I tried to watch Bernard Hopkins defend his light heavyweight title this past Saturday night in Atlantic City against Chad Dawson. I made it through four rounds before I couldnt watch anymore.
Ive always admired how Hopkins rose up from a rough younger life to become a champion in the ring. But this last fight should be the final straw. Its time for Hopkins to call it quits. He did more clinching and holding than actual boxing Saturday night and eventually lost his title via decision.
Bernard, you were a gallant warrior. You earned everything you got along the way. But dont become a causality of the game. Dont be like Sugar Ray Leonards, Roy Jones Jr., Evander Holyfield, and Shane Mosley; walk away from the game on your own terms, instead of being carried.
You have nothing left to prove to anyone. You dont need the money, and no longer need the spotlight. Father Time creeps up on all of us, and hes finally caught up to you.
At 47 years of age, your 52-6-2 record speaks for itself. Let us remember and enjoy the fighter you were. Dont let your incredible legacy be tainted by skills that have eroded.
E-mail Derrick Gunn at firstname.lastname@example.org