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List of Articles by Recah Trinidad



Tragic Hopkins, 51, still the big story

By Recah Trinidad
PhilBoxing.com
20 Dec 2016



BERNARD Hopkins crashed out of boxing in tragic fashion. The Executioner was slaughtered, knocked out from the ring by a killer barrage in the neutral corner. He landed on his head against the concrete floor.

It was a dismal ending.

A disgrace, a head-on fall into the dustbin of boxing?

Not too fast, please.

**

The big story here does not belong to Joe Smith, the winner and still WBA International light heavyweight champion.

The true big sports story was authored by Hopkins, 51, who suffered the first stoppage in his career.

Rang Smith, young enough to be Hopkins’ son, in fitting homage: “He was a true champion and if he didn’t get injured, he’d be back here. I had to finish him.”

**

Hopkins, a month short of his 52nd birthday, was visibly diminished. Still, the fight could’ve gone either way. Hopkins was fully competitive when the unexpected ending came in the 8th round.

Hopkins, who had fought the toughest, the finest, the baddest, got smashed with a right, ducked but failed to raise his right to cover his head. He got chopped by a thunderous left, followed by a barrage that sent him sailing out of the ring like a wet piece of laundry.

He had 20 seconds to get back into the ring, was up at the count of 13, but chose to stay out claiming a ripping pain in the ankle stalled him.

**

Of course, the hardboiled warrior, one of a kind, did not surrender.

He took defeat humbly, standing erect.

“I went out as a soldier. This is my last fight, I’ve come to that point in my life when it’s final,” he said.

**

He broke the record for middleweight title defenses at 37, became a light heavyweight champion at 46. He continued to be a world class fighter into his 6th decade. His final record: 55-8-2, with 32 KOs.

Hopkins was a statue of heroic dignity in farewell.

“I’m happy with my life and retirement,” he declared.

Tributes poured:

“He’s a man who tried what men shouldn’t and did what others couldn’t,” wrote David P. Greisman of BoxingScene. “He defied expectations, he defied odds, and all that defined him.”


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