LOS ANGELES – He is boxing’s ageless wonder. His accomplishments and legacy are timeless. Yet Bernard Hopkins still celebrates his birthday like everyone else and Golden Boy Promotions would like to wish “The Executioner” a very Happy Birthday when he celebrates his 46th tomorrow (January 15).
It’s an amazing number for an athlete who has defied the odds by remaining a member of boxing’s list of top pound-for-pound fighters, an exclusive club he has occupied for over a decade. His last fight, a stirring 12 round performance against WBC and Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight World Champion Jean Pascal in December, made it clear that the future Hall of Famer hasn’t lost a step.
Hopkins (51-5-2, 32 KO’s) hopes that his 47th year will bring him vindication in the form of a victory in a WBC mandated immediate rematch with Pascal following their controversial draw which almost all observers had Hopkins winning. With the record-breaking goal of becoming the oldest fighter to obtain a major world title in mind, Hopkins wants to beat Pascal in a rematch and continue his amazing ride of nearly 23 years as a professional that ironically began on October 11, 1988 with a four round decision loss to Clinton Mitchell.
In honor of Hopkins’ birthday, let’s take a look at the illustrious career of one of the greatest fighters of all time…
Following his pro debut loss, Hopkins won his next 22 fights before dropping a decision (later avenged) to Roy Jones Jr. in 1993. He would not taste defeat again for over 12 years.
On April 29, 1995, Hopkins stopped Segundo Mercado in seven rounds to win the IBF Middleweight World Title and held the crown for over 10 years. He made a record 20 title defenses against the likes of Glen Johnson, John David Jackson, Simon Brown, Antwun Echols, Keith Holmes, Felix Trinidad, William Joppy, Oscar de la Hoya and Howard Eastman.
Along the way Hopkins also added the Ring Magazine, WBC, WBA and WBO titles when he defeated De La Hoya in September of 2004 and became the first fighter to hold all four major sanctioning body championship titles in the same weight class at one time
Amazingly though, his best was yet to come, with Hopkins stunning the sports world by delivering some of his best performances after he turned 40 in 2005. Antonio Tarver, Winky Wright, Kelly Pavlik, Enrique Ornelas and Roy Jones Jr. have all fallen in bouts against “The Executioner” since his he celebrated the “big four-oh.”
It’s been a legendary run and the 46-year-old Hopkins is far from finished as his quest to stay among boxing’s elite continues. Cheers to 2011 being “Execution Time!”
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