By Edward Chaykovsky
Former middleweight and light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (55-7-2, 32KOs) turns 51-years-old on January 15th. He's been inactive since losing a twelve round decision in his unification with Sergey Kovalev in November of 2014.
Hopkins wanted to have a final fight, at super middleweight, hopefully for a world title.
The veteran had never fought at 168-pounds as he jumped two weight divisions when he left 160 and went directly to 175.
Hopkins was gunning for a crack at WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham, but the German beltholder was ordered to make a mandatory defense against Gilberto Ramirez and that fight is currently being negotiated. He then wanted WBA champion Fedor Chudinov, who also got ordered to make a mandatory defense against Felix Sturm.
The options are running dry for Hopkins, and so is time.
His trainer, Naazim Richardson, could easily see his boxer retire from sport without a final fight taking place.
"Yeah, the guy’s got nothing to prove. There’s nothing he hasn’t done in the sport except for lose disastrously, that’s the only thing he hasn’t done in the sport. Even when it was written that it should happen with the punching sensation Kovalev in front of him," Naazim said.
Naazim then explained what he meant with respect to Kovalev.
"Sometimes Bernard’s own brilliance does him harm, and that was the case in the Kovalev fight. Bernard is such an intellect in the ring, and Kovalev proved to me his intellect. Bernard said, “How can the teacher teach you how to pass the test and he failed the test?” talking about John David Jackson," Naazim told On The Ropes Boxing Radio.
"What Bernard didn’t bank on is that Kovalev looked at him a certain way — and I didn’t know what that look meant at the time, but I did come fight time — he was respecting what Bernard said. If you look at the fight, everything that John David Jackson told him in the corner, Kovalev went totally against. John told him to go in there and throw punches and knock him out, and Kovalev said, 'I’m not going in there,' because he didn’t trust his teacher that night."