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Monday, May 23, 2011

Who is Bernard Hopkins Jr?

Who is Bernard Hopkins Jr? The boxing world knows Bernard Hopkins as the Executioner. Hopkins  is an American boxer. He is a former Undisputed World Middleweight Champion, and the first fighter to retain all 4 world titles of each major boxing sanctioning body, plus the Ring Magazine belt, in the same fight. Having defended a world middleweight title for a record 20 times, he is considered one of the greatest middleweights of all time. He is the oldest boxer ever to win a world championship title, when at age 46, he defeated Jean Pascal on May 21, 2011 by unanimous decision, surpassing the record previously held by George Foreman.
Currently, Hopkins is the WBC, IBO and The Ring Light Heavyweight Champion. Eric Gomez of Golden Boy Promotions called Hopkins a "top 20 fighter of all-time and arguably, a top two or top three middleweight ever."[1] Hopkins holds notable wins over Oscar De La Hoya (via KO), Roy Jones, Jr. (via Unanimous Decision), and Félix Trinidad (via TKO).
In addition to being an active boxer, he is also a minority partner with Golden Boy Promotions.

Background

Hopkins was born January 15, 1965, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Bernard Hopkins, Sr. and his wife Sue, Bernard grew up in the Raymond Rosen projects with his family. 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 rapes and 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.[2] While leaving the prison for the final time, the warden told Hopkins he'd "see [Hopkins] again when you wind up back here," to which Hopkins replied "I ain't ever coming back here." [3]

Professional career

He 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.

Winning the IBF middleweight championship

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. This was the first and only knock down of Hopkins's career until he fought Jean Pascal in 2010. It has been argued that Hopkins was also not properly acclimated to the altitude of nearly 10,000 feet.[4]
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 and later went on to knock out an aging Roy Jones Jr), Simon Brown, and Antwun Echols.

2001 middleweight unification tournament

The arrival of multiple-division champion Félix Trinidad, a Welterweight into the middleweight ranks set off a series of unification fights between major titleholders. The fights involved in the tournament would be reigning IBF Middleweight Champion, Bernard Hopkins. WBC Middleweight Champion, Keith Holmes. WBA Middleweight Champion, William Joppy. The fourth contestant was the undefeated and former Welterweight & Light Middleweight World Champion Félix Trinidad.

Keith Holmes

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.[5] This led to many to believe that Felix Trinidad was simply too much, too strong for Bernard Hopkins.[6]

Felix Trinidad

Then, on September 29, 2001, WBA champion Trinidad challenged Hopkins for middleweight unification in Madison Square Garden.
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. 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 and Puerto Rico, the latter conference leading to a riot in which Hopkins had to be run to safety from the angry mob.[7]
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 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.

Undisputed middleweight champion

He defended the undisputed title six times. Hopkins bested Carl Daniels on February 2 surpassing Carlos Monzon'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.

Oscar De La Hoya

In the highest-paying fight of his career, Hopkins fought six-division titleholder Oscar de la Hoya, another welterweight for the undisputed middleweight championship on September 18, 2004, in Las Vegas. They fought at a catchweight of 158 lbs, two pounds below the middleweight limit of 160 lbs.[8] 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.[9]
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.

Reaching number 20 - Howard Eastman

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 Middleweight 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

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.[10] Compubox round-by-round punch stats showed Taylor outscoring Hopkins 6-5-1 in total punches. Hopkins out landed Taylor in power punches 78-50.
On December 3, 2005, Hopkins lost his rematch against Jermain Taylor by unanimous decision. All three judges scored the fight 115-113 for Taylor.
Compubox statistics indicated that Hopkins landed more overall punches and significantly more power shots over the course of the fight, however these statistics may not accurately reflect the judging as rounds are scored in isolation.

