What makes the myth of Bernard Hopkins special is how it continues to grow in unpredictable ways.
Even on a routine night when it seems there’s little to gain—at least as much as that’s possible for the oldest fighter ever to defend a major world championship against yet another opponent young enough to be his son—the 48-year-old Germantown native is able to defy expectations. He’s done it so consistently it’s hard to keep track, and thus we take him for granted.
A few weeks ago I was at the Art Museum steps. As I churned out repeats of the stairs, I spotted him: Grey sweatsuit, black beanie, black Chuck Taylors. It was Rocky.
It wasn’t Sly Stallone, of course. But it wasn’t a Rocky tribute artist, either: This was a European tourist who had come to Philadelphia to dress as Rocky and have his wife take photos of him in the pose from the original movie poster. Later, I saw him taking a photo with a second man dressed as Rocky — this one a shirtless, fedora-clad Philadelphian taking photos with tourists. For a minute I was a little worried the world might explode when two Rockies met, but we apparently survived.
On Saturday, North Philadelphia’s Danny Garcia (above, left) defended his world light welterweight titles against Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse in the co-main event of the Floyd Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez pay-per-view card in Las Vegas.
The 25-year-old from Juniata Park was not expected to win. Thirty-two of Matthysse’s 34 victories had come by knockout, including the previous six in a row against current or former titleholders, making him one of the most feared fighters on the planet. He was said to have knocked down every opponent he faced. The oddsmakers at the MGM Grand sports book had installed Garcia, championship be damned, as a 5-to-2 underdog. Read more »
One of my favorite parts of any Rocky movie is the training montage. Specifically, I enjoy watching Rocky run the streets of Philadelphia (I and II) or on the beach (III) or in the snow (IV) or whatever happened in the fifth movie I’ve erased from my memories. Of all the Rocky training montages, though, the run in Rocky II is my favorite.
What’s always amused me about this scene is how absolutely little sense Rocky’s route makes: South Philly becomes North Philly becomes the Italian Market becomes North Philly again, and so on. Obviously, the montage isn’t meant to be taken seriously as an actual workout; it’s just a few scenes strung together so “Gonna Fly Now” can play and Rocky can finish at the top of the Art Museum steps.
But, I wondered, what if this roadwork were treated as one actual run? How far would Rocky go? Well, I decided to find out. I pieced together the routes Rocky could have traveled from scene to scene in this training montage and calculated distance. All distances were mapped out by using the USA Track and Field distance-measuring tool recommended to me by my friend and Philadelphia magazine managing editor Annie Monjar. She’s a better runner than I am, so I trust her. However, I’m not sure she could take Rocky in a footrace, at least Rocky II-era Rocky. Let’s see how far he went.