Tag Archives: Golden Boy Promotions

Can Bernard Hopkins Stop Hard-Hitting Sergey Kovalev?

7 Aug

By Chris Murray

For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun

Bernard Hopkins will take on unbeaten Sergey Kovalev in a light heavyweight unification bout sometime in November. Photo by Chris Murray.

Bernard Hopkins will take on unbeaten Sergey Kovalev in a light heavyweight unification bout sometime in November. Photo by Chris Murray.

PHILADELPHIA—For his latest age-defying act against “Father Time” in the square circle, the 49-year-old Bernard Hopkins will take on rising unbeaten World Boxing Organization champion Sergey “The Krusher” Kovalev in a light-heavyweight unification bout.

Hopkins, who now calls himself the “Alien,” is looking to beat up on another younger, stronger,faster fighter. But this fight, which is scheduled to place in November either at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City or the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn —two months before his 50th birthday (Jan.15), might be the toughest in his continuing battle against aging in the ring.

Unbeaten WBO Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev is fresh off a second round knockout of Blake Caparello on Aug. 2.

Unbeaten WBO Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev is fresh off a second round knockout of Blake Caparello on Aug. 2.

Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 knockouts) is fresh off a devastating second-round knockout of previously unbeaten Australian Blake Caparello. In that fight, Kovalev bounced back from a flash knockdown by Caparello and then knocked him down three times before the referee called a halt to the bout at the 1:47 mark of the second round.

What makes Kovalev a tough matchup for Hopkins is that he might be the hardest puncher that the age-defying Hopkins has met at this stage of his career.

Kovalev is a methodical, straight forward fighter who can hurt you with either hand. The unbeaten Russian is a disciplined fighter who can break another fighter down by going to the body before going to the head. The first knockdown against Caparello was the result of a devastating right to the body that was pretty much the beginning of the end.

The 31-year-old native of Cheylabinsk, Russia, has knocked out his last nine opponents.

But Hopkins, who holds the International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association light heavyweight titles, has been in the ring against several hard-charging, hard punching fighters like Kelly Pavlik and Antonio Tarver and has come out of those battles victorious.

Hopkins seems to relish those matches against aggressive young fighters who like to come forward so he can so he can find their weaknesses and take advantage of them. That’s why Hopkins is confident that he will get the same result against the hard-punching Kovalev and the be the oldest boxer to hold an undisputed title.

“I’ve set and broken many records, but becoming the oldest undisputed light heavyweight champion is the goal and Kovalev stands in the way of that goal,” Hopkins said. “He’s another young, hungry and just like the ones that came before him, he will leave the ring beltless.”

Over the years, I’ve learned to never to underestimate guts and guile of Hopkins. I have counted him out on numerous occasions as being too old. I have also predicted that there was going to come a point to where he was going to age in the ring.

But the crazy part about is that Hopkins has managed to prove me and several of his critics wrong more often than naught. Heck, even in his losses he hasn’t been beaten to a pulp. He has had very few cuts on his face and hasn’t been staggered or knocked down.

The big question here is whether or not Hopkins vast defensive skills and experience will be enough to withstand the vicious onslaught of Kovalev. This is a guy who has enough power in both hands to either knock another fighter into next week or have him eating soup for a few weeks with a vicious shot to the body.

“He says he is alien. He punch, I punch, then we see who gonna go to Mars,” Kovalev said.

While it’s easy for us to wonder why the hell Hopkins is back in the ring at his age in another battle against a younger, stronger, faster fighter capable of hastening his retirement with one punch, you have to give Hopkins credit for making it interesting.

It’s like an addictive reality show because with Hopkins you want to know what’s going to happen next.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

At 47, Bernard Hopkins says, “Maybe I’m Just Better”

18 Apr

In their first fight Oct.15 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Chad Dawson tackles Bernard Hopkins and hurls into the canvas. The fight end as a TKO for Dawson that was later ruled a no-contest by the California State Athletic Commission.

