Bernard Hopkins Breaks Record, Lies About Choice of Attire, Does It All "His Way"

Bernard Hopkins Breaks Record, Lies About Choice of Attire, Does It All "His Way"

Say what you will about Bernard Hopkins' penchant for outlandish commentary, but don't ever question his ability, desire or resolve inside the ring. With his victory by unanimous decision over Jean Pascal in Montreal Saturday night, the forty-six year old Hopkins became the new WBC Light Heavyweight Champion, supplanting former record-holder George Foreman as the oldest man to claim a world championship in the history of professional boxing.

Prior the the fight, and as if he needed anymore heat from Pascal's hometown fans at the Bell Centre in Montreal, the Philadelphia-native had stated his intent to wear a replica No. 16 Bobby Clarke jersey during his introduction and procession to the ring. Did the Executioner splatter the blood of a French-Canadian eighteen years his junior while wearing the colors of the Orange & Black on Saturday night?

Nope. Didn't Happen. Though Hopkins entrance was wildly entertaining, the new champ wore a traditional ring jacket to the squared circle, saving the Clarke jersey for a member of his entourage.

While surely disappointing for some Flyers fans, the entrance did deliver. Hopkins, dressed in his trademark executioner's mask, was serenaded to the ring by a custom rendition of Frank Sinatra's "My Way," a cover replete with details of Bernard's impending victory, age-defying athleticism and career-long yearning to do things "his way," which evidently includes dropping to the mat for short series of taunting push-ups at the beginning of the seventh round.

Speaking of doing things on his time and in his own way, Hopkins declared after the fight that an end to his professional career remains a long way off.

From the Associated Press, "I won't retire until I'm 50," Hopkins said.

And from Sports Illustrated's Bryan Armen Graham, "I'm going to keep fighting like this until I leave this game and, trust me, I will not be punch drunk, beat up or broke," said a beaming Hopkins during his in-ring interview.

For all the seemingly insane remarks Bernard has made over the years, his promise not be broke is one you can take to the bank. Famously, perhaps even notoriously, frugal, Hopkins rarely turns down an opportunity to pull his Costco membership card from his wallet for all to see. This S.I. piece, from September 2004 with Atlanta Falcons' quarterback Michael Vick ironically enough on the cover, details Bernard's penny-pinching in comparison to the extravagant excess of some of his boxing peers—Mike Tyson, for example.

It's just yet another reminder of the ways in which Bernard Hopkins is a different kind of athlete. From a past criminal conviction to his fiscal responsibility to his controversial comments on race to his other-worldly longevity, the Executioner is part of an exceptionally rare group of athlete's to arguably do more for their legacy past the age of forty than before it. Bearing all those traits in mind and plenty more, there's no question that Hopkins has done, and will continue to do, things "His Way."

If we can find a copy, we'll get you last evening's rendition of "My Way." In the meantime, it appears as though the version he employed during the first Pascal fight, in which he fought the former-champion to a decided draw, is about the same, if not identical to that which he used last night. It was awesome on both occasions.

Update: Got it, with thanks to Matt P.

Instant Replay: Nationals 4, Phillies 0

Instant Replay: Nationals 4, Phillies 0

BOX SCORE

The Phillies were beaten, 4-0, by the Washington Nationals on Monday night, but wins and losses don’t matter as much as development in a rebuilding season, so there was a bright spot: Rookie right-hander Jake Thompson finally broke through with a good start in holding the Nats to two runs over seven innings.
 
The Phillies’ offense was not good. It produced just four hits on the night.
 
Washington got all the offense it needed when Jayson Werth, the second batter of the game, homered off Thompson in the first inning.

The Nats lead the NL East at 76-55. The Phils are 60-71.
 
The crowd of 16,056 was the smallest of the season at Citizens Bank Park.
 
