|Roy Jones Jr vs. Bernard Hopkins: Wise Nobility Is What Remains
By Jason Petock, DoghouseBoxing (April 4, 2010) All Photos © German Villasenor, Doghouse Boxing
Saturday's interesting, and at times, quite entertaining bout between two cagey veterans in Roy Jones Jr. (54-7-0) and Bernard Hopkins (51-5-0), proved to surpass what limited expectations there were surrounding the bout initially. The press didn't see much in the way of the fight being a prospective showstopper prior to the match up. Yet it did have its moments in the sun, as both men displayed small glimpses of the once masterful genius and capabilities that they each built their respective careers upon over the years.
Jones and Hopkins met once more in the ring, this time trying to settle their own personal vendetta on an even playing field, far older, a little wiser, and just as game as ever. Seventeen years have passed since their first meeting, and we all were entertained far more with this fight than they ever did back in 1993. There will of course be the naysayers who will interject negativity at every pass, as they will focus on the age of the participants, the appearance of their diminishing skills, and the drama filled oddities that occurred in the ring. An ever animated B-Hop used a little more of his old school styling in the squared circle and continued to do it “his way”. Jones on the other hand was as equally entertaining, as he brought back small snippets to the forefront of our collective memory by recalling the original showboating that used to make fans both cheer and cringe alike.
What is forgotten in the minds of many, however, is what both of these great warriors have accomplished over the years while being professional fighters. The mere fact that it is the year 2010 and both these men are still plying their craft professionally is as equally impressive as it is motivational and inspiring.
Bernard Hopkins has always marched to the beat of his own drummer, and compiled an impressive record over the years, having 20 Middleweight title defenses to his credit. He trumped the record set forth by Carlos Monzon of 14, who held that distinction until Hopkins passed up his number, and cemented his legacy in the process.
Roy Jones Jr. is also not short of creditability and distinction in the ring, having won the WBA Heavyweight title from John Ruiz (44-9-1), after his first and only fight as a Heavyweight.
Each fighter has made his mark in the world of professional boxing in their own way, and made the sport that much stronger as a whole. Even now as the twilight of their careers have long passed, they have carried the torch past the darkest of nights to illuminate fans one last time with their latest showing. Only time will tell if either boxer will lace up the gloves one last time. As they continue to battle, some what for pride, some what for honor, but most importantly because they are pugilists, warriors who fight.
So as the love of my life and I sat in a mostly empty movie theater, (there were two other individuals present), and watched the beauty and majesty that is boxing on a gloriously massive movie screen, I thought to myself of the relevance of the two men that were fighting on the screen for our entertainment, for your entertainment. I contemplated why they fight, granted the pay isn't bad but what a way to earn your keep. There is a true honor and distinction, a higher order and label that fighters attain because of what they do. They fight like we wish we could, they bleed and keep going, they struggle with both victory and defeat and all things in between. And they do it with a dignity and respect for one another, as each bout is an example of the ebb and flow that is natural in all things, and comes to a head before our very eyes as two boxers become one entity in the ring. The energy of every punch, every nuance and movement, is calculated to an exact science and muscle fiber, a lesson in timing and physics. Every movement pinpointed and accurate at times, and off the mark and misinterpreted during others. And with that movie theater being so empty it made me realize that we are all part of a special club of only the most selective of members, a group of individuals who keep alive the purity and belief in a discipline that will always live in the hearts of us all. Roy Jones Jr. and Bernard Hopkins are members of this club as well, and they can each hold their heads up high knowing that their latest performance has been met with approval by those who know what its all really about.
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