5 Most Memorable Bernard Hopkins Fights
Bernard Hopkins enjoyed a glittering boxing career at middleweight and light-heavyweight, where he defied his age and continued to compete at the highest level, winning titles late into his forties. “The Executioner” had an unbelievable ring IQ, which saw him overcome the highest level of opponent. His intelligence in the ring often saw him pick the perfect moments to engage on the inside or fight at a distance. His performances over many years made him one of the most respected boxers, so Big Fight Weekend wanted to bring you 5 of the best Bernard Hopkins fights, alongside Betway where you can keep up to date with the latest odds for future fights.
5 Memorable Bernard Hopkins Fights
Throwback footage of a young Bernard Hopkins 🎥 pic.twitter.com/lhMn02sw4P
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) June 12, 2023
Bernard Hopkins vs. Antonio Tarver
Bernard Hopkins entered the ring at the age of 41 following back-to-back defeats against Jermain Taylor. Antonio Tarver was the overwhelming favourite after defeating Roy Jones Jr. “The Executioner” revitalised his career with a one-sided unanimous points victory over Tarver, where he showcased his incredible ring IQ, controlling the tempo from the start.
Hopkins was in unbelievable condition, and despite being the older man, he frequently outmuscled his younger opponent, showcasing his quicker hand speed and superior reflexes, with all three judges scoring the bout 118-109.
Bernard Hopkins vs. Jean Pascal II
Hopkins made a career out of shocking the world of boxing and proving people wrong, and at 46 years old, he became the oldest fighter to win a major world title by winning the WBC light heavyweight from his 28-year-old opponent. Jean Pascal attempted to outwork his older opponent early on by throwing a higher volume of power punches, which Hopkins successfully weathered. “The Executioner” showed his class throughout, jabbing intelligently – while landing power right hands at will.
Hopkins taunted his younger opponent before the seventh round, doing push-ups, which were a sign of how confident he was feeling. Hopkins defeated Pascal via unanimous decision, with the judges scorecards reading 115-113, 116-112 and 115-114.
Bernard Hopkins vs. Oscar De La Hoya
Hopkins and Oscar De La Hoya would ultimately become business partners at Golden Boy promotions. The fight between the two was close throughout, with both performing good work before Hopkins ring IQ shone through in the middle rounds. He was the busier fighter and kept up the pressure throughout, which saw him pick up valuable rounds. As the fight entered round number nine, it was considered a close fight by many before Hopkins landed a thudding body shot to De La Hoya’s liver, which sent him to the canvas in pain. The body shot ultimately ended the fight, which saw “The Executioner” somersault in celebration as he retained the WBA (Undisputed), WBC, IBF, and The Ring middleweight titles while winning the WBO middleweight title.
Bernard Hopkins vs. Beibut Shumenov
Hopkins again showed his excellence and defied his age as he dismantled Beibut Shumenov. “The Executioner” reduced Shumenov to look like a novice fighter. Hopkins was victorious on two scorecards, with Dave Moretti and Jerry Roth scoring the contest 116-111 to Hopkins. The third judge Gustavo Padilla unbelievably scored the fight 114-113 to Shumenov, even with Hopkins scoring an eleventh-round knockdown.
It was miraculous – to watch a 49-year-old Hopkins boss the fight from start to finish as he dazzled with deft footwork and beautifully timed counterpunches, which Shumenov couldn’t handle. Whether on the front foot or back foot, Hopkins was exemplary in his performance and fully deserved the decision.
Bernard Hopkins vs. Kelly Pavlik
Hopkins showed he was ageing like a fine wine against Kelly Pavlik. Many forecast Pavlik as the easy winner in the build-up, but Hopkins had other ideas. Like on many occasions, Hopkins ring acumen shone through as he outworked his much younger opponent over the twelve rounds.
Hopkins picked Pavlik off at will with a masterful performance, with his accuracy shining bright throughout. The scorecards reflected his dominance as they read 117–109, 119–106, 118–108 all in favour of Hopkins.