Why has it taken me so long to like Bernard Hopkins?
I really can't put my finger on it. When the fight with Felix Trinidad was announced, I figured that Felix would flatten Bernard with his left hook. Bernard handled him without any trouble at all.
When Oscar De La Hoya signed to fight Bernard, I assumed that "The Golden Boy" would outbox him—Bernard leveled him with an amazing liver shot.
When he was beaten twice by Jermain Taylor, I somehow felt redeemed. I was reminded somewhat of Roy Jones outworking him in the early days. A few years after Bernards lost to Taylor, Roy Jones was leveled by Antonio Tarver which spurred the Hopkins-Tarver fight. I figured "If Tarver could do that to Roy, then Hopkins is no match."
After being proved wrong by his win over Tarver, Winky Wright and his closer than expected (by me) loss to Joe Calzaghe, he signed to fight Kelly Pavlik. I have no idea why this fight was made, but it seems that Larry Merchant hit it on the head when he mentioned greed. He out- punched AND out landed Kelly—I'm still shocked.
So I give up. I can't bet against this guy anymore. If he is as active against Jones (win or lose against Calzaghe,) he will beat him. These are powerful words coming from a big Roy Jones Jr. fan like myself.
He has beaten me into submission. An all time great that deserves to be up there with the likes of Marvin Hagler, Ray Robinson, Carlos Monzon, and the rest.
You won Bernard. Beating me doesn't make you any money, but you have another fan that will cheer loudly when you are inducted into the hall of fame.