Moving up to light heavyweight — Antonio Tarver

Following his two losses to Jermaine 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.[11]

Return in 2007 - Winky Wright

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.[12] Hopkins was fined $200,000 for instigating the brawl.[13] Hopkins prevailed with a unanimous decision victory by scores of 117-111, 117-111 and 116-112.[14]

Joe Calzaghe

On April 19, 2008, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Hopkins lost The Ring light heavyweight championship to Joe Calzaghe by split decision ((116-111 and 115-112 - Calzaghe. 114-113 - Hopkins). Hopkins started the fight well, dropping Calzaghe in the first round and using his ring savvy to confuse the challenger. As the fight wore on, Calzaghe began throwing more punches per round and pulling out a disputed decision.

Kelly Pavlik

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, FL.

Recent fights

After Tomasz Adamek knocked out Johnathon Banks of ESPN's Friday Night Fights, Hopkins immediately told ESPN's Dan Rafael that he was interested in moving up to cruiserweight to fight him, wishing to become the Ring Magazine cruiserweight champion of the world.
During the Ricky Hatton vs. Manny Pacquiao media conferences before their fight on May 3, 2009, Bernard Hopkins stated he would be "interested" in a proposed fight with British super middleweight champion Carl Froch.

Enrique Ornelas

 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.

Rematch with Roy Jones

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.[15]
He then challenged WBA Heavyweight Champion David Haye who had successfully defended his title against John Ruiz.[16] Following Hopkins challenge, Haye ruled out the fight stating Bernard was only looking for a payday.[17] 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.[18]

Hopkins vs. Pascal I & II

At 45 years old, Hopkins fought WBC, IBO 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).[19]
Following the controversy of the fight, WBC chairman Jose Sulaiman sanctioned an immediate rematch in which Hopkins defeated Pascal by Unanimous Decision to become the oldest champion in boxing history capturing the WBC Light Heavyweight title on May 21, 2011.[20][21]
On May 21, 2011, Bernard Hopkins outpointed Jean Pascal to become 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.[22] 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."[22]
Hopkins won the fight by unanimous decision, to capture the WBC, IBO and The Ring Light Heavyweight belts. The official scores were 115–113, 116–112 and 115–114.[23] The bout was held at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.

Controversial Quotes

Hopkins has a history of making controversial remarks that are racially insensitive. At a press conference before his bout with Calzaghe, who is of Italian/Welsh heritage, Hopkins yelled at him five times, "I would never let a white boy beat me!"[24] Hopkins lost the fight via decision.
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."[25][26]
On May 11, 2011, Hopkins questioned Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb's racial credentials in a Philadelphia Daily News online article, 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.[27]
In addition, Hopkins allegedly made statements suggesting incarceration over education for young black men.






