|Birth Day:||January 15, 1965|
|Birth Place:||Philadelphia, United States|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
He discovered his passion for boxing while serving a prison sentence during his teenage years.
During the fight, Hopkins was on his way to a lopsided decision victory when, in the 12th and final round, he floored Trinidad. Referee Steve Smoger called a halt to the fight after Trinidad's father (who was also his trainer) entered the ring to stop the fight. It was the first loss of Trinidad's career, and it made Hopkins the first undisputed world middleweight champion since Marvin Hagler in 1987. 'The Ring' magazine and the 'World Boxing Hall of Fame' named Hopkins as the 2001 Fighter of the Year.
Born to Bernard Hopkins Sr. and his wife Shirley, Bernard grew up with his family in the Raymond Rosen housing project in Philadelphia. Hopkins turned to crime early in his life. By the age of thirteen he was mugging people and had been stabbed three times. At seventeen, Hopkins was sentenced to 18 years in Graterford Prison for nine felonies. While in prison he witnessed the murder of another inmate in an argument over a pack of cigarettes, but also discovered his passion for boxing. After serving almost five years, Hopkins was released from prison in 1988. He then decided to use boxing as an escape from his previous life, and converted to Islam. While Hopkins was leaving the prison for the final time, the warden told him he'd "see [Hopkins] again when you wind up back in here", to which Hopkins replied "I ain't ever coming back here." Later, Hopkins attributed his personal discipline to his experiences and time spent in Graterford Prison.
Hopkins immediately joined the professional boxing ranks as a light heavyweight, losing his debut on October 11, 1988, in Atlantic City, New Jersey to Clinton Mitchell. After a sixteen-month layoff, he resumed his career as a middleweight, winning a unanimous decision over Greg Paige at the Blue Horizon on February 22, 1990.
Between February 1990 and December 1992, Hopkins scored 21 wins without a loss. He won 16 of those fights by knockout, 12 coming in the first round.
Hopkins met Roy Jones on May 22, 1993 for the vacant IBF middleweight title. Hopkins was out-pointed throughout most of the fight, en route to losing a unanimous decision. All three judges scored the fight 116–112 for Jones.
The IBF called for an immediate rematch, and on April 29, 1995, Hopkins became a world champion with a seventh-round technical knockout victory in Landover, Maryland.
Hopkins did not contact trainer Naazim Richardson to train him for his final bout, instead having Kovalev's trainer John David Jackson, a former boxer whom Hopkins defeated in 1997, train him.
On April 14, 2001, Hopkins won a unanimous decision over WBC champion Keith Holmes in New York City. Trinidad, however, knocked out Middleweight mainstay William Joppy in an impressive five rounds. This led many to believe that Félix Trinidad was simply too much and too strong for Hopkins.
Then, on September 29, 2001, WBA champion Trinidad challenged Hopkins for middleweight unification in Madison Square Garden. The fight was originally scheduled for September 15, but the 9/11 attacks postponed it by two weeks.
Hopkins was coached by Philadelphia-based English "Bouie" Fisher from 1989 until their split in 2002 which resulted in Fisher taking Hopkins to court, claiming he was underpaid by $255,000. They re-united in 2003, but split again in 2005, again with Fisher claiming to be underpaid, this time to the tune of $200,000. Naazim Richardson, Fishers long-term assistant took over as Hopkins' head coach from 2005. Fisher won the Eddie Futch-John F.X. Condon Award, awarded by the Boxing Writers Association of America, for Trainer of the Year in 2001. Bouie died aged 83 in June 2011.
He defended the undisputed title six times. Hopkins bested Carl Daniels on February 2 surpassing Carlos Monzón's division record of 14 defenses, 2002, by tenth-round technical knockout; Morrade Hakkar on March 29, 2003, by eighth-round TKO; William Joppy on December 13, 2003, by unanimous decision; and Robert Allen on June 5, 2004, also by unanimous decision.
