Oscar De La Hoya heaped praise on his great friend Bernard Hopkins as the retired fighter spoke in glowing terms about a man who is about to defend his world titles just a few months shy of his 50th birthday.
Hopkins, who has been fighting 26 years, meets hard-hitting Russian Sergey Kovalev on November 8 in Atlantic City in a three-belt unification and De La Hoya is adamant the veteran would have been a prominent champion in any of the great decades of the past.
“The current WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion and obviously a future first ballot Hall of Famer. He won the Middleweight World Title in 1995, and defended that title 20 times, solidifying his place as one of the best, if not the best middleweights in boxing history,” said De La Hoya.
“Bernard Hopkins, not only are we talking about the fighter who is the best in this era, but can possibly be the best in any era. When you talk about comparing the ’80s and the ’70s and the ’60s and 1990 and the 2000s, well Hopkins is a fighter you can say would have competed, if not would have been the best, in any era. That’s what we’re talking about right here. We’re not talking about just a fighter, any ordinary fighter. We’re really talking about an alien, Bernard Hopkins, who at the age of 49, going on 50, is still fighting the toughest and the very best, This man tells it old school. We will never ever in our lifetime see a fighter like Bernard Hopkins, probably ever again.
“So, if anybody watched the well-produced, well put together “24/7,” you can see how Hopkins is still working hard and has never, ever lost a beat, who has captured America by storm, proving to everyone that just because you’re in your 40s it doesn’t mean anything.
“It means that it’s just the beginning. So, with a record of 55-6, 32 KOs, the oldest fighter in the history of the sport to be world champion, (he is ) probably the best athlete, not fighter but athlete, in any sport,” he added.
De La Hoya fought Hopkins himself back in 2004 as ‘The Alien’ became the first opponent of his glittering career to stop him at the MGM Grand.
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