Shame on you Bernard Hopkins for losing to the best light heavyweight in the world. Shame on you Bernard Hopkins for losing to a man that’s 18 years your junior when you are on the verge of entering the 5th decade of your life. You are a 47 year old man still fighting top level competition when guys lose their prime in their 30’s, some even before. Chad Dawson said it himself, “The age maybe 47 on paper but I felt like I was in there with a 35 year old fighter.”
Never quiet before the fight, Bernard Hopkins was away from the media and closed from the public. At the post fight presser, his mood seemed even more somber. Somber enough to make one feel that he was going to walk away from the fight game as a fighter. “I helped start a great company in Golden Boy promotions. I have much more to give to the game. I know I can be a good teach and good mentor to fighters coming up”, said Hopkins at the post fight presser.
Hopkins has had a hall of fame career. His run at middleweight with over 20 defenses is legendary. His upsets over Kelly Pavlik, Tito Trinidad, and Jean Pascal are stamps on Hopkins legacy as world shocking moments. But even the Strong Bhop contingent must admit that his days of beating the young elite in the division have come and gone.
“I don’t know if this was my swan song but when’s the last time you seen a 47 year old fight his ass off. I sit here with you with my shoulders aching”. Things like that make you wonder if Bernard even has any motivation left. Yes, I know he’s a gym rat but you could see effects of age on his body compared to the definition in Chad Dawson’s body. How many more training camps can the old man endure to prepare himself for elite competition?
Hopkins is still a relevant name in boxing but his performance Saturday wasn’t one to excite you for a repeat performance. Yes, Hopkins hasn’t been the most entertaining but the volume of punches and his predictability of coming in with his head can only wear so thin on the television audience.
Bernard Hopkins may not be able to beat Chad Dawson. He may not be able to beat Andre Ward. But there are fights out there that he can win and make a nice buck off. Hopkins-Cleverly is big business in the United Kingdom and that’s a fight Bernard can win. He also can win fights versus Tavoris Cloud and has already shown he could beat Jean Pascal twice.
But the question of the day is does he even want that? Do we even want that? Bernard was speaking for Bernard the man not Bernard the boxer as the press conference. “I talk here as Bernard the man and not the boxer. I put my work in and my success inside and out the ring is a testament of the hard work in my success”, Hopkins told the media.
We can respect that but I for one can attest that this maybe the time to for Bhop to bow out. There is no shame in going out in defeat especially to a fight where he was a major underdog. There’s no shame in going out in defeat after Hopkins took a fight he didn’t want the first time and maybe didn’t want the second time. There’s no shame in bowing out in legendary Boardwalk hall in Atlantic just minutes away from his hometown of Philadelphia. Bernard did it his way and more likely than not will bow out on his own terms. He’s a bad man as his intro song suggested and he sure wasn’t afraid to show it in his long storied career. But one must wonder how long will Hopkins go on? Will another loss hurt his legacy? Hopkins will let us know his future in the upcoming weeks but there was no shame in losing the way he did and to who he did and I hope that he bows out gracefully unless he figures to go out with a big win in the United Kingdom against Cleverly. Whatever happens much respect to a legend.