Tag Archives: International Boxing Federation

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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Champions in the Fight Against Hunger in Philly

26 Nov

 

Bernard Hopkins and Danny Garcia Help give away holiday turkeys in West Philadelphia

By Chris Murray

For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun

From left to right-Craig Stroman, CEO and founder of We Feed the Homeless Philly', Angel Garcia, father and trainer of Danny Garcia, world light heavyweight champion, world junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia and Chad Dion Lassiter, executive director of the American Red Cross House in West Philadelphia. Photo by Chris Murray.

From left to right-Craig Stroman, CEO and founder of We Feed the Homeless Philly’, Angel Garcia, father and trainer of Danny Garcia, world light heavyweight champion, world junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia and Chad Dion Lassiter, executive director of the American Red Cross House in West Philadelphia. Photo by Chris Murray.

PHILADELPHIA—Both International Boxing Federation light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins and WBC/WBA light welterweight champion Danny Garcia have had a whirlwind year inside the ring in 2013. They are both coming off huge victories and are considered among the best pound-for-poundboxers in their sport.

On Monday, Hopkins and Garcia joined forces with We Feed the Homeless Philly and the American Red Cross House on Powelton Avenue to give 450 holiday turkeys to low-income families in Mantua and residents of the Red Cross House. Turkey recipients braved cold temperatures and stood in a line that was about a block long.

Hopkins said both he and Garcia with all the success that they’ve enjoyed this season are blessed to be back in the community to be able to help people.

“Thank God you’re in position to be giving out turkeys and that you’re not receiving one,” Hopkins said. “That could be you in that line.”

Hopkins and Garcia passing out holiday turkeys to low-income residents of West Philly. Photo by Chris Murray.

Hopkins and Garcia passing out holiday turkeys to low-income residents of West Philly. Photo by Chris Murray.

While Hopkins and Garcia are known worldwide as champions in their sport, their concern for the families in their hometown makes them champions as people as well.

“There’s joy in transcending self to serve others,” said Chad Dion Lassister, executive director of the Red Cross House. “One of the amazing things about Bernard Hopkins and Danny Garcia is they fundamentally understand that they have multiple identities. They’re not just champs, they also come from these communities and it’s great to give back. It means so much.”

The turkey giveaway was part of We Feed the Homeless Philly’s efforts to deal with the organization’s ongoing effort to deal with the city’s hunger crisis, said Craig Stroman, founder and CEO of the organization. Places like Mantua are among the city’s most impoverished areas of the city and while events like this help ease the pain of hunger for the holidays in these areas, more help is needed, he said.

“We appreciate the champs for coming out, but what we need to be focused on is a hunger problem in our city,” Stroman said. “This is what we do 365 days a year. We worry about the hungry in our communities. We feed the homeless and we feed poor families across the citywho call us for help. “We decided to do this partnership with the Red Cross House to try get as many people we can feed in this Mantua section, which is one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. We wanted to help and give people turkeys so they can sit with their families with dignity during the Thanksgiving holiday.”

For Garcia, who is coming off a big win over heavily-favored Lucas Matthysse and a victory earlier this year over Zab Judah, coming out to give turkeys to the city’s poor is the highlight of what has been a good year for him personally.

“It feels great to give back to my community and give back to the Philadelphia community means a lot to me,” Garcia said. “I’m thankful, man because this means more to me than anything because there’s a lot of people out there who are not fortunate to have a good dinner. Today was about the people.”