May 20, 2011
Daily News boxing writer Bernard Fernandez counts down what he considers to be the top five performances by 46-year-old Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins, who bids to become the oldest fighter to win a widely recognized world championhip when he challenges WBC light-heavyweight titlist Jean Pascal tomorrow night in Montreal. Here is his account of No. 1, Hopkins' 12th-round stoppage of Felix Trinidad in their Sept. 29, 2001, middleweight unification bout in Madison Square Garden: Take 19,075 spectators, a bout to produce the first undisputed middleweight champion in 14 years, heated feelings all around and fighters with a combined record of 79-2-1, with 61 knockouts, and what do you get?
February 2, 2010 |
They say revenge is a dish best served cold. If that is so, then the Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins-Roy Jones Jr. rematch - 17 years in the making - is as cold as do-overs ever get in boxing. It went from well-chilled to Arctic frosty on Dec. 2, when Jones was stopped in one round by IBO cruiserweight champion Danny Green in Sydney, Australia. But even if the public isn't exactly clamoring for Hopkins-Jones II, the one guy with enough clout to make it happen - Hopkins, remarkably still one of the best pound-for-pound fighters at the improbable age of 45 - decided he'd waited far too long to exorcise a ghost that has haunted him since the first year of the Clinton administration.
October 9, 2002 |
Oscar de la Hoya said yesterday he plans to spend the next 2 weeks in Puerto Rico trying to talk Felix Trinidad out of retirement. Trinidad, a former three-time champion, stunned fans by announcing his retirement in July. He said in September the decision is permanent. De La Hoya, who beat Fernando Vargas in a 154-pound match last month, said he wants a rematch with Trinidad, who beat him in 1999. "I'm going to take Felix to dinner and try and talk him into coming out of retirement," said De La Hoya, adding that Trinidad lives "just a 5-wood away" from him in San Juan.
September 14, 2002 |
They mock him by calling him "chicken" every chance they get, questioning his courage. To hear Fernando Vargas and those in his camp tell it, Oscar De La Hoya has hoodwinked people for years by merely pretending to be a fighter, getting by on good looks, his ease with English, and an impressive record filled with victories against shoddy opposition. They even say that De La Hoya, like Vargas a Mexican American, is not a true representative of his Mexican heritage. De La Hoya's response: "We'll see what Vargas has to say on Saturday night, after I beat him. " Tonight's bout between De La Hoya and Vargas has been touted for months.
September 13, 2002 |
Few people remember what occurred in boxing on Dec. 2, 2000, but it becomes easy to recollect once Fernando Vargas' name is mentioned. They recall that the handsome, hugely popular Vargas was an unblemished 20-0 at the time, but departed his fight battered and bruised, a victim of five knockdowns, culminating with the first loss of his pro career. To hear Vargas tell it, that 12th-round knockout loss at the hands of Felix Trinidad was nothing more than a mere blotch on his record, and prime incentive to avoid letting such a thing ever occur again.
October 1, 2001 |
Early yesterday morning at Madison Square Garden, Bernard Hopkins, a North Philadelphia native and proud product of this city's legendary gym wars, won boxing's undisputed middleweight title by taking apart the man so often described as the top fighter pound-for-pound in the world. Hopkins' 12th-round technical knockout of Puerto Rico's previously undefeated Felix "Tito" Trinidad, who had won belts in four different weight classes, had the Garden crowd buzzing and boxing aficionados looking to put it in context.
September 29, 2001 |
His last fight left Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins without a mark. His opponent, Keith Holmes, who had been the World Boxing Council middleweight champion, had welts and bruises from his eyes down to his thighs. The only round Hopkins didn't win decisively in capturing a unanimous 12-round decision was the fifth, but that was because he lost a point for a low blow. Later, the referee warned him that he risked disqualification if he didn't keep his punches up. All of his considerable faculties still intact, Hopkins quipped in a postfight TV interview: "I figured I should hit myself to get some points, because I was afraid to hit him anywhere.
September 28, 2001 |
Felix Trinidad tried to pick up the trophy. First, he posed next to the sculpture of Sugar Ray Robinson that will be awarded to the winner of tomorrow night's middleweight title unification fight between Trinidad and Bernard Hopkins. Then he tried to pick it up. That caused his promoter, Don King, to cackle with delight. That trophy, King informed Trinidad, weighs about 125 pounds. You can't simply pick it up. A fitting enough symbol for what is at stake tomorrow at Madison Square Garden.
September 4, 2001 |
The Middleweight Champion of the World stands bare-chested in his Newark, Del., kitchen. Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins is talking on a cordless phone to his lawyer. He is intense. He interrupts. Everybody, it seems, is furious at him: Don King. Madison Square Garden honchos. Boxing scribes. The entire island of Puerto Rico. All he wants, Hopkins tells his lawyer, Arnold Joseph, is respect. That's why he did what he did, and that's why he refuses to apologize. First at a New York rally and then just a few days later in Puerto Rico on July 11, he threw a Puerto Rican flag down in front of thousands of fans of his opponent, Felix "Tito" Trinidad, whom he will face Sept.
June 19, 2000 |
Oscar De La Hoya likes his whine chilled. It took him 2 hours to cool off and come to a postfight press conference following his 12-round, split-decision loss to "Sugar" Shane Mosley at Staples Center on Saturday night. And when he arrived, in his baby blue jogging suit, he announced that he was bolting from the sport that has made him a multi-millionaire and celebrity. Retiring at age 27 with a 32-2 record? "Definitely," he said. Why? "It's tough to live with what goes on around boxing," De La Hoya said.