Bernard Hopkins and his “Boardwalk Empire”
by Hans Olson
“Wanna see how I do business? Show your face again in Atlantic City.”-Nucky Thompson, Boardwalk Empire
On April 28th, Bernard Hopkins will defend his WBC Light Heavyweight Championship in Atlantic City against “Bad” Chad Dawson. It’ll be a rematch of their controversial “no-contest” last October.
The bout, set to be televised live on HBO Championship Boxing, will be at the Boardwalk Hall, a familiar venue for Hopkins…a place where he has earned some of his best wins.
Having a record of 15-1 in Atlantic City, let’s take a look at some of B-Hop’s greatest AC moments.
Bernard Hopkins vs. William Joppy, December 13th 2003.
In a sensational performance against William Joppy, Hopkins broke the CompuBox Middleweight record for total landed power shots: 375 (56%). B-Hop threw 821 punches overall, landing 419 (51%) of them. The fight was a mandatory for Bernard; as the WBA’s “Super Champion,” he was ordered to fight Joppy who was at that time the WBA’s “regular” champ. Hopkins virtually shut out the game Joppy, winning with ringside scores of 119-109, 199-108, and 118-109.
Bernard Hopkins vs. Antonio Tarver, June 10th 2006.
Going into the fight as a 3-1 underdog, Hopkins silenced his critics en route to a 12-round unanimous decision victory in one of his all-time best showings. To this day, Tarver claims he was poisoned going into the fight. On his Twitter account a short while ago, Tarver wrote “I still believe it’s a good chance I was poisoned and I may never get the chance to prove it.” We may never know for sure, but what we do know is that Tarver was poisoned inside the ring that summer night by the fists of Bernard Hopkins.
Bernard Hopkins vs. Kelly Pavlik, October 18th 2008
In what was considered an upset at the time, Hopkins out-classed the then-undefeated Pavlik over 12 rounds to score an emphatic victory. Pavlik, who was also the Middleweight Champion, moved up in weight to fight B-Hop at a 170 lb. catch-weight.
Pavlik was never in the fight.
It was after this victory that most boxing pundits stopped picking against Hopkins…for every time he looked to be in deep, he would rise to the occasion and drown his foes.
Will Atlantic City be lucky again for Hopkins on April 28th?
Or will Chad Dawson end Bernard’s “Boardwalk Empire?”
Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @hansolson