By Chris Murray

For the Sunday Sun and the Chris Murray Report

Legendary fighter Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins said he has no secrets for his success in recent years against younger, stronger, faster fighters like Antonio Tarver and Kelly Pavlik.

In a career that spans over 24 years and a multitude of title fights against some of the great fighers of all-time, the 47-year-old Hopkins said it has nothing to do with strategy or even his years of experience in the ring.

“Has anybody thought or just think that maybe I’m just better than the generation in the last 12 or 10 years. Maybe I’m just better. Has anybody ever thought that it ain’t the mind games. It ain’t that Bernard Hopkins got the look that he can bully a fighter before a punch is thrown. I disagree with people who say what I do is about a head game,” Hopkins said in a conference call this week with reporters.

“When you take away the person’s ability to do what you want him to do, they say it’s mental like I did something underhanded, under the table or against the rules and you flat out beat a guy because maybe I’m just better.”

Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KOs) will get another chance to prove his greatness against the younger “Bad” Chad Dawson (30-1-0, 17 KOs) for the WBC Light-Heavyweight title on April 28 at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk.

The last fight between the two fighters had a controversial ending. In the second round of that first fight, which took place Oct. 15 at the Staples Center Los Angeles, Dawson threw Hopkins onto the canvas and separated his shouldder .

The fight ended with a TKO for Dawson that was eventually overturned and ruled a no-contest by the California State Athletic Commission. That ruling allowed Hopkins to keep his World Boxing Council light heavyweight title.

Many boxing observers thought Dawson was in control of the brief fight. Meanwhile, the 29-year-old Dawson, along with his promoter Gary Shaw, contend that Hopkins was faking and didn’t want to go through with the rest of the fight.

“I have every advantage, I’ve got the fire in my eyes and people saw that in the last fight. I really wanted to go out and I really wanted to beat Bernard Hopkins,” Dawson said. “Bernard had other plans. I keep saying this Bernard did not want to be in the ring with me that night. Maybe he undertrained and didn’t expect to see what he saw that night. Maybe he needed more time to get in shape, but I’m here and I’m for real, I’m coming to fight.”

As he usually does Hopkins is relishing the underdog role and another chance to prove Father Time wrong and boxing media pundits wrong. Every time he was supposed to look like a man in his 40s, Hopkins has found enough power to befuddle his younger opponents.

“At the end of the day, whether it’s I’m an underdog because they say I should be an underdog, I’m going to continue to show that you might have an opinion whatever, but that don’t mean you have to be right,” Hopkins said. “It’s my job to prove it come April 28th . I’ve been right more than I’ve been wrong. April 28th is the only thing that I want to say, the only I want to show and you’re going to see it when you come up and shake my hand and tell me how great I am I’m going to say thank you and go back to sleeping in my own bed, something I haven’t done in the last nine weeks.”

With each victory over younger opponents, his dogged determination to not age in the ring and a Spartan-like training regimen, Hopkins has managed to stay relevant in a sport that has few very stars that are known beyond its base of hard core fans.

“Any and every big name that was around his weight class in the last 20 years, he has fought and won against,” said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “I think that’s what built the status he has which is a legendary status. He did make history because he beat George Foreman’s record to be the oldest champion ever. You add all things together and people are taking notice that this is a very special athlete and that’s what makes Bernard Hopkins so popular.”

But Dawson and Shaw believes it’s time for Hopkins to exit the stage.

“If it goes 12 rounds, I want to win 11`or 12 of those rounds,” Dawson said. “I’m looking to go out and beating Bernard in a great fashion that no one can say, but this or but that. I don’t want a close fight I want to beat him decisively.”

Added Shaw: “I promise you Chad Dawson will walk out of that ring victorious. He’ll have the Ring (Magazine) belt, he will have the WBC belt and I wish Bernard Hopkins a lot of luck on his entry into the (Boxing) Hall of Fame.”