by David P. Greisman
Bernard Hopkins was already quite familiar with Sergey Kovalev’s trainer before he stepped into the ring with the light heavyweight titleholder. After all, Hopkins had stopped John David Jackson — who held belts in two divisions — way back in 1997. And after Jackson retired, he worked as a member of Hopkins’ team.
Hopkins had taken aim at this before the bout.
“How can a teacher teach a student and the teacher flunked the test too?” Hopkins had asked.
But the student wound up shutting out Hopkins, who went on to praise Jackson for what he did to prepare Kovalev.
“He has a [future] Hall of Fame trainer who worked with me and I worked with him, and that’s John David Jackson,” Hopkins said. “John David Jackson … is a student of the game, and he comes from the school of the game, and he had just as much training in Philadelphia when he lived there for many years, like myself. You got to look at his teacher, too. Not a trainer. A teacher. And now you got to look at what the product has become.
“You can’t take Sergey for granted, because you know he got a good teacher,” Hopkins said. “That played out today. You have to give him credit and applause because he did a fine job.”
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]