In the highest-paying fight of his career, Hopkins fought six-division titleholder Oscar De La Hoya for the undisputed middleweight championship on September 18, 2004, in Las Vegas. They fought at a catch weight of 158 lbs, two pounds below the middleweight limit of 160 lbs. Hopkins won the bout by knockout in the ninth round with a left hook to the body and thus became the first boxer ever to unify the titles of all four major sanctioning bodies. At the time of the stoppage, Hopkins was ahead on two of the scorecards, with De La Hoya ahead on the other. Hopkins earned a career high of $10 million and De La Hoya made $30 million.
In November 2004, De la Hoya invited Hopkins to join his boxing promotional firm, Golden Boy Promotions, as president of its new East Coast chapter.
At 40 years old, an age at which most boxers are retired, Hopkins reached the middleweight record at the time of 19 consecutive title defenses on February 19, 2005, against ranked #1 WBC contender Howard Eastman, the European middleweight champion. Hopkins dominated the fight from start to finish, winning 119–110, 117–111 and 116–112.
In his next fight on July 16, 2005, Hopkins lost his undisputed middleweight championship to Jermain Taylor via a split decision. Hopkins started slowly but came on strong over the final four rounds. Many press row writers scored the fight for Hopkins.
Following his two losses to Jermain Taylor, Hopkins at 41 decided not to retire and made the decision to jump two weight divisions to face off against The Ring light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver on June 10, 2006. Going into the fight, Tarver was a 3-to-1 favorite and had been the first man ever to TKO Roy Jones Jr. Many now placed Tarver among the sports top competitors. He was constantly ranked in the P4P rankings. However, Bernard Hopkins picked up a lopsided unanimous decision, scoring 118–109 on all three judges scorecards.
On July 21, 2007, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Hopkins defended The Ring light heavyweight championship against former undisputed junior middleweight champion Winky Wright. During the weigh-in, Hopkins shoved Wright with an open-hand to the face, igniting a brawl between both fighters' entourages. Hopkins was fined $200,000 for instigating the brawl. Hopkins prevailed with a unanimous decision victory by scores of 117–111, 117–111 and 116–112.
On December 7, 2007, Hopkins and Calzaghe met face to face in the media room set up for the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Ricky Hatton fight. Hopkins and Calzaghe began shouting insults and taunting each other, with Hopkins shouting, "You're not even in my league! I would never let a white boy beat me. I would never lose to a white boy. I couldn't go back to the projects if I let a white boy beat me." Hopkins would later explain his comments, saying that it was not meant to be taken as a racial slur or a reflection of his feelings on white fighters, but simply said to create some hype for his fight with Calzaghe. On January 23, 2008, the fight was officially announced to take place on April 19, 2008, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Hopkins lost the fight.
On April 19, 2008, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Hopkins lost The Ring light heavyweight title to Joe Calzaghe via split decision (116–111 and 115–112 for Joe Calzaghe; 114–113 for Hopkins). Hopkins started the fight well, dropping Calzaghe in the first round and using his ring savvy to confuse the challenger. Calzaghe did however quickly adapt to the style of Hopkins and caught up in the middle to later rounds using his superior hand speed and output volume, leading to a split decision win for the Welshman.
On October 18, 2008, Hopkins met middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik in a non-title fight at a catch-weight of 170 lbs. Fans and pundits alike felt that knockout king Kelly Pavlik would become the first man to knock Hopkins out. Pavlik was a 4–1 betting favourite heading into the contest. On the night of the fight, Hopkins turned back the clock to produce a performance he claimed to be the best of his career winning a unanimous decision (117–109, 119–106, 118–108) over the undefeated Pavlik. Hopkins prepared for this fight in the late summer heat at his second home, Danny Hawk's "World Famous" Normandy Gym in Miami Beach, Florida.
During the Ricky Hatton vs. Manny Pacquiao media conferences before their fight on May 3, 2009, Hopkins stated he would be "interested" in a proposed fight with British super middleweight champion Carl Froch.
