Bernard Hopkins

Bernard Hopkins was inducted into the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame last weekend. — AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Bernard Hopkins has been called many things.

As a youngster growing up in North Philadelphia, he was known as a juvenile delinquent.

As a teenager sentenced to a stint at the now shuttered Graterford State Penitentiary, he was called a convict.

As a pugilist, he entered the professional ranks known as “The Executioner.” In time, he modernized his moniker and became “B-Hop.”

And at the end of his majestic career, when he was still throwing jabs and looking for any edge he could find to reclaim his lost championship belt, Hopkins referred to himself as “The Alien.”

Now Hopkins can add another nickname to the list: Hall of Famer.

Last weekend, Hopkins was inducted into the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame. Joining him was another Philadelphian, heavyweight Tim Witherspoon whose nickname is “Terrible.” Witherspoon is a two-time heavyweight champion who compiled a 55-13-1 mark.

Others inducted included Micky Ward, Iran Barkley, Roberto Duran, Kevin Watts, John Brown, Virgil Hill, Butch Lewis, Bouie Fisher, Ace Marotta, Jimmy Binns Sr., Stan Hoffman, Nigel Collins, Henry Hascup, Tom Kaczmarek, Bob Goodman, Tony Orlando Jr., and Rhonda Utley-Herring.

For Hopkins, its probably the first of several Hall of Fame ceremonies he’ll be attending. Hopkins, whose 28-year boxing career ended when he was knocked out by Joe Smith Jr. in a WBC International light heavyweight title bout on Dec. 17, 2016, was an obvious choice for induction. He was 15-3 at the shore. Overall, Hopkins was 55-8-2 with two no contests.

A fighter has to be retired for two years to be eligible for induction in the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame. Hopkins had no problem meeting that criteria. It’s a five-year retirement period for enshrinement into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York. Look for Hopkins at the 2021 induction ceremony.

Like the AC honor, he’ll go in without any debate. Those voting will easily recall that Hopkins held multiple world championships in two weight classes, middleweight and light heavyweight. They will remember that Hopkins was the undisputed middleweight champion from 2004-05 and the lineal heavyweight titlist from 2011-12.

Oh by the way, he is the oldest fighter in history to win a world championship. Hopkins accomplished that when he was 46, breaking George Foreman’s record set in 1994 when he was 45. Hopkins would later break his own record twice — winning the IBF light heavyweight title from Tavoris Cloud in 2013, and again in 2014 when he won the WBA (Super) title from Beibut Shumenov. Hopkins did that when was at ages 48 and 49, respectively.

Bernard Hopkins can add one more name to his list of monikers: Unforgettable.

dbell@phillytrib.com (215) 893-5746

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.