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Hopkins

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In the world of sports, we often make a big deal about age.  In football, we rave about how guys like Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson keep bringing it during their golden years.  Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter were praised endlessly for their consistancy/longevity in baseball.  We still hear about how amazing it is that the San Antonio Spurs "Big Three" keep playing at such a high level.


Yet for some reason Bernard Hopkins, and his record breaking career, have flown under the radar.  Now I don't believe this has anything to do with race, despite the accusations by "the Alien", but I do find it confusing.  In team sports, you have other guys battling in the trenches with you, taking some of the weight off your shoulders.  You can have sit out for a stretch to get a breather.  Yet in boxing it's just you and your opponent in that ring, which makes what Hopkins is doing much more impressive.  Almost magical.


On May 21st, 2011, Bernard Hopkins became the oldest boxer to ever win a world championship.  That was three and a half years ago.  In Atlantic City on Saturday, he has the chance to extend his own record, taking on Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev.  He will be just 2 months and 7 days shy of his 50th birthday.


In boxing we often hear about washed up boxers hanging on too long.  Former house hold names collecting a check at some VFW Hall against a never was.  Punch drunk but refusing to put down the gloves.  This is NOT the case with Hopkins.  Is he still in his prime?  No, of course not.  At one point Bernard Hopkins was the best pound for pound fighter in the world, and is probably the second past boxer of our generation, trailing only Roy Jones Jr.  But "the Alien" can still bring it.  He holds the IBF and WBA Light Heavyweight Titles.  In April, he beat then undefeated champion Beibut Shumenov.  Now he faces his toughest opponent in years.  Sergey Kovalev wasn't just given the nickname "Krusher" for nothing.  The dude can throw.  Although his resume isn't as prolific as Hopkins, he has beaten some good fighters, including Gabriel Campillo and Nathan Cleverly.  He's the real life Ivan Drago, literally killing a guy in the ring in 2011.


I honestly don't know who is going to win this fight.  Although Sergey is slightly favored, most experts have called this a toss up fight.  But if Hopkins can beat Kovalev, he will have a chance at the golden age of 50 to unify the light heavyweight championship.  Maybe then he will get the national attention he deserves.  Because this story is too good to fly under the radar.


 

Big Country

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 



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