Opinion | Nov 20 2014

Bernard Hopkins should learn from Marvin Hagler and always leave them wanting more

Daniel Herbert explains why getting out at the right time is rare in boxing
bernard hopkins
bernard-hopkins  |  Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy

IT’S been over a week now since the self-styled “Alien”, Bernard Hopkins, was so conclusively outpointed by Russian puncher Sergei Kovalev in their light-heavyweight showdown, and no one knows for sure whether Hopkins will box again. Some have been saying that because he didn’t lose inside the distance he has enough credibility left to engage in one more big fight, possibly a crack at WBC king Adonis Stevenson next year.

The idea is that Bernard could set some sort of record by winning a title fight in his 50s (the Philly marvel reaches that landmark in January). Only Hopkins truly knows what has left in the tank, physically as well as mentally, but he would do well to ponder the last fights of some of the sport’s greats; for every one that went out on a high there have at least two that didn’t fare so well.

Yes, Rocky Marciano retired undefeated in 49 fights and never came back. Yes, an earlier world heavyweight king, Gene Tunney, quit as a reigning champion with just one loss on his ledger, to Harry Greb (subsequently avenged).