Starting pitching report
Thompson had struggled in four starts — 9.78 ERA — since arriving from Triple A and there were questions whether he’d even make this start. But he put together a nice outing. After giving up two runs in the first inning, he pitched six straight scoreless innings, finishing his outing with three strikeouts, the last of which came on his 111th pitch when he froze Trea Turner with a breaking ball with two men on base. Thompson allowed seven hits — four in the first three innings — and walked one.
 
Washington right-hander Tanner Roark pitched seven shutout innings to improve to 14-7. He held the Phils to four hits and a walk and struck out five.

Roark is 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA (two earned runs in 28 innings) in four starts against the Phillies this season. The Nats are 15-4 in his last 19 starts.

Bullpen report
Frank Herrmann gave up two runs in the ninth.
 
At the plate
Odubel Herrera had two of the Phillies’ four hits.
 
Werth’s homer in the top of the first was his 19th. Anthony Rendon drove in a run with a two-out single in that inning. Clint Robinson and Turner had RBI singles in the ninth to push the Nats’ lead to 4-0.
 
ICYMI
Herrera is staying in center field for the remainder of the season, Pete Mackanin said (see story).
 
Up next
The series continues on Tuesday night. Jerad Eickhoff (9-12, 3.87) pitches against Washington right-hander Max Scherzer (14-7, 2.92).

Eagles sign Soul DT Jake Metz following workout

Eagles sign Soul DT Jake Metz following workout

Jake Metz has gone from the Soul to the Eagles.

Soul majority owner Ron Jaworski on Monday night tweeted a congratulatory message about the defensive tackle signing with the Eagles.

Metz and Soul wide receiver Darius Reynolds, fresh off an ArenaBowl title last Friday, worked out for the Eagles this afternoon before practice. Metz is the 74th player on the roster, which means the team is still below the next cut line — which is Tuesday at 4 p.m. — of 75. The Eagles' roster has to be at 53 by 4 p.m. on Sept. 3.

Metz, 25, graduated from Souderton Area High School and played his college ball at Shippensburg University. For the Arena Football League champions, Metz posted Soul highs in sacks (eight) and tackles for loss (10).

Pete Mackanin says Odubel Herrera will stay in CF this season — but beyond?

Pete Mackanin says Odubel Herrera will stay in CF this season — but beyond?

A couple of weeks ago in Los Angeles, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said there was a chance he could look at Odubel Herrera in a corner outfield spot over the final weeks of the season.

Scrub that idea.

“Not this year,” Mackanin said Monday. “If we decide we're going to do that, we'll encourage him to play a corner in winter ball and then in spring training, if that's what we decide to do.

“I thought about doing that. But I don't know if we want to do that now. We’ll just let him get back on track offensively. I won't say it won't happen here or there. But we're not going to make that move right now.

“Let's try to keep his mind as uncluttered as possible right now. It looks a little cluttered.”

The Phillies have thought about moving Herrera to a corner spot because they have a top center field prospect in Roman Quinn. Also, Aaron Altherr is an excellent defender in center.

Quinn seemed to be on target for a call up after the Eastern League playoffs, but that could be in doubt now that he’s on the disabled list with a concussion.

Still, Quinn may be this club’s centerfielder of the future. And behind him is Mickey Moniak, this year’s top draft pick. He’s a ways away. But it’s worth wondering if the Phillies believe Herrera’s future is at a corner outfield spot. Or whether Herrera will be wintertime trade bait.

Mackanin was asked if he believed Herrera’s future would be in a corner spot.

“You know, I'd rather not really even comment on that,” he said. “I don't want him to think that we're not pleased with him. I just want to keep him confident the rest of the season.”

Herrera’s defense in center field has slipped this season.

“He was better last year defensively,” Mackanin said. “He's made a lot of mistakes this year. I think we've all seen that. But that doesn't mean he's not going to play center field anymore. There's another month left to see what happens.”

Herrera was the Phillies’ lone representative in the All-Star Game. He hit .294 with a .378 on-base percentage and a .427 slugging percentage before the All-Star break. Since then, however, he was hitting .252 with a .314 on-base percentage and a .378 slugging percentage entering play Monday night.