Bernard Hopkins is the real unique nowadays fighter. He was the long-term middleweight champion, the world's best light-heavyweight and P4P № 1 in the world. Today, The Executioner is celebrating his 50-th Anniversary!
Bernard Humphry Hopkins Jr. was born January 15, 1965, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the age of 17, Bernard was convicted to 18 years imprisonment for 9 felonies. In prison Bernard started to box. Fortunately, getting out after five, Bernard realized that he has to relate his life with boxing. Whatever, he lost his pro-debut. His first world title shot came up on May, 1993, when he faced former Olympic vice-champion and up-coming super-star, Roy Jones Jr., for the vacant IBF middleweight belt. Hopkins lost on points. His next chance came in 1995. This time for the very same title, Hopkins beat Segundo Mercado of Ecuador, by TKO in 7-th. Bernard hold this title for 10 years, which is middleweight championship record, with 20 successful defenses behind him. He, also, added WBA, WBC and WBO belts. After that, Bernard fought a few non-title super-fights at super-middle and light-heavy, beating the high-quality opponents as Antonio Tarver, Ronald Wright, Kelly Pavlik, and won the rematch against Roy Jones Jr. Only person Bernard lost in very close and shaky decision was Joe Calzaghe from Wales. On May 21, 2011, 46-years-old Hopkins became the oldest world champion in the history of boxing, beating the George Foreman's 1994 record. In Montreal, he beats the 29-years-old Canadian, Jean Pascal, for WBC light-heavyweight title. Now, Hopkins has a record of 55(32 KO)-7-2, he has succeeded his own championship record for two more times in 2013, but in 2014 he also won the WBC belt. In his last fight against the strong Russian, 31-years-old Sergey Kovalev, for the undisputed light-heavyweight crown, Bernard lost on points. Hopkins is the co-owner of Golden Boy Promotion together with his former opponent, the legendary Oscar De La Hoya. The Executioner has still say nothing about his retirement and today he has his Big Day- 50-th Birthday!
On January 15, 1917, in Raakula, was born the greatest ever Estonian boxer, Anton Raadik. Raadik won the amateur 1939 European Championships in Dublin, at middleweight (72.6 Kilo). In 1946, Raadik migrated to US and settled down in Chicago. While fighting professionally, he was nicknamed Rampaging Estonian, because of his braveness and uncompromising attitude on the ring. Raadik gave very tough opposition to such a classy middleweights as Jake La Motta, Al Hostak, Georgie Abrams and Carl Bobo Olson. During the fight against Marcel Cerdan, Raadik dropped The Frenchman three times, but judges anyway gave it to Cerdan. The most notable win of The Estonian was against European and world champion, The Greek Anton Christoforidis, Raadik won by KO in the 8-th. Raadik's record was 35(24 KO)-24(8 KO)-1. Anton Raadik died 1999 in Chicago, he was 82. On January 15, the greatest Estonian boxer would celebrate his 98!
Also, on January 15, his 54-th Birthday is celebrating two-times amateur world champion, Pablo Romero. Born 1961 in Havana, Cuba, Romero won 1982 World Championships in Munich and 1986 World Championships in Reno, Nevada, US, at light-heavyweight (81 Kilo). Also, Pablo won two PanAmerican Games in 1983 and 1987. Romero has beat Evander Holyfield and the Olympic Champion, Andrew Maynard. On 1989 World Championships in Moscow, Romero lost in the finals to another Olympic Champion and the future pro-world champion, The German Henry Maske. Pablo Romero was unlucky with the Olympics, because of the Cuban boycott of 1984 and 1988 Olympics.
On January 15, 1970, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was born the former WBC cruiserweight champion of the world, Marcelo Dominguez. He won the title in 1996, forcing to retire in the 10-th round, The Frenchman Patrice Aouissi. After two successful defenses Dominguez lost the belt to Juan Carlos Gomez of Cuba, in 1998. Marcelo Dominguez retired in 2006, with the record of 