By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
SHOWTIME!!! Bernard Hopkins, Peter Quillin ready to defend world titles
IBF light-heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KOs) returns to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, the site of his many, many great fights, to defend his title against Karo Murat (25-1, 15 KOs). In addition, undefeated WBO middleweight champion, ‘Kid Chocolate’ Peter Quillin (29-0, 21 KOs) defends his title against Gabriel Rosado (21-6, 13 KOs). Both title fights will round-out a SHOWTIME Championship Boxing doubleheader beginning at 9 PM/ET.
Bernard Hopkins is arguably one of the greatest boxers of all-time and is a timeless and universal figure. Hopkins continues to fight at such a higher level than fighters much younger than him.
Usually a fighter is considered old when they reach past the age of 35, but not Hopkins. In fact, Hopkins is 48 years old and is the oldest fighter to ever win a world title.
There is something special about him. Perhaps unlike anything than anyone has ever seen. Maybe Hopkins is truly everything he says he is. Maybe, just maybe, Hopkins is truly an alien.
“I’m happy to be here,” but that’s where the alien comes in,” Hopkins said. “You won’t hear ‘The Executioner.’ You won’t see me with my hands crossed. ‘The Executioner’ is retired. I’m an alien because I am of this world, but I’m not from this world.”
A 48-year-old boxer isn’t suppose to outhustle, smother, frustrate, out-jab, out-box, and simply out-tough fighters that are younger, faster, and stronger than he is. A 48-year-old is suppose to have displayed long periods of decline and should be used as ‘an opponent’ or long been dismissed from the sport.
However, Hopkins continues to prove his most harsh critics wrong and continues to compete at the highest level on nationally televised fights on SHOWTIME against the best fighters that Golden Boy Promotions can find.
Hopkins, who was in the era that produced Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Roy Jones, Jr., Felix Trinidad, William Joppy, Julio Cesar Chavez, Nigel Benn, Gerald McClellan, Antonio Tarver, James Toney, Mike McCallum in their prime, is fighting in a totally different time far beyond his years.
Hopkins’ era is finished, but his career refuses to die.
“I’m now in another era,” Hopkins said. “I’ve outlasted so many others. I outlasted the James Toney era, Kelly Pavlik era, and now I’m in the Adrien Broner and Danny Garcia era.”
Hopkins added: “There is a negative attributed to being different from everyone else,” Hopkins said. “A negative attributed with being blessed and being able to do what I’m doing. You have to be able to walk the walk and talk the talk, or you have haters.”
Hopkins has walked the walk and continues to talk the talk. Hopkins is the only fighter to unify the WBC/WBA/IBF and WBO middleweight titles. Hopkins has a record 20 consecutive defenses of the world middleweight titles. He is also the oldest fighter to compete for, win, and defend a world championship.
Hopkins has fought Pavlik, Felix Trinidad, Joe Calzaghe, William Joppy, Jermain Taylor, Chad Dawson, Antonio Tarver, Simon Brown, Keith Holmes, Tavoris Cloud, Roy Jones, Jr., Robert Allen, Antwun Echols, Jean Pascal, as well as friend and business partner Oscar De La Hoya.
Hopkins keeps himself in shape, healthy, trains hard, and has never relinquished the mindset that he is one of the best boxers in the world.
“I’m of a new era with an old soul,” Hopkins continued. “I represent the old soul of doing things the right way, living the right way, thinking the right way, treating my mind, body, and soul the right way.”
Hopkins truly believes that he can do anything inside of the boxing ring. Hopkins also went ahead and said he’d be willing to fight Floyd Mayweather at 160 pounds if the opportunity presented itself.
But before Hopkins can even think about Floyd, he has to focus his attention on Karo Murat.
“Karo Murat says he is coming with youth,” Hopkins explained. “Karo Murat is smart enough but dumb enough to say he has half of my experience. We’ve heard that before.”
Hopkins, one of the best fighters in the world, along with unified WBC/WBA junior welterweight champion Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia, has brought Philadelphia back to its pinnacle.
“Philly has an old history that isn’t coming alive, but it’s alive,” Hopkins said. “Philadelphia right now is in a good position regarding boxing. The load I had on my back that I carried for many years is being carried by guys like Danny Garcia.”
“Kid Chocolate defends WBO middleweight title
‘Kid Chocolate’ Peter Quillin is on a mission to establish himself as the premier middleweight in the world. Quillin will defend his 160-pound title for the second time since winning it one year ago against Gabriel Rosado.
“Gabriel Rosado presents his own challenges,” Quillin said. “He’s coming to win my world title. I have something that he wants, so I have to respect him for that.”
Quillin has been hard at work, training diligently, and is looking forward to another stellar performance regardless if Rosado was the challenger or not. In his last two bouts at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Quillin floored his opponents 10 times in less than 17 rounds of action. In fact, 29 of Quillin’s opponents have been sent to the canvas a total of 31 times. That’s 31 knockdowns.
“I get paid to give 12 rounds of action,” Quillin said. “I am a performer in the ring and I’ve trained hard to be a power puncher. At times I’ll take a punch to give back a few of my own. I have power to knockout my opponent with my right or left, at any point of a fight. Earlier in my career, a lot of my knockdowns and knockouts came in two rounds or less, but I had 10 knockdowns in my two world title fights. No matter how many times they get up, I’m going to keep knocking them down.”
Quillin realizes that fighting for a world title and defending a world title are two different things. Quillin is prepared to take his title reign as 160-pound champion to a higher level.
“Going into the fight I have to take myself to a whole another level as far as my work ethic,” Quillin said. “I’m doing a lot more than I ever have. I’ve had a tremendous training camp. Now I have to prove what my hard work does, like I always have.”
In addition to Hopkins and Quillin defending their world championships, America will have a look at perhaps the fastest-rising heavyweight title prospects in many years.
Deontay Wilder will be in action too
2008 Olympic bronze medalist Deontay Wilder is the last American to win an Olympic medal, and could be the next American to win a world heavyweight title. Wilder has won each of his 29 professional contests by knockout and plans to continue that streak against Nicolai Firtha (21-10-1, 8 KOs).
Wilder (29-0, 29 KOs) has extraordinary power, as he has served as a chief sparring partner to unified IBF/WBA/WBO and IBO/Ring Magazine heavyweight champion, Wladimir Klitschko. Wilder has shared training camp with WBC heavyweight champion, Vitali Klitschko as well.
Wilder’s last two opponents, former WBO champion Sergui Liakhovich and 2000 Olympic gold medalist Audrey Harrison were each knocked out in the first round in 2013.
Tickets for Hopkins vs. Murat, Quillin vs. Rosado, and Wilder vs. Firtha are available through ticketmaster.com and can also be purchased from the Boardwalk Hall Box Office, by calling (800) 736-1420. Tickets range from $25-$300.