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." 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.
BackgroundHopkins 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. 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." 
Professional careerHe 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 championshipThe 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.
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 tournamentThe 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 HolmesOn 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. This led to many to believe that Felix Trinidad was simply too much, too strong for Bernard Hopkins.
Felix TrinidadThen, 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.
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 championHe 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 HoyaIn 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. 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.
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 EastmanHoward Eastman, the European middleweight champion. Hopkins dominated the fight from start to finish, winning 119-110, 117-111 and 116-112.
Hopkins vs TaylorIn 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. 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 TarverFollowing 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.
Return in 2007 - Winky WrightOn 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. Hopkins was fined $200,000 for instigating the brawl. Hopkins prevailed with a unanimous decision victory by scores of 117-111, 117-111 and 116-112.
Joe CalzagheOn 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 PavlikOn 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 fightsAfter 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 OrnelasDecember 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 JonesHopkins 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.
He then challenged WBA Heavyweight Champion David Haye who had successfully defended his title against John Ruiz. Following Hopkins challenge, Haye ruled out the fight stating Bernard was only looking for a payday. 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.
Hopkins vs. Pascal I & IIJean 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).
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.
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. 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."
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. The bout was held at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
Controversial QuotesHopkins 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!" 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."
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.
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|
|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.|
|Jean Pascal||Draw (maj.)||12||December 18, 2010||Quebec City, Canada||For the The Ring, WBC, WBC Diamond, IBO Light Heavyweight titles.|
|Roy Jones, Jr.||Decision (unan.)||12||April 3, 2010||Las Vegas, USA|
|Enrique Ornelas||Decision (unan.)||12||December 2, 2009||Philadelphia,PA|
|Kelly Pavlik||Decision (unan.)||12||October 18, 2008||Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Loss||48-5-1||Joe Calzaghe||Decision (split)||12||April 19, 2008||Las Vegas, Nevada||Lost The Ring Light Heavyweight title.|
|Ronald Wright||Decision (unan.)||12||July 21, 2007||Las Vegas, Nevada||Retained The Ring Light Heavyweight title.|
|Antonio Tarver||Decision (unan.)||12||June 10, 2006||Atlantic City, New Jersey||Won IBO and The Ring Light Heavyweight titles.|
|Jermain Taylor||Decision (unan.)||12||December 3, 2005||Las Vegas, Nevada||For the WBC, WBA (Super), WBO Middleweight titles.|
|Jermain Taylor||Decision (split)||12||July 16, 2005||Las Vegas, Nevada||Lost IBF, WBC, WBA (Super), WBO Middleweight titles.|
|Howard Eastman||Decision (unan.)||12||February 19, 2005||Los Angeles, California||Retained IBF, WBC, WBA (Super), WBO Middleweight titles.|
|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.|
|Robert Allen||Decision (unan.)||12||June 5, 2004||Las Vegas, Nevada||Retained IBF, WBC, WBA (Super) Middleweight titles.|
|William Joppy||Decision (unan.)||12||December 13, 2003||Atlantic City, New Jersey||Retained IBF, WBC, WBA (Super) Middleweight titles.|
|Morrade Hakkar||TKO||8 (12), 3:00||March 29, 2003||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||Retained IBF, WBC, WBA (Super) Middleweight titles.|
|Carl Daniels||TKO||10 (12), 3:00||February 2, 2002||Reading, Pennsylvania||Retained IBF, WBC, WBA (Super) Middleweight titles.|
|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).|