On December 2, 2009, Bernard Hopkins fought in his home city of Philadelphia for the first time since 2003 beating Enrique Ornelas via 12-round unanimous decision (120–109, 119–109 & 118–110) in what served as a tune-up bout for the 44-year-old Hopkins who had not fought since his October 18, 2008 12-round upset victory over undisputed middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik.
Hopkins and old foe Roy Jones Jr. agreed to fight in a rematch on April 3, 2010 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The two boxers fought again 17 years after their first bout in 1993. Hopkins defeated Jones by a unanimous decision in a 12-round bout marred by illegal blows and a skirmish at the end of the sixth round involving ring entourage, the referee and security guards. Judges Don Trella and Glenn Trowbridge scored it 117–110 for Hopkins, while Dave Moretti favored him 118–109. The Associated Press had it 119–108, scoring 11 of 12 rounds for Hopkins.
He then challenged WBA Heavyweight Champion David Haye who had successfully defended his title against John Ruiz. Following Hopkins challenge, Haye ruled out the fight stating Bernard was only looking for a payday. Hopkins later stated his intentions to fight Lucian Bute following Bute's third-round technical knockout victory over Edison Miranda. Golden Boy Promotions also tried to approach retired boxer Joe Calzaghe for a potential rematch in 2010, but Calzaghe, who stated he no longer had the appetite, turned the offer down.
At 45 years old, Hopkins fought Lineal/WBC/The Ring light-heavyweight champion Jean Pascal on December 18, 2010 at the Colisée Pepsi in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. The bout ended in a majority draw decision. Judge Steve Morrow had it 114–112 for Hopkins, but was overruled by Claude Paquette (113–113) and Daniel Van de Wiele (114–114). Following the controversy of the fight, WBC chairman José Sulaimán sanctioned an immediate rematch.
In late 2010, Hopkins suggested that African American fighters who possessed what he described as a "slick" inner-city style of fighting would be successful against Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao. "Maybe I'm biased because I'm black, but I think that this is what is said at people's homes and around the dinner table among black boxing fans and fighters. Most of them won't say it [in public] because they're not being real and they don't have the balls to say it. But I do think that a fighter like the Ray Leonards or anyone like that would beat a guy [like Pacquiao] if they come with their game. Listen, this ain't a racial thing, but then again, maybe it is. But the style that is embedded in most of us black fighters, that style could be a problem to any other style of fighting."
On May 21, 2011, at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Hopkins defeated Pascal by unanimous decision to capture the lineal/WBC/The Ring light-heavyweight championships. The official scores were 115–113 from Guido Cavalleri of Italy, 116–112 from judge Rey Danseco of the Philippines, and 115–114 from Thailand's Anek Hongtongkam. With the win, Hopkins became the oldest man in the history of the sport to win a major world title, supplanting George Foreman, who had previously held the distinction after his knockout victory over Michael Moorer. Hopkins won at 46 years, 4 months, 6 days, while Foreman was 45 years, 10 months. After the bout, ESPN columnist Dan Rafael stated: "Bernard Hopkins already had lived several boxing lifetimes, but he was born yet again in Saturday's decision over Jean Pascal, becoming the oldest champion in history."
Hopkins told the world of boxing that his next fight was going to be against former champion Chad Dawson. They fought on October 15, 2011. Hopkins lost via TKO for being unable to continue after injuring his shoulder when Dawson threw him off of his back.
On May 11, 2011, Hopkins questioned Minnesota Vikings quarterback Donovan McNabb's racial credentials in a Philadelphia Daily News online article. Marcus Hayes of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that according to Hopkins, McNabb had a privileged childhood in suburban Chicago and, as a result, is not black enough or tough enough, at least compared with, say, himself, Michael Vick and Terrell Owens. Hopkins said, "He's got a suntan. That's all... McNabb is the guy in the house, while everybody else is on the field... He's the one who got the extra coat. The extra servings... He thought he was one of them."
A rematch with Dawson was set for April 28, 2012. Hopkins lost the bout via majority decision. Hopkins would not fight again in 2012, making it the first calendar year since 1989 that he did not win a fight.
