Did We Just Witness the End for Bernard Hopkins (and Major Boxing in Atlantic City?)

Bernard Hopkins (Black trunks) is knocked down by Sergey Kovalev (Red/White trunks) during their WBA/IBF/WBO light heavyweight title bout at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall.

Bernard Hopkins is knocked down by Sergey Kovalev during their WBA/IBF/WBO light heavyweight title bout at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.

The crowd was so boisterous you almost forgot they came to see a 49-year-old Philadelphian get beaten up.

Okay, they didn’t come to see that, but that was the end result. Sergey Kovalev rocked Philly’s Bernard Hopkins in a unanimous decision Saturday night at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall. Judges gave Kovalev every round. From the time he knocked down Hopkins in the first, the fight never seemed in doubt. Kovalev landed 121 power punches to Hopkins’ 40.

For years Hopkins has beaten his opponents with a mix of incredible conditioning and masterful mind games. “I play chess every day, with human beings,” Hopkins told the HBO Boxing podcast last month. “And most of these guys are checker-playin’.” Hopkins was playing chess on Saturday, and Kovalev came and smashed the board in half with 166 punches.

Hopkins has lost before, but not this badly. He turns 50 next year. He no longer has his light heavyweight title. Boxing scribes immediately asked the question post-fight: Is this the end for Bernard Hopkins?

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3 Days After Pro Debut, Atlantic City Boxer Charged with Killing

Police have made an arrest in the January 17th killing of Nelson Viera, one of three homicides in Atlantic City this year. Omar Curry, 24, has been charged with murder and weapons offenses.

Just three days before, Curry boxed at Bally’s Atlantic City. Curry and Marvin Johnson fought to a majority draw in the four-round pro debut for each of the fighters last Saturday in Atlantic City.

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Damon Feldman Cancels George Zimmerman Press Conference

george-zimmerman-dmx-fight-damon-feldman-apologizes-trayvon-martin-birthday

Earlier this week, Philadelphia Celebrity Boxing promoter Damon Feldman told us that George Zimmerman would be coming to Philadelphia next week. The purpose: to take part in a press conference for the upcoming boxing match pitting Trayvon Martin’s killer against troubled rap star DMX. But on Friday morning, facing a torrent of outrage, Feldman said that Zimmerman wouldn’t be appearing as scheduled. Read more »

Damon Feldman Apologizes for George Zimmerman Fight Announcement

george-zimmerman-dmx-fight-damon-feldman-apologizes-trayvon-martin-birthday

UPDATE: Under pressure from the growing opposition to the George Zimmerman/DMX boxing match, fight promoter Damon Feldman has indicated that Zimmerman will not appear at the Philadelphia press conference next week.

ORIGINAL:

Trayvon Martin would have been 19 on Wednesday, had he not been shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Florida. And so when news spread on Wednesday that Philadelphia-based Celebrity Boxing promoter Damon Feldman (below) had announced a George Zimmerman vs. DMX bout, well, a lot of people started crying foul. (There’s also a White House petition to stop the fight). I got Feldman on the phone to talk about it. Read more »

MONDAY KICKSTARTER: Evander Holyfield Calls Being Gay a Handicap, “It Ain’t Normal”

Evander Holyfield calls being gay a handicap, says "it ain't normal." Click the photo for more.

Evander Holyfield upsets the LGBT community when he calls being gay “like a handicap,” says “it ain’t normal.” Click the photo for more.

PROGRESS REPORT

Pope Francis calls for Catholic Church to re-think view of gay parents

UTAH

Utah sheriffs rally, call for uprising against gay marriage

Utah man goes on hunger strike to protest same-sex marriage

SPORTS

Evander Holyfield says being gay is like a handicap, “it ain’t normal” 

Vikings hire attorneys to investigate Chris Kluwe’s anti-gay allegations

Vladimir Putin eases ban protests in Sochi during Olympics

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PHOTOS: Bernard Hopkins, Philly’s Ultimate Champion

Bernard Hopkins

Photo | Michael M. Koehler

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.

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6 Burning Questions About the Rocky II Training Run

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.

Man, do people love Rocky. My stupid little article about how far Rocky ran on his Rocky II training run got quite the response earlier this week. Quite a few people linked it, friends and writers I respect told me they enjoyed it and even Runner’s World interviewed me about it. A friend was in Albuquerque and overheard people talking about it.

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Philly Boxer Danny Garcia’s Next Fight Could Make Him a Superstar

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.
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