Measured Against All Time: Bernard Hopkins
by Cliff Rold
Just a week ago, the rumors became signatures . The deal is done. The newly crowned leader of the Light Heavyweight division, 27-year old Jean Pascal (16-1, 16 KO) will attempt to follow a career best win over Chad Dawson by accepting the challenge of one of his leading contenders.
That he is still a leading contender is incredible in it’s own right. That he will be seen as having a very real shot at winning his second Ring Magazine belt at 175 lbs. is as well. After all, at 45, fighters who are not retired are usually being begged to head towards the gates.
Not every 45-year old is Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins.
It does not look like the sort of potential war capable of forcing every fan to the edge of their seats at the opening bell, but as part of the ongoing story of a master of the fistic craft, Pascal-Hopkins is fascinating. Is this the moment, the fight, when Hopkins finally gets old?
It is not the first time the question has been uttered. Almost a decade ago, Hopkins was an already long reigning beltholder at Middleweight who the oddsmakers expected to be too old to hold off a streaking Felix Trinidad. The oddsmakers were wrong.
A little over four years ago, fresh off two narrow losses to Jermain Taylor for the undisputed Middleweight crown, Hopkins was again the oddsmakers underdog against Light Heavyweight leader Antonio Tarver. The oddsmakers were even more wrong.
This time, they appear to be hedging their bets. Hopkins has earned that respect. Many of the reasons why are apparent as the question is asked:
How good is Hopkins, measured against all-time.
In answering the question, five categories will be examined:
2) Competition Faced
3) Competition Not Faced
4) Reaction to Adversity
5) What’s Left to Prove
It begins with…
The Tale of the Tape
Hailed From: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Turned Professional: October 11, 1988 (L4 Clinton Mitchell)
Record: 51-5-1, 32 KO
Record in Title Fights: 21-4-1, 13 KO, 1 No Contest
Lineal World Titles: World Middleweight (2001-2005, 6 Defenses)
Other Major Titles: IBF Middleweight (1995-2005, 20 Defenses); WBC Middleweight (2001-05, 7 Defenses); WBA & Ring Magazine Middleweight (2001-05, 6 Defenses); WBO Middleweight (2004-05, 1 Defense); Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight (2006-08, 1 Defense)
Current/Former Lineal World Champions Defeated: 5 (Simon Brown TKO6; Felix Trinidad TKO12; Oscar De La Hoya TKO9; Ronald “Winky” Wright UD12; Kelly Pavlik UD12)
Current/Former Lineal World Champions Faced in Defeat: 2
(Jermain Taylor L12, L12; Joe Calzaghe L12)
Current/Former Alphabet Titlists Defeated: 8 (Lupe Aquino UD12; John David Jackson TKO7; Glen Johnson TKO11; Keith Holmes UD12; Carl Daniels TKO10; William Joppy UD12; Antonio Tarver UD12; Roy Jones Jr. UD12)
Current/Former Alphabet Titlists Faced in Defeat: 1 (Roy Jones Jr. L12)
Read the rest at: http://www.boxingscene.com/?m=show&id=31188