Pit-bull owner Bernard Hopkins shows his softer side

Boxing champ Bernard Hopkins got in the ring yesterday with two other winners, Karmann (nuzzling) and Isis.
Boxing champ Bernard Hopkins got in the ring yesterday with two other winners, Karmann (nuzzling) and Isis.
Posted: January 18, 2011

A well-honed fighter from the streets of North Philly came to Camden yesterday and stepped in the ring with two pit bulls.

But all Karmann and Isis had for former world champion boxer Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins was a few licks and some wagging tails inside the Camden Boxing Academy in North Camden.

Hopkins, who turned 46 on Saturday, and the pit bulls posed for pictures that will eventually become billboards aimed at encouraging spaying and neutering the breed, particularly in urban areas such as Camden, where some wind up in dog-fighting rings.

"I'm a dog lover," said Hopkins, who owns a pit bull. "At the end of the day, if you don't spay and neuter dogs like this, it can cause chaos."

The billboards will include former champion Ivan "Mighty" Robinson and Olympic hopeful Mike Jones, both of Philadelphia, and are part of NJ Aid for Animals' Operation Knock Out, which will offer free spaying and neutering services in Camden.

Kathy McGuire, NJAFA president and founder, said she spends hours in Camden nearly every day, trying to persuade owners to spay and neuter their pit bulls.

"Neutering your pit bull doesn't make it any less of an animal, but it makes you more of a man," said McGuire.

For more information, visit njafa.org.

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