PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bernard Hopkins has another belt around his waist and a slice of boxing history to his name.
He just might not have another bout.
The oldest boxer to win a major title, the 48-year-old Hopkins said he could retire a champion if he’s no longer inspired and the right bout doesn’t materialize.
“If I’m not motivated, and the competition is not there, if it’s a meaningless fight, it’s time to roll, man,” Hopkins said by phone Sunday.
Hopkins scored a 12-round unanimous decision over Tavoris Cloud to claim the IBF light heavyweight championship Saturday night. Hopkins became the oldest boxer to win a major title, extending the record he set by beating Jean Pascal for the WBC light heavyweight title on May 21, 2011.
Hanging up the gloves is not Hopkins’ first choice. He wants to keep fighting if the right opponent and network home can be found.
Hopkins won’t return to a Philadelphia gym and train for a fight just to fight.
“I just want to sit down and see what’s out there that’s meaningful and if it’s worth the mental training, the mental stress, the things I know how to do to win,” Hopkins said.
He’s coming off his most convincing victory in years in the 175-pound title fight against the 31-year-old Cloud. Hopkins connected on 169 of 417 punches and opened a cut over Cloud’s left eye.
He stayed Sunday in New York and celebrated with a slice of cheesecake, a well-earned treat for a straight-edge fighter who abstains from alcohol, late nights, and sweets. He’s crafted a lifestyle that’s allowed him to fight as he pushes 50.
Winning at his age already makes him a novelty in a sport where so many fighters are finished in their 30s. He’s always been adamant at going out on his own terms and building on the legacy that already includes a dazzling 20 straight middleweight title defenses.
“I don’t want to be a circus act,” Hopkins said. “I’m a very proud man. They say fighters get old in the ring. No, fighters get old in the gym when no one’s honest enough to tell them they’re old.”
Hopkins also ran into promoter Don King in the hotel Sunday morning. Cloud had been considered the last prospect in King’s stable. King and Hopkins have long had an acrimonious relationship; Hopkins boasted last week of finishing off King once and for all. But King told Hopkins he was proud of him in their brief chat. Hopkins said he appreciated the gesture.
So, if not retirement, what’s next? Hopkins said before the fight he’d like to face WBO light heavyweight champ Nathan Cleverly. But Cleverly has contractual commitments ahead that could make that fight an impossibility. Hopkins will keep looking for one more big fight on HBO or Showtime. If not, it’s off he’ll go as the oldest champ to quit on top.
“I have some history-making moments in me. Not a lot,” he said, “but there are more.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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