He is not what you would characterize a normal man.
He hasn’t had a donut or a slice or pizza in over 20 years, and the last time he consumed any alcohol he wasn’t legally able to. He will unleash his philosophical rants rooted in street venacular, which he will readily dispense with a face of pure poker.
He will also confound you, and leave you gasping for answers.
Kelly Pavlik could not answer one question correctly during his 12 round exam with Hopkins.
Antonio Tarver brought all of the pompous and ostentatious nature of his “Rocky” character’s persona to his affair with Hopkins, even bringing a ceremonial rocking chair to the occassion for what he thought would be the result of reckoning.
Turns out it would be his. After being out-foxed, out-boxed and summarily embarassed by the sport’s oldest savant.
oxymoron (aksi more ron): a figure of speech in which opposite or contradictory ideas or terms are combined.
A connoisseur will mainly value things of significance, and will often choose sophistication over simplicity.
Rarely do the three merge.
The fact that the now 2-time light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins exhibits all of these elements at the age of 48, in this most unforgiving sport, is simply remarkable.
That he was regarded as none of them for much of his life, and yet still achieved, might be even moreso.
It might also explain his unusual will and conviction.
You will probably never know what its like to be confined to the bowels of a penetentiary for 7 years of your life.
And upon leaving it to engage in your chosen profession, to not really make any money for nearly the same length of time while craving the respect and the dignity that has eluded you.
Perhaps this explains his startling frugality.
Hopkins can apply enough pressure on a quarter to make the eagle scream, and he can vanquish a foe without saying a word- as he did last week.
He has gone to the heart of Puerto Rico and disgraced their flag before subduing their hero, and toppled a matinee idol with one mighty blow.
He is more accomplished than a certain all-time great from Pensacola, Fl., and the man who ended his lengthy reign as middleweight champion can now be found on a milk carton.
For all of his achievements and accomplishments, he remains anything but content- and he will fight on.
But no matter how his story ends, the one he’s already written will stand the test of time.
He is Malcolm X in a pair of Everlast gloves.
Were he to sell it, he is the only man I know who could get a rich man of refined taste to buy his brand of wine for 3.99 from a ghetto store near you. And in an ode to his nature, he’d never take a sip from the fruit of his own success.
I can drink to that.