Whatever Bernard Hopkins' ultimate record becomes, he will always be remembered as the man who challenged Father Time.
Headed into his bout with Chad Dawson on Saturday, there was every reason to doubt Hopkins. He was at a disadvantage in nearly every area. But still, you never wanted to completely count him out.
Perhaps that is what Hopkins will leave the world of boxing with once he eventually retires, whenever that may be. He stood toe-to-toe with Father Time, scoring numerous impressive victories at an old age, including his victory via unanimous decision over Jean Pascal last May. He defied the odds, and his heart appeared to overshadow the fact that he was well into his 40s.
That's why, when Hopkins lost via majority decision to Dawson on Saturday, it didn't mar his legacy. He's joined only a handful of 40-year-old champions, proving that, sometimes, a boxer's love of the sport and his dedication can overcome a wealth of obstacles. He became the oldest boxer to ever win a world title when he defeated Pascal at 46 years of age.
With his loss on Saturday, Hopkins' record "fell" to 52-6-2. But to look at his defeat as a sign of aging doesn't do Hopkins justice. He was supposed to continue losing at an old age after a brutal stretch from July 2005 to April 2008 that saw him lose three of five fights. He then went on to score four victories, a draw and a no contest in his next six fights before his loss to Dawson on Saturday.
Did Hopkins' loss to Dawson hurt his legacy?
Interestingly enough, Hopkins didn't lose on Saturday because of Dawson's advantage in speed. He actually was on par with Dawson in terms of speed. That in itself is impressive. And while it was hard to see Hopkins pinned against the ropes when Dawson pressed the action, you didn't see it as age catching up to Hopkins. You saw it as a 47-year-old boxer who was heading toward his first loss in his last seven fights. The fact that Hopkins got this far without a loss in that stretch outweighed his performance on Saturday.
Hopkins could go on losing from here on out, or retire, and he would still be remembered as the man who defied all logic and frustrated Father Time time and time again.
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