|Keith Holmes||Decision (unan.)||12||April 14, 2001||New York City, New York||Retained IBF Middleweight title and won WBC Middleweight title.|
|Antwun Echols||TKO||10 (12), 1:42||December 1, 2000||Las Vegas, Nevada||Retained IBF Middleweight title.|
|Syd Vanderpool||Decision (unan.)||12||May 13, 2000||Indianapolis, Indiana||Retained IBF Middleweight title.|
|Antwun Echols||Decision (unan.)||12||December 12, 1999||Miami, Florida||Retained IBF Middleweight title.|
|Robert Allen||TKO||7 (12), 1:18||February 6, 1999||Washington, D.C.||Retained IBF Middleweight title.|
|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||Simon Brown||TKO||6 (12), 1:00||January 31, 1998||Atlantic City, New Jersey||Retained IBF Middleweight title.|
|Win||33-2-1||Andrew Council||Decision (unan.)||12||November 18, 1997||Upper Marlboro, MD||Retained IBF Middleweight title.|
|Win||32-2-1||Glen Johnson||TKO||11 (12), 1:23||July 20, 1997||Indio, California||Retained IBF Middleweight title.|
|Win||31-2-1||John David Jackson||TKO||7 (12), 2:22||April 19, 1997||Shreveport, Louisiana||Retained IBF Middleweight title.|
|Win||30-2-1||William Bo James||TKO||11 (12), 2:02||July 16, 1996||Atlantic City, New Jersey||Retained IBF Middleweight title.|
|Win||29-2-1||Joe Lipsey||KO||4 (12), 2:50||March 16, 1996||Las Vegas, Nevada||Retained IBF Middleweight title.|
|Win||28-2-1||Steve Frank||TKO||1 (12), 0:24||January 27, 1996||Phoenix, Arizona||Retained IBF Middleweight title.|
|Win||27-2-1||Segundo Mercado||TKO||7 (12), 1:10||April 29, 1995||Landover, MD||Won vacant IBF Middleweight title.|
|Draw||26-2-1||Segundo Mercado||Draw||12||December 17, 1994||Quito, Ecuador||For the vacant IBF Middleweight title.|
|Win||26–2||Lupe Aquino||Decision (unan.)||12||May 17, 1994||Atlantic City, New Jersey||Retained USBA Middleweight title.|
|Win||25–2||Melvin Wynn||TKO||3, 0:48||February 26, 1994||Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||24–2||Wendall Hall||TKO||3 (12), 0:28||November 23, 1993||Las Vegas, Nevada||Retained USBA Middleweight title.|
|Win||23–2||Roy Ritchie||TKO||7 (12), 1:47||August 3, 1993||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||Retained USBA Middleweight title.|
|Loss||22–2||Roy Jones, Jr.||Decision (unan.)||12||May 22, 1993||Washington, D.C.||For the vacant IBF Middleweight title.|
|Win||22–1||Gilbert Baptist||Decision (unan.)||12||February 16, 1993||Denver, Colorado||Retained USBA Middleweight title.|
|Win||21–1||Wayne Powell||TKO||1 (12), 0:21||December 4, 1992||Atlantic City, New Jersey||Won vacant USBA Middleweight title.|
|Win||20–1||Eric Rhinehart||KO||1, 1:47||September 14, 1992||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Win||19–1||James Stokes||KO||1||August 28, 1992||Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||18–1||Anibal Miranda||Decision (unan.)||10||May 21, 1992||Paris, France|
|Win||17–1||Randy Smith||Decision (unan.)||10||April 3, 1992||Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||16–1||Dennis Milton||TKO||4 (10)||January 31, 1992||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Win||15–1||Willie Kemp||Decision (unan.)||10||December 13, 1991||Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||14–1||David McCluskey||TKO||7 (10)||November 26, 1991||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Win||13–1||Ralph Moncrief||TKO||1 (10), 1:28||September 23, 1991||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Win||12–1||Danny Mitchell||KO||1||July 9, 1991||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Win||11–1||Pedro Marquez||TKO||1||June 20, 1991||Parsippany, New Jersey|
|Win||10–1||Steve Langley||TKO||3 (6), 1:10||March 18, 1991||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Win||9–1||Richard Quiles||KO||1 (6)||February 26, 1991||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Win||8–1||Mike Sapp||TKO||1||November 17, 1990||Fort Myers, Florida|
|Win||7–1||Darrin Oliver||TKO||1||October 20, 1990||Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||6–1||Percy Harris||Decision (unan.)||6||August 5, 1990||Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||5–1||Khalif Shabazz||KO||1, 0:36||June 30, 1990||Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||4–1||Jouvin Mercado||TKO||2 (4), 0:43||May 31, 1990||Rochester, New York|
|Win||3–1||Eddie Tyler||TKO||1||May 18, 1990||Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||2–1||Keith Gray||TKO||1||April 26, 1990||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Win||1–1||Greg Paige||Decision (unan.)||4||February 22, 1990||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Loss||0–1||Clinton Mitchell||Decision (maj.)||4||October 11, 1988||Atlantic City, New Jersey|