Professional boxing record

52 Wins (34 knockouts, 18 decisions), 5 Losses (5 decisions), 2 Draws, 1 No Contest[28]
Res. Record Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes
Win 52-5-2
1 NC
Canada Jean Pascal Decision (unan.) 12 May 21, 2011 Montreal, Canada Won the The Ring, WBC, WBC Diamond, IBO Light Heavyweight titles. He broke George Foreman's record by becoming the oldest man to win a major title, at the age of 46.
Draw 51-5-2
1 NC
Canada Jean Pascal Draw (maj.) 12 December 18, 2010 Quebec City, Canada For the The Ring, WBC, WBC Diamond, IBO Light Heavyweight titles.
Win 51-5-1
1 NC
United States Roy Jones, Jr. Decision (unan.) 12 April 3, 2010 Las Vegas, USA
Win 50-5-1
1 NC
Mexico Enrique Ornelas Decision (unan.) 12 December 2, 2009 Philadelphia,PA
Win 49-5-1
1 NC
United States Kelly Pavlik Decision (unan.) 12 October 18, 2008 Atlantic City, New Jersey
Loss 48-5-1 Wales Joe Calzaghe Decision (split) 12 April 19, 2008 Las Vegas, Nevada Lost The Ring Light Heavyweight title.
Win 48-4-1
1 NC
United States Ronald Wright Decision (unan.) 12 July 21, 2007 Las Vegas, Nevada Retained The Ring Light Heavyweight title.
Win 47-4-1
1 NC
United States Antonio Tarver Decision (unan.) 12 June 10, 2006 Atlantic City, New Jersey Won IBO and The Ring Light Heavyweight titles.
Loss 46-4-1
1 NC
United States Jermain Taylor Decision (unan.) 12 December 3, 2005 Las Vegas, Nevada For the WBC, WBA (Super), WBO Middleweight titles.
Loss 46-3-1
1 NC
United States Jermain Taylor Decision (split) 12 July 16, 2005 Las Vegas, Nevada Lost IBF, WBC, WBA (Super), WBO Middleweight titles.
Win 46-2-1
1 NC
United Kingdom Howard Eastman Decision (unan.) 12 February 19, 2005 Los Angeles, California Retained IBF, WBC, WBA (Super), WBO Middleweight titles.
Win 45-2-1
1 NC
United States Oscar De La Hoya KO 9 (12), 1:38 September 18, 2004 Las Vegas, Nevada Retained IBF, WBC, WBA (Super) Middleweight titles and won WBO Middleweight title.
Win 44-2-1
1 NC
United States Robert Allen Decision (unan.) 12 June 5, 2004 Las Vegas, Nevada Retained IBF, WBC, WBA (Super) Middleweight titles.
Win 43-2-1
1 NC
United States William Joppy Decision (unan.) 12 December 13, 2003 Atlantic City, New Jersey Retained IBF, WBC, WBA (Super) Middleweight titles.
Win 42-2-1
1 NC
France Morrade Hakkar TKO 8 (12), 3:00 March 29, 2003 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Retained IBF, WBC, WBA (Super) Middleweight titles.
Win 41-2-1
1 NC
United States Carl Daniels TKO 10 (12), 3:00 February 2, 2002 Reading, Pennsylvania Retained IBF, WBC, WBA (Super) Middleweight titles.
Win 40-2-1
1 NC
Puerto Rico Félix Trinidad TKO 12 (12), 1:18 September 29, 2001 New York City, New York Retained IBF, WBC Middleweight titles and won WBA Middleweight super title (Undisputed Champion).
Win 39-2-1
1 NC
United States Keith Holmes Decision (unan.) 12 April 14, 2001 New York City, New York Retained IBF Middleweight title and won WBC Middleweight title.
Win 38-2-1
1 NC
United States Antwun Echols TKO 10 (12), 1:42 December 1, 2000 Las Vegas, Nevada Retained IBF Middleweight title.
Win 37-2-1
1 NC
Canada Syd Vanderpool Decision (unan.) 12 May 13, 2000 Indianapolis, Indiana Retained IBF Middleweight title.
Win 36-2-1
1 NC
United States Antwun Echols Decision (unan.) 12 December 12, 1999 Miami, Florida Retained IBF Middleweight title.
Win 35-2-1
1 NC
United States Robert Allen TKO 7 (12), 1:18 February 6, 1999 Washington, D.C. Retained IBF Middleweight title.
NC 34-2-1
1 NC
United States Robert Allen No contest 4 (12), 2:57 August 28, 1998 Las Vegas, Nevada The fight was ruled a no contest when Hopkins was injured after he was accidentally pushed out of the ring by referee. Retained IBF Middleweight title.
Win 34-2-1 United States Simon Brown TKO 6 (12), 1:00 January 31, 1998 Atlantic City, New Jersey Retained IBF Middleweight title.
Win 33-2-1 United States Andrew Council Decision (unan.) 12 November 18, 1997 Upper Marlboro, MD Retained IBF Middleweight title.
