At 47 years old, it is time for Bernard Hopkins to call it a career.
It has nothing to do with his fighting ability—it is just time.
Hopkins has had a storied career—one that will likely end in the Hall of Fame. And it will be sad to see it come to an end.
But one cannot imagine him continuing to take part in these fights, especially after how things went down against Chad Dawson in the light heavyweight title fight.
Dawson won the fight by a majority decision, but as the SI piece points out, "This rematch was no classic, but it was an improvement on their first bout in October in Los Angeles."
The last time these two fought, the fight got called after two rounds as Dawson was awarded the TKO. After some foolish behavior, the fight was called a draw, allowing Hopkins to hold onto his title.
According to the New York Daily News' Tim Smith, Dawson believed that in that fight, Hopkins was afraid of his youth, a simple matter of life that Hopkins couldn't overcome.
Dawson believes Hopkins saw there was no way to overcome Dawson's youth, strength and speed saw the inevitable coming and tried to find a way out of the fight. He thinks Hopkins saw his way out in the second round. After Dawson dipped forward to avoid a punch, Hopkins draped himself over Dawson's back. Dawson rose up and threw Hopkins off his back and onto the canvas. Hopkins landed awkwardly on his elbow, jamming his arm into his shoulder. The referee asked Hopkins if he could continue and he said no. The referee ruled it a TKO victory for Dawson because Hopkins said he couldn't continue.
Hopkins appealed the decision with the California Athletic Commission and they reversed it, ruling the fight a no decision. The WBC ordered a rematch.
The Guardian's Graham Parker put it best: "Are we watching the last round of a great career. In a way, I hope so. Hopkins has nothing left to prove."
What Should Hopkins Do?
Going 12 rounds with Dawson was still quite impressive, and at times, it did seem like Hopkins could have walked away with a victory.
He didn't, and with that being the case, it just seems to make sense that now is the right time for the man to decide to hang up his gloves.
It will remain to be seen exactly what Hopkins decides to do following this loss. Even if the aging veteran believes he has anything left in the tank, walking away from the sport would not only be a wise career move, but a smart life choice.
He may not go out with a belt, but he will at least go out as a champion to those who knew him best.