By Bill "Two Scoops" Emes
Trainer Naazim Richardson believes IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32KOs) should only face fighters who are champions from this point forward. Hopkins, at age 48, made history on Saturday night by breaking his own record as the oldest boxer to capture a major world championship. He won a twelve round decision over Tavoris Cloud to grab the IBF belt at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Even Richardson can't believe Hopkins is still going at this point, and admits he advised Hopkins to retire after the 2006 victory over Antonio Tarver.
"I told him to retire after the Tarver fight, not because I didn't think he had anything left. But because it was such a big fight, and he was on a big high and he was so doubted in the fight - that I thought anybody retiring on top would be called 'The B-Hop' after that. But he's still writing the book. The chapters are still being written and the ink is not dry," Richardson said to BoxingScene.com.
"I don't think he should fight anybody who is not a world champion. And I feel that if he unifies the title at this age, they should wave the five year [requirement] and induct him into the Hall of Fame right now."