Win 32-2-1 Jamaica Glen Johnson TKO 11 (12), 1:23 July 20, 1997 Indio, California Retained IBF Middleweight title.
Win 31-2-1 United States John David Jackson TKO 7 (12), 2:22 April 19, 1997 Shreveport, Louisiana Retained IBF Middleweight title.
Win 30-2-1 United States William Bo James TKO 11 (12), 2:02 July 16, 1996 Atlantic City, New Jersey Retained IBF Middleweight title.
Win 29-2-1 United States Joe Lipsey KO 4 (12), 2:50 March 16, 1996 Las Vegas, Nevada Retained IBF Middleweight title.
Win 28-2-1 Guyana Steve Frank TKO 1 (12), 0:24 January 27, 1996 Phoenix, Arizona Retained IBF Middleweight title.
Win 27-2-1 Ecuador Segundo Mercado TKO 7 (12), 1:10 April 29, 1995 Landover, MD Won vacant IBF Middleweight title.
Draw 26-2-1 Ecuador Segundo Mercado Draw 12 December 17, 1994 Quito, Ecuador For the vacant IBF Middleweight title.
Win 26–2 Mexico Lupe Aquino Decision (unan.) 12 May 17, 1994 Atlantic City, New Jersey Retained USBA Middleweight title.
Win 25–2 United States Melvin Wynn TKO 3, 0:48 February 26, 1994 Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 24–2 United States Wendall Hall TKO 3 (12), 0:28 November 23, 1993 Las Vegas, Nevada Retained USBA Middleweight title.
Win 23–2 United States Roy Ritchie TKO 7 (12), 1:47 August 3, 1993 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Retained USBA Middleweight title.
Loss 22–2 United States Roy Jones, Jr. Decision (unan.) 12 May 22, 1993 Washington, D.C. For the vacant IBF Middleweight title.
Win 22–1 United States Gilbert Baptist Decision (unan.) 12 February 16, 1993 Denver, Colorado Retained USBA Middleweight title.
Win 21–1 United States Wayne Powell TKO 1 (12), 0:21 December 4, 1992 Atlantic City, New Jersey Won vacant USBA Middleweight title.
Win 20–1 United States Eric Rhinehart KO 1, 1:47 September 14, 1992 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 19–1 United States James Stokes KO 1 August 28, 1992 Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 18–1 Colombia Anibal Miranda Decision (unan.) 10 May 21, 1992 Paris, France
Win 17–1 United States Randy Smith Decision (unan.) 10 April 3, 1992 Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 16–1 United States Dennis Milton TKO 4 (10) January 31, 1992 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 15–1 United States Willie Kemp Decision (unan.) 10 December 13, 1991 Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 14–1 United States David McCluskey TKO 7 (10) November 26, 1991 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 13–1 United States Ralph Moncrief TKO 1 (10), 1:28 September 23, 1991 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 12–1 United States Danny Mitchell KO 1 July 9, 1991 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 11–1 United States Pedro Marquez TKO 1 June 20, 1991 Parsippany, New Jersey
Win 10–1 United States Steve Langley TKO 3 (6), 1:10 March 18, 1991 Las Vegas, Nevada
Win 9–1 United States Richard Quiles KO 1 (6) February 26, 1991 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 8–1 United States Mike Sapp TKO 1 November 17, 1990 Fort Myers, Florida
Win 7–1 United States Darrin Oliver TKO 1 October 20, 1990 Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 6–1 United States Percy Harris Decision (unan.) 6 August 5, 1990 Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 5–1 United States Khalif Shabazz KO 1, 0:36 June 30, 1990 Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 4–1 United States Jouvin Mercado TKO 2 (4), 0:43 May 31, 1990 Rochester, New York
Win 3–1 United States Eddie Tyler TKO 1 May 18, 1990 Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 2–1 United States Keith Gray TKO 1 April 26, 1990 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 1–1 United States Greg Paige Decision (unan.) 4 February 22, 1990 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Loss 0–1 United States Clinton Mitchell Decision (maj.) 4 October 11, 1988 Atlantic City, New Jersey

 






































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