen in his performance last Saturday night in Atlantic City, as he went up against Sergey Kovalov, 31, could possibly have been his final battle in the ring.
Father time waits for no one folks, ( just ask this writer who just turned 62) and certainly will catch up with you.
In spite of the fact that Kovalov clearly dominated Hopkins and knocked him down in the first round, we still saw flashes of the “The Executioner” from the past surface. Look, I can’t recall too many other fighters in the history of boxing that have fought as long and hard as Hopkins other than the great Archie Moore and George Foreman. And when they fought they were going fifteen rounds back in those days. In just a couple of months from now Hopkins will be fifty years of age and he’s been up against the very best there is in the sport, from Roy Jones Jr., Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya, Jermaine Taylor, Antonio Tarver, Ronald “Winky” Wright, Jean Pascal, “Bad” Chad Dawson, and not to mention Joe Calzage (just to name a few). Some of those guys he fought twice by the way, and beat some of them the second time around like the great Roy Jones Jr.
Who knows what’s going through his mind right now as he ponders his future in the sport. He certainly has nothing to prove, and is in no need of fighting just for the money, he’s got plenty of that.
Most ringside observers believe that he should sit down while he has a chance and can still talk well. He certainly didn’t look like the Hopkins of old last Saturday night. As this writer saw the fight, it reminded me so much of Muhammad Ali’s last two bouts with Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick. His reflexes weren’t there and he was getting hit with some shots that five years ago he would’ve been able to avoid.
The bottom line is, that Bernard Hopkins is indeed one of our great living legends in boxing and whether he stays in the ring, or decides to get out, he has no doubt left his mark in the sport.
It would indeed be a sad sight to see him continue to fight on until he made sixty years of age and end up not be able to utilize his faculties from getting too many blows to the head. There are so many opportunities available for him if and when he does decide to call an end to his career in the ring. He’s already a partner with Golden Boy and could possibly become a world class boxing trainer in his own facility if he wished. Only God knows what he’ll end up doing. Although there’s rumors going around in boxing that he’s considering going up against the current world middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (Triple GGG) in a final farewell bout. I’m not sure how that one would turn out. As I always say, we’ll see what happens.
Boxing Update …
As this year comes closer to an end, we’ve still got some great fights left to see as Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao is set to go against Chris Algieri in a couple of weeks on November 22 in Macao, China. Algieri made some noise when he went up against a rough and tough Ruslan Provodnikov and beat him at the Garden in New York in what was hailed as a come from behind victory. He now says he’s ready to upset the “Pacman”(who knows? he might just do it). This will be an HBO pay per view telecast live from the Venetian Macao resort in China.
And what could only be considered there’s several huge boxing events occurring in December starting on Friday the 12th in San Antonio, Texas with Ishe Smith going up against Irislandy Lara. The very next night in Las Vegas there’s Amir Khan fighting Devon Alexander, and WBA interim welterweight champion Keith Thurman goes against Leonard Bundu at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in a Showtime Championship Boxing telecast. While on the very same night Timothy ” Desert Storm” Bradley will be going against Diego Chavez of Argentina. And this one will be telecast live on HBO. What a way to end a fantastic boxing year.
“When the tide goes out, that’s when you’ll find out whose been swimming naked” – Warren Buffett
Mohammed Mubarak’s Ringside Update can also be read in the High Desert Inland Valley News, and the Pace News. He is also an artist and muralist. Feel free to go to his website mubarakart.com or reach him at [email protected] for your comments.