"The Executioner" is Back

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Sarah Glover
    Philadelphia boxer Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins is preparing for his March 9, 2013 fight against Tavoris Cloud.

    Philadelphia boxer Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins, 48, says he feels half his age and his next opponent -- who is undefeated --  "had better be ready."

    "When he loses to me come March 9, it's not embarassing on record but his feelings and his spirit might be broken. That's hard to fix," said Hopkins.

    Hopkins faces IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Tavoris "Thunder" Cloud, 31, on March 9 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Cloud has held the title since 2009. The fight will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing. 

    Hopkins said he's old enough to be his opponent's father, but that's not holding him back.

    "He's coming with the youth. He's coming with the strength. He's coming with the confidence. He's coming with all these things that you do need as a fighter. But, I'm different and I have to show that I'm different," said Hopkins. 

    In May 2011, Hopkins, then 46 years-old, made history by becoming the oldest fighter to win a world championship when he defeated Jean Pascal for the WBC Light Heavyweight World title. His career has spanned 25 years. His record is 52-6-2, 32 KO's.

    Hopkins spoke about what motivates him during a training session today at Joe Hand Boxing Gym. 

    "I'm different in a lot of ways. I'm setting the stage to say that to all the fighters who come out of the city and are in the city-- that you have to be different too. It's easy to be the norm, to being average.

    Average is common. When you are different and you say you are different, you have to have a record and resume to prove that. I say that I'm different in a way of what I've accomplished, how I think, how I train."

    Hopkins' trainer Danny Davis has been working with him for the past 10 years. Davis said circuit training is key to Hopkins' regime.

    "He never lets himself get out of shape," said Davis. "He's an inspiration to anyone. He never gives up. Never let someone tell you what you can't do despite your age. Fulfill your dream like Hopkins."

    Hopkins concedes there are more risks to boxing as he gets older, but asserts, "I'm so competitive, just like Michael Jordan was so competitive and the great athletes that came before this was so competitive. If I know I got the body and skills, why not do something that you've been passionate about and have been doing?"

    Hopkins summed up the changes in the game-- the more punches you throw, the more likely you'll win the round. "There's a lot working against me but there's a lot working for me. I have the IQ to do it and the body and conditioning to adjust." 

    People regularly ask Hopkins for the secret to feeling like a super-athlete while he's pushing 50.

    "There's no secret. It's discipline. Nothing magic that I'm doing."