By Kevin Davis

   

Bernard Hopkins has survived the test of time, one of the oldest fighters to ever have a fight, going on at 48 years old, how long can the Hopkins machine keep running. Love him, or hate him, Hopkins has made a living on being the underdog and overcoming the odds. Nature and nurture, extreme innate talent mixed with hard work, and a little bit of dirty, and you have Bernard Hopkins fighting career. With his criminal background there was only a 3% chance of him ever becoming a successful millionaire. More amazing than that there was only a 18%  chance of him living to see 48. 

    

Being cagey inside and outside the ring has helped Hopkins battle the demons that surround the sport. Then positioned himself to be accepted by many of the ones who hated him years earlier. As the years went on many felt Hopkins bled dry a middleweight division that was weak of talent and should have moved up to where the talent had surfaced. Bernard saw the value in staying and breaking Marvin Hagler's record, because that was a part of history. 

   

His victory over Felix 'Tito' Trinidad should have but Hopkins where he wanted to be...but it didn't. HBO had plans for Bernard Hopkins, a big rematch with Roy Jones Jr. Hopkins would budge on his 50/50 demands and the fight never materialized. HBO ruled Hopkins out of HBO, he had a hard time getting a fight. Don King but him on his card to defend his title against former champ William Joppy. HBO still wasn't eager to work with Hopkins. Upset by the blacklisting a determined Oscar Delahoya wanted to move up to middleweight and challenge Hopkins.

    

After many meetings, Hopkins and the 'Golden Boy' was set to do a two fight deal. to sell the people on the fight. Oscar fought WBO champion Felix Sturm and that didn't go well for the promotion. Delahoya was out of shape and underestimated Sturm who ponced on him like a skilled cat. After a gift decision Hopkins did his part and Hopkins scored a surprising knockout of Oscar Delahoya, from a body shot. 

    

A deal was stuck with the company Golden Boy Promotions to make Hopkins a part owner and he appeared on Jay Leno show and many other networks. he had arrived, and now is HBO favorite son. There has always been some young gun that is suppose to come and replace Hopkins and keep going. Taylor, Pavlik, Dawson, Pascal, and now Cloud. Taylor won twice against Bernard but couldn't sustain, Pavlik was in over his head. Dawson is the champion but can't sustain, Pascal was just the right opponent for Hopkins to showcase his abilities.  

    

Enter Tarvoris Cloud, a young hungry powerful fighter, who won't be intimidated by the legend of Hopkins, what he lacks in boxing skills, he makes up for in power, he feels he can really hurt Bernard and he truly will be gunning for that victory. Many fighters have ducked Cloud, even gave up titles rather than face him. Do Bernard have any more tricks left in the bag, or is this truly the last ride. 

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