Hopkins would make his return to the ring on March 9, 2013 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, against IBF Light Heavyweight Champion and Ring No. 2 ranked Light Heavyweight, Tavoris Cloud. Hopkins broke his own record becoming the oldest man in the history of the sport to win a major world boxing title, by defeating Cloud by unanimous decision.
Hopkins defended the IBF Light Heavyweight Championship against Karo Murat on October 26, 2013. The mandatory title defense was originally scheduled for July 13, 2013, but was later postponed due to visa issues for Murat. In the meantime, the IBF originally made Sergey Kovalev Hopkins's new mandatory challenger, but Kovalev instead faced and beat then WBO champion Nathan Cleverly to win the title, so Murat was reinstated as the IBF mandatory challenger and the bout was rescheduled for October 26, 2013. Hopkins won by unanimous decision with two scores of 119–108 and one of 117–110.
In late 2013 he again suggested that African Americans possess a "slick" style of boxing which is superior to other styles (presumably practiced by non-African Americans). "The great Sugar Ray Leonard, right now, if he was boxing, the way that they want you to fight, the people that pull the strings of the puppet, he would be boring today. Ray Robinson – the great Robinson – would be boring today…Because the feeders of the people that buy entertainment. They're being fed that if they duck, don't buy it. If they're slick, and they beat [their opponent] nine out of the 12 rounds, and the guy just can't hit him because they were slick and smart enough to hit and not get hit, 'He's not crowd-pleasing, he don't sell tickets.' Because they done fed the followers and they done fed [that] to the customers. The customers will drink anything that you give them if it's promoted right…But when you take away the skill and you take away the slick, and you take away the boxing ability and say that's not entertaining, or that's not entertainment, then, to me, it's like trying to erase a culture that you know has dominated the sport way back then where you were slick. And I'm talking about black fighters. Yes, I said it", said Hopkins.
Hopkins fought Beibut Shumenov in a championship unification bout on April 19, 2014, where Hopkins would be defending the IBF Light Heavyweight title and Shumenov would be defending the WBA Super and IBA Light Heavyweight titles, the latter not on the line for Hopkins. On fight night Hopkins knocked down Shumenov with a jab and followed with a powerful overhand right that nailed Shumenov on the side of the head and dropped him with only less than two minutes left in the round. Hopkins won by split decision with scores of 113-114, 116-111 and 116-111, becoming the oldest boxer in history to unify titles in a weight division.
Shortly after Sergey Kovalev defeated Blake Caparello in a second-round knockout on August 2, 2014, Hopkins announced he would face the former in a match where his WBA Super and IBF titles would be on the line against Kovalev's WBO title. The match was signed after neither fighter could secure a contest with WBC and lineal champion Adonis Stevenson. The fight took place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on November 8, 2014 and was televised by HBO; this marked the end of a feud between Hopkins' promoter Golden Boy Promotions and the network which saw HBO cut ties with Golden Boy fighters.
In 2015, Hopkins called out Carl Froch again stating he would like to fight him in a farewell match, only for Froch to decline the offer calling it a "lose-lose situation". Hopkins also eyed James DeGale and Gennady Golovkin.
A deal was made in October for Hopkins to fight American boxer Joe Smith Jr., who last fought Fonfara in June knocking him out in less than 3 minutes. The fight would be a HBO main event on December 17, 2016 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Originally a co-feature with Salido vs. Muira until Salido injured his lower back and pulled out of the fight, making the Hopkins farewell the sole main event of the card. Later it was confirmed that, that another co-feature fight has been signed, as Oleksandr Usyk would be defending his WBO cruiserweight title against Thabiso Mchunu. Both boxers weighed in at 174 pounds.
Bernard married Jeanette Hopkins in 1993.
Currently, Bernard Hopkins is 57 years, 0 months and 12 days old. Bernard Hopkins will celebrate 58th birthday on a Sunday 15th of January 2023. Below we countdown to Bernard Hopkins upcoming birthday.