BE A FIGHTER 24/7
Every one of Bernard Hopkins’ team – including the man himself – cites the fighter’s nearmonastic lifestyle, both during and outside of camp, as a key factor in his longevity and enduring success. The exemplary athlete has not touched a drop of alcohol since his teenage years. After his release from prison in 1988 – Bernard served a near-five-year stretch for various offences – Hopkins sought to turn his entire life around and swore off drugs and junk food as well as booze. Even now, he rarely goes to bed beyond 9pm. His former trainer and fellow Muslim Naazim Richardson talks about his old charge’s habits with a mix of awe and respect.
“What he’s done, he’s done for years,” Naazim says. “Bernard’s training isn’t a camp, it’s a lifestyle for him. When you’re a Muslim and you go to a basketball game to watch LeBron James, you’re a Muslim at the basketball game. If you watch your daughter’s recital, you’re a Muslim at the recital. When you go to bed at night, you’re a Muslim in bed. You never stop being a Muslim. Bernard takes that same approach to his training. At his wedding he’s not drinking alcohol because he’s a fighter getting married. When his lawyer’s having a party he doesn’t drink or stay out late because he’s a fighter at the party.