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Bernard Hopkins, Jr., known as the Executioner (born January 15, 1965, in Philadelphiamarker, Pennsylvaniamarker) is an Americanmarker boxer. He is best known for his ten year reign as middleweight world champion in which he successfully defended his title a record 20 times. He is the first fighter to retain all 4 major boxing governing body belts including the Ring Magazine belt in the same fight. He is the oldest man to ever hold the middleweight championship in professional boxing.

Background

Born to Bernard Hopkins Sr. and his wife Shirley. Bernard grew up in the Raymond Rosen projects with his family. Hopkins turned to crime early in his life, by the age of thirteen he was mugging people and had been stabbed three times. At seventeen Hopkins was sentenced to 18 years in Graterford Prisonmarker for nine felonies. While in prison he witnessed rapes and the murder of another inmate in an argument over a pack of cigarettes, but also discovered his passion for boxing. After serving almost five years, Hopkins was released from prison in 1988 and decided to use boxing as an escape from his previous life, and converted to Islam. While leaving the prison for the final time, the warden told Hopkins that he'll "see [Hopkins] again when you wind up back here," to which Hopkins replied "I ain't ever coming back here."

Professional career

He immediately joined the professional boxing ranks as a light heavyweight, losing his debut on October 11, 1988, in Atlantic City, New Jerseymarker to Clinton Mitchell. After a sixteen-month layoff, he resumed his career as a middleweight, winning a unanimous decision over Greg Paige at the Blue Horizonmarker on February 22, 1990.

Between February 1990 and September 1992, Hopkins scored 20 wins without a loss. He won 15 of those fights by knockout, 11 coming in the first round.

Roy Jones Jr.

His first chance at a world title came on May 22, 1993 in Washington, DCmarker, against American great Roy Jones Jr. for the vacant IBF middleweight belt. Hopkins lost by unanimous decision in a tactical bout. During a November 7, 2008 interview on XM/Sirius' Opie & Anthony Show, he said that he's been trying for another fight with Jones Jr. but Jones has been dodging him saying that he already defeated Hopkins. Hopkins argues he has floored two guys that beat Jones and that he thinks he's earned the right for another fight. Hopkins says that his first big payday was the Jones Jr. fight. Hopkins' purse was $700,000 but after everyone got their hands into it, he only received $80,000 and after taxes, it was less than $50,000. He said he didn't know to ask the questions "how and why" but that all changed when he learned the truth of his purses in federal court.

Winning the IBF middleweight championship

Jones abandoned the middleweight ranks in 1994, and the IBF came again knocking at Hopkins's door on December 17 of that year, matching him with Segundo Mercado in Mercado's hometown of Quito, Ecuadormarker. Mercado knocked Hopkins down twice before Hopkins rallied late and earned a draw. This remains the only time Hopkins has ever been knocked down. The fight was contested in a bull ring and in the midst of the civil war of Ecuador. It has been argued that Hopkins was also not properly acclimated to the altitude of nearly 10,000 feet.

The IBF called for an immediate rematch, and on April 29, 1995, Hopkins became a world champion with a seventh-round technical knockout victory in Landover, Marylandmarker.

In his first title defense he defeated Steve Frank, whom he stopped in twenty-four seconds. By the end of 2000, he had defended the IBF title 20 times without a loss, while beating such standouts as John David Jackson, Glen Johnson (undefeated at the time and later went on to knock out Roy Jones Jr), Simon Brown, and Antwun Echols.

2001 middleweight unification tournament

The arrival of multiple-division champion Félix Trinidad, a Welterweight into the middleweight ranks set off a series of unification fights between major titleholders. The fights involved in the tournament would be reigning IBF Middleweight Champion, Bernard Hopkins. WBC Middleweight Champion, Keith Holmes. WBA Middleweight Champion, William Joppy. The fourth contestant was former Welterweight & Light Middleweight World Champion and the undefeated Félix Trinidad.

Keith Holmes

On April 14, 2001, Hopkins won a unanimous decision over WBC champion Keith Holmes in New York Citymarker. Trinidad, however, knocked out Middleweight mainstay William Joppy in an impressive five rounds. This led to many to believe that Felix Trinidad was simply too much, too strong for Bernard Hopkins.

Felix Trinidad

Then, on September 29, WBA champion Trinidad challenged Hopkins for middleweight unification in Madison Square Gardenmarker.

For the first time in many years, Hopkins was an underdog in the betting which led the confident Hopkins to place a $100,000 bet on himself to win the bout. During promotion for the bout, Bernard Hopkins caused huge controversy by throwing the Puerto Rico flag on the floor in press conferences in both New Yorkmarker and Puerto Rico, the latter conference leading to a riot in which Hopkins had to be run to safety from the angry mob.

During the fight, Hopkins was on his way to a lopsided decision victory when in the 12th and final round he floored Trinidad and referee Steve Smoger called a halt to the fight after Trinidad's father entered the ring to stop the fight. It was the first loss of Trinidad's career, and made Hopkins the first undisputed world middleweight champion since Marvin Hagler in 1987. 'The Ring' magazine and the 'World Boxing Hall of Fame' named Hopkins as the 2001 Fighter of the Year.

Undisputed middleweight champion

He defended the undisputed title six times. Hopkins bested Carl Daniels on February 2, 2002, by tenth-round technical knockout; Morrade Hakkar on March 29, 2003, by eighth-round TKO; William Joppy on December 13, 2003, by unanimous decision; and Robert Allen on June 5, 2004, also by unanimous decision.

Oscar De La Hoya

In the highest paying fight of his career, Hopkins fought six-division titleholder Oscar de la Hoya, another welterweight for the undisputed middleweight championship on September 18, 2004, in Las Vegasmarker. The fight was fought at a catchweight of 158 lbs, two pounds below the middleweight limit of 160 lbs. Hopkins won the bout with a knockout in the ninth round with a left hook to the body and thus became the first boxer ever to unify the titles of all four major sanctioning bodies. At the time of the stoppage, Hopkins was ahead on two of the scorecards, while De La Hoya was ahead on the other scorecard.

In November 2004 de la Hoya invited Hopkins to join his boxing promotional firm, Golden Boy Promotions, as president of its new East Coastchapter.

Reaching Number 20 -Howard Eastman

Aged 40 years old, an age in which most boxers are retired. Bernard Hopkins reached the middleweight record of 20 title defenses on February 19, 2005, against ranked #1 WBC Middleweight contender Howard Eastman, the European middleweight champion. Hopkins dominated the fight from start to finish winning 119-110, 117-111 & 116-112

Hopkins vs Taylor

In his next fight on July 16, 2005, Hopkins lost his undisputed middleweight championship to Jermain Taylor via a split decision. Hopkins started slowly but came on strong over the second half of the fight. Many press row writers scored the fight for Hopkins. . Compubox round-by-round punch stats showed Taylor outscoring Hopkins 6-5-1 in total punches. Hopkins out landed Taylor in power punches 78-50.

On December 3, 2005, Hopkins lost his rematch against Jermain Taylor by unanimous decision. All three judges scored the fight 115-113 for Taylor.

Compubox statistics indicated that Hopkins landed more overall punches and significantly more power shots over the course of the fight, however these statistics may not accurately reflect the judging as rounds are scored in isolation.

Moving Up To Light Heavyweight — Antonio Tarver

Following his two losses to Jermaine Taylor, Hopkins at 41 decided not to retire and made the decision to jump two weight divisions to face off against The Ring light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver on June 10, 2006. Going into the fight, Tarver was a 3-to-1 favorite and had been the first man ever to knock Roy Jones Jr. out. Many now placed Tarver among the sports top competitors. He was constantly ranked in the P4P rankings. However, Bernard Hopkins picked up a lopsided unanimous decision, scoring 118-109 on all three judges scorecards.

Antonio Tarver also lost a $250,000 bet with Hopkins, after he failed to stop Hopkins in the first six rounds.

Return in 2007 - Winky Wright

On July 21, 2007, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Hopkins defended The Ring light heavyweight championship against former undisputed junior middleweight champion Winky Wright. During the weigh-in, Hopkins shoved Wright with an open-hand to the face, igniting a brawl between both fighters' entourages. Hopkins was fined $200,000 for instigating the brawl. Hopkins prevailed with a unanimous decision victory by scores of 117-111, 117-111 and 116-112.

Joe Calzaghe

On April 19, 2008, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Hopkins lost The Ring light heavyweight championship to Joe Calzaghe by split decision. Judges Chuck Giampa (116-111) and Ted Gimza (115-112) scored the fight for Calzaghe, while judge Adalaide Byrd (114-113) scored the fight for Hopkins.

Kelly Pavlik

On October 18, 2008, Hopkins met middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik at a catch-weight of 170 lbs, with Hopkins defeating the then-undefeated Pavlik via unanimous decision.

Future plans

After Tomasz Adamek knocked out Johnathon Banks of ESPN's Friday Night Fights, Hopkins immediately told ESPN's Dan Rafael that he was interested in moving up to cruiserweight to fight him, wishing to become the Ring Magazine cruiserweight champion of the world.

During the Ricky Hatton vs. Manny Pacquiao media conferences before their fight on May 1, 2009, Bernard Hopkins stated he would be "interested" in a proposed fight with British super middleweight champion Carl Froch.

A scheduled tune up fight on December 2, 2009 against Mexican boxer Enrique Ornelas is taking place after over a one year layoff for Hopkins.

Professional boxing record



See also



References

  1. Steve Bunce (2001-11-11) The forgotten prince Guardian. Retrieved on 2009-07-29.
  2. Duran, Coyote. "Still Waiting for Bernard Hopkins to Grow Old?" 15 July 2005.
  3. http://www.latinosportslegends.com/2001/Trinidad_Hopkins_riot_in_PR-071201.htm
  4. http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2004/Aug-21-Sat-2004/sports/24590920.html
  5. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2004/more/09/19/delahoya.hopkins/index.html


External links





  Vacated






















49 Wins (34 knockouts, 15 decisions), 5 Losses (5 decisions), 1 Draw, 1 No Contest
Res.
Record
Opponent
Type
Rd., Time
Date
Location
Notes
Enrique Ornelas
December 2, 2009 Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniamarker
Win
49-5-1

Kelly Pavlik
Unanimous Decision 12
October 18, 2008 Atlantic City, NJmarker
Loss
48-5-1

Joe Calzaghe
Split decision 12
April 19, 2008 Las Vegas, NV
Win
48-4-1

Ronald Wright
Unanimous decision 12
July 21, 2007 Las Vegas, NVmarker
Win
47-4-1

Antonio Tarver
Unanimous decision 12
June 10, 2006 Atlantic City, NJmarker
Loss
46-4-1

Jermain Taylor
Unanimous decision 12
December 3, 2005 Las Vegas, NV
Loss
46-3-1

Jermain Taylor
Split decision 12
July 16, 2005 Las Vegas, NV
Win
46-2-1

Howard Eastman
Unanimous decision 12
February 19, 2005 Los Angeles, CAmarker
Win
45-2-1

Oscar De La Hoya
KO 9 , 1:38
September 18, 2004 Las Vegas, NV
Win
44-2-1

Robert Allen
Unanimous decision 12
June 5, 2004 Las Vegas, NV
Win
43-2-1

William Joppy
Unanimous decision 12
December 13, 2003 Atlantic City, NJ
Win
42-2-1

Morrade Hakkar
TKO 8 , 3:00
March 29, 2003 Philadelphia, PAmarker
Win
41-2-1

Carl Daniels
TKO 10 , 3:00
February 2, 2002 Reading, PAmarker
Win
40-2-1

Felix Trinidad
TKO 12 , 1:18
September 29, 2001 New York City, NYmarker
Win
39-2-1

Keith Holmes
Unanimous decision 12
April 14, 2001 New York City, NY
Win
38-2-1

Antwun Echols
TKO 10 , 1:42
December 1, 2000 Las Vegas, NV
Win
37-2-1

Syd Vanderpool
Unanimous decision 12
May 13, 2000 Indianapolis, INmarker
Win
36-2-1

Antwun Echols
Unanimous decision 12
December 12, 1999 Miami, FLmarker
Win
35-2-1

Robert Allen
TKO 7 , 1:18
February 6, 1999 Washington, D.C.marker
NC
34-2-1

Robert Allen
No contest 4 , 2:57
August 28, 1998 Las Vegas, NV
Win
34-2-1
Simon Brown
TKO 6 , 1:00
January 31, 1998 Atlantic City, NJ
Win
33-2-1
Andrew Council
Unanimous decision 12
November 18, 1997 Upper Marlboro, MDmarker
Win
32-2-1
Glen Johnson
TKO 11 , 1:23
July 20, 1997 Indio, CAmarker
Win
31-2-1
John David Jackson
TKO 7 , 2:22
April 19, 1997 Shreveport, LAmarker
Win
30-2-1
William Bo James
TKO 11 , 2:02
July 16, 1996 Atlantic City, NJ
Win
29-2-1
Joe Lipsey
KO 4 , 2:50
March 16, 1996 Las Vegas, NV
Win
28-2-1
Steve Frank
TKO 1 , 0:24
January 27, 1996 Phoenix, AZmarker
Win
27-2-1
Segundo Mercado
TKO 7 , 1:10
April 29, 1995 Landover, MDmarker
Draw
26-2-1
Segundo Mercado
Draw 12
December 17, 1994 Quito, Ecuadormarker
Win
26-2
Lupe Aquino
Unanimous decision 12
May 17, 1994 Atlantic City, NJ
Win
25-2
Melvin Wynn
TKO 3, 0:48
February 26, 1994 Atlantic City, NJ
Win
24-2
Wendall Hall
TKO 3 , 0:28
November 23, 1993 Las Vegas, NV
Win
23-2
Roy Ritchie
TKO 7 , 1:47
August 3, 1993 Philadelphia, PA
Loss
22-2
Roy Jones, Jr.
Unanimous decision 12
May 22, 1993 Washington, D.C.
Win
22-1
Gilbert Baptist
Unanimous decision 12
February 16, 1993 Denver, COmarker
Win
21-1
Wayne Powell
TKO 1 , 0:21
December 4, 1992 Atlantic City, NJ
Win
20-1
Eric Rhinehart
KO 1, 1:47
September 14, 1992 Philadelphia, PA
Win
19-1
James Stokes
KO 1
August 28, 1992 Atlantic City, NJ
Win
18-1
Anibal Miranda
Decision 10
May 21, 1992 Paris, Francemarker
Win
17-1
Randy Smith
Decision 10
April 3, 1992 Atlantic City, NJ
Win
16-1
Dennis Milton
TKO 4
January 31, 1992 Philadelphia, PA
Win
15-1
Willie Kemp
Unanimous decision 10
December 13, 1991 Atlantic City, NJ
Win
14-1
David McCluskey
TKO 7
November 26, 1991 Philadelphia, PA
Win
13-1
Ralph Moncrief
TKO 1 , 1:28
September 23, 1991 Philadelphia, PA
Win
12-1
Danny Mitchell
KO 1
July 9, 1991 Philadelphia, PA
Win
11-1
Pedro Marquez
TKO 1
June 20, 1991 Parsippany, NJ
Win
10-1
Steve Langley
TKO 3 , 1:10
March 18, 1991 Las Vegas, NV
Win
9-1
Richard Quiles
KO 1
February 26, 1991 Philadelphia, PA
Win
8-1
Mike Sapp
TKO 1
November 17, 1990 Fort Myers, FLmarker
Win
7-1
Darrin Oliver
TKO 1
October 20, 1990 Atlantic City, NJ
Win
6-1
Percy Harris
Unanimous decision 6
August 5, 1990 Atlantic City, NJ
Win
5-1
Khalif Shabazz
KO 1, 0:36
June 30, 1990 Atlantic City, NJ
Win
4-1
Jouvin Mercado
TKO 2 , 0:43
May 31, 1990 Rochester, NYmarker
Win
3-1
Eddie Tyler
TKO 1
May 18, 1990 Atlantic City, NJ
Win
2-1
Keith Gray
TKO 1
April 26, 1990 Philadelphia, PA
Win
1-1
Greg Paige
Unanimous decision 4
February 22, 1990 Philadelphia, PA
Loss
0-1
Clinton Mitchell
Majority decision 4
October 11, 1988 Atlantic City, NJ

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