Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report

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Bernard Hopkins: He’s Not Just An Alien, He’s a Legend

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By. BrotherJR

April 23, 2014

While watching Bernard Hopkins defeat Beibut Shumenov last Saturday night, you can’t help but be amazed at what you were witnessing. Sure some will say that Hopkins took advantage of a Shumenov who showed himself not to be an elite A level fighter. Other will say that once again Hopkins, who now calls himself “The Alien” once again feasted on an opponent tailor-made for him. And at a certain level that may be true. However, what can’t be denied is that for Hopkins, at age 49, what he’d doing is nothing short of amazing and unprecedented not just within boxing, but among all sports.

It wasn’t simply the fact of IBF Lt. Heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins defeating WBA champ Beibut Shumenov to partially unify the titles that made the bout so impressive, it was they way in which Hopkins did it at such and advanced age. When you step back and breakdown Hopkins win there are a few things that must be noted and acknowledged. First and foremost when it comes to the sweet science Bernard Hopkins is a boxing genius and his knowledge of the sport is right up there with anyone who has ever put on a pair of gloves and stepped inside the ring. Hopkins has the uncanny ability befuddle his opponents  by neutralizing their strengths, expose and highlight their weakness, then force you to fight at his pace. Hopkins punished Shumenov with the jab all fight long and when Shumenov was in the right position, struck with several overhand rights. That along with subtle movement, subtle yet effective shots to the body had Shumenov completely confused. Not only that Hopkins did something he’s rarely done at this point in his career, excite the crowd as he put Shumenov on the deck in round eleven courtesy of a beautiful short right had that had the DC Armory crowd in Washington, D.C. yelling “B-Hop, B-Hop, B-Hop!” Overall, it was a thorough and masterful performance by Hopkins.

When the 49-year-old (and I can’t emphasize this enough, dude is 49 years old!) Hopkins was asked how is able to keep doing this at this age? Hopkins explained “I’m special, in a way that is good, I don’t have to explain special. There is no definition for special. Special speaks for itself. I had a great night. I am a great champion.” In analyzing special, it all comes to mean a few things. Hopkins is a product of having great genetics combined with great discipline and will. Hopkins is a man who takes nothing for granted. In boxing Hopkins is social security age, yet still has a chip on his shoulder and fights with something to prove like he’s a man in his 20’s. Also, it cannot be overlooked how intelligence plays a part in Hopkins still kicking butt and taking names at this age. He knows of all aspects of fitness and conditioning with a great understanding of his body. Hopkins lives and trains like a monk who doesn’t just train hard, but trains smart. Hopkins knows that he can’t physically do now what he did in his prime and therefore has adjusted. He understands the value of rest as well as diet. Unlike so many young fighters today, Hopkins stays fit and trim in between fights (take notes Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. and Adrien Broner). He stays in shape instead of getting in shape. Why is that important? Because when he prepares for a fight, it becomes about being in the best possible shape and preparing for your opponent instead of spending most of your camp focusing on working extra hard to get down in weight and losing pounds. In short, B-Hop doesn’t get ready, he stays ready! Plus, Hopkins is a master of psychological warfare. He knows what to say outside of the ring before a fight to get inside an opponents head and knows all the tricks in the right to keep fighters confused, frustrated, and perplexed. You put all this together and that partially explains how Hopkins is doing what he’s doing at this stage of his career and life.

Upcoming for Hopkins is an anticipated showdown against WBC Lt. Heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson (provided Stevenson defeat Andrzej Fonfara on May 24). Should a Hopkins – Stevenson showdown take place, a lot of folks will say that Stevenson could be the guy to solve the Hopkins puzzle. Hopkins will once again be the older fighter (of course Hopkins is older than everyone he fights at this point) who would be facing a guy with skill speed and power. Stevenson could very well defeat Hopkins. Age and attrition could once and for all catch up with Hopkins. Of course, a lot of folks said that Beibut Shumenov would give Hopkins a tough fight and we saw what happened last Saturday night. Could Hopkins put the old-man tactics on a Stevenson like he did to Shumenov? Well this is Bernard Hopkins we’re talking about and given all that he’s accomplished, you should never the legendary Bernard Hopkins, even at age 49.

 

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April 24, 2014 - Posted by | Blog, Boxing | , ,

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