Bernard Hopkins Oldest World Champion Ever – Defying Age

Published On March 6, 2013 | By Niall Doran | Boxing News

Bernard Hopkins Oldest World Champion Ever – Defying Age

Bernard Hopkins Oldest World Champion Ever - Defying Age

By Niall Doran

This Saturday Bernard Hopkins challenges Tavoris Cloud for his IBF Light Heavyweight Title in Brookyln New York. It could mark another historical night for the 48 year old Hopkins who will bid to break his own record of being the oldest professional world champion in boxing history.

The fact he will even be getting into a boxing ring at 48 (let alone locking horns with a young unbeaten world champion in Cloud) is an incredible accomplishment in itself. I have always been a big fan of Hopkins, a man who against all odds turned his life around through boxing having served almost 5 years in prison from the ages of around 17-22. It was during this time of incarceration that the man known as ‘The Executioner’ developed his love for boxing and fundamental understanding of the craft. Before he left prison he essentially became jailhouse champion of the Pennsylvania State Correctional Facility vowing never to return there upon his release. The wardens joked he would be back just like how most men from that environment eventually succumb to repeat offences, but Hopkins was true to his word, he never did end up back there.

Instead he started a blossoming professional career full of determination and dedication. No more alcohol, no more substances like in his younger days. In fact Hopkins lost his very first pro fight, this in itself would usually discourage most young fighters. Not Hopkins though. It only added fuel and fire to his burning desire to reach the pinnacle of his newly chosen profession of prizefighting. He went on to become arguably one of the greatest middleweights of all time, amassing a record of most title defenses that still stands today. His career has showcased many things and he will be remembered for many reasons; his fantastic skills & ring craft, his ability to get inside an opponent’s head and an indomitable will to succeed. Perhaps he is one of the most driven fighters in history.

Can he shock the world once more and upset the apple cart? So many times it seems he has been underdog with the so called experts and bookmakers – Felix Trinadad, Antonio Tarver, Kelly Pavlik, Jean Pascal. It seems like this underdog status drives him on to excel even further than his already capable ability allows. This steely determination I suspect emanates from the harsh environment and reality that Hopkins was once accustomed to and apart of as a young man growing up. Who’s to say he can’t upset the odds once more this Saturday? I certainly think he has every chance.

The big question is will Hopkins’ age show and will he get old over night? I tend to think he is honest enough with himself (and certainly clever enough) to know whether or not he can still mix it and compete with these young lions. And Cloud certainly is a young lion with an impressive unbeaten record who no doubt will look to make Hopkins fight every second of every round. I just don’t think Cloud has the type of all round game to stop the genius of a Bernard Hopkins, particularly at this early stage of his career. He’s just too green I think for someone with the experience of a Hopkins.

Bernard Hopkins always uses something as an edge or a motivator for every fight he’s in. This week it’s Don King. As Cloud is more or less the last top fighter King has under his promotion, Hopkins is looking to use this as his motivation. There clearly is no love lost between Hopkins and King with Hopkins quoted (on why he wants to beat Tavoris Cloud) ‘I want to put Don King out of business’.

Good man Bernard. My prediction – Hopkins decision in a typically rough and scrappy affair which will forever cement the legacy of ‘The Executioner’.

Bernard Hopkins oldest world champion currently, and perhaps a record that may never be broken.

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About The Author

Niall Doran
Founder of Boxing News and Views (@NiallerDoran). Writer at the Huffington Post. Digital marketing guy. Journalist. Irish tech entrepreneur. Avid Yellow M&M's hound! Favourite boxing related quote: "It's the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen." - Muhammad Ali

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