Boxing


Bernard Hopkins Puts An End To a Legendary Career With an Incredible Victory

11.06.06 - By Alden "The Kid"Chodash: In the Cinderella fairy tale, when the clock strikes twelve the magic is over, Cinderella must return to her original form. For Bernard Hopkins, the clock hasn't any hands. Hopkins made history Saturday June 10th when he captured what even the legendary Ray Robinson couldn't capture, the Light Heavyweight crown.. (Amazingly there was a ten year age difference between Hopkins and Robinson while they were challenging for the Light Heavyweight prize; Hopkins was 41, Robinson was 31.) As for Tarver, his clock might of struck twelve a hour early as "The Magic Man" could never emulate the shocking upset over Roy Jones in 2004 with the same magic. He definitely had a chance to do just that versus Hopkins.

The bout was billed as "The Fight to the Finish" because it was said to be the great B-Hop's last fight. Hopkins, preparing for the fight, brought in a great strength trainer in Mackie Shilstone to help him become a strong Light Heavyweight. Hopkins was also working with John David Jackson (trainer of Shane Mosley) and Naz Richardson while Tarver was working with Dudley Pierce and Buddy McGirt to prepare for his defense of the title. Pierce was the conditioning trainer and also the shredder of the extra weight gained while playing the role of Mason Dixon in "Rocky 6". To add fuel to the flame, Tarver made a quarter million dollar bet he would knock Hopkins out within five rounds. On Friday, both contestants made weight setting the stage.

Round one began with Hopkins moving and Tarver stalking. Hopkins showed more aggressiveness in some stages of the first than he did in both fights with Jermain Taylor and landed a little right uppercut to punctuate and probably steal the opening frame. Midway through the second Hopkins began to connect with his right leads with greater regularity and Tarver was beginning to show the effects of the rights. In the fifth Hopkins eluded a left by Tarver and countered him with a picture perfect right that sent Tarver stumbling back. Benjy Estevez saw Tarver's glove touch the canvas and broke the action to give Tarver a count. Tarver hadn't been given a count since Eric Harding downed him in 2000. From that point, Tarver just got weaker. A few times in the championship rounds, Hopkins had Tarver ready to go but the patient Hopkins didn't take any chances just collected his points. The decision read Hopkins unanimously 119-108. Hopkins just ended his career with the most spectacular finale I've seen in a while.

There was questions about Bernard's legacy after the two bouts with Taylor but after this showing, I don't think Hopkins' skeptics exist anymore. Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins with a record of 47-4, 32 by knockout not only is one of the greatest middleweights of all time, he may have made room for himself as one of the top twenty greatest fighters of all time.

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Alden "The Kid" Chodash is the newest and youngest member of the Boxing Writers Association of America as well as the webmaster of AldenBoxing.com.

Article posted on 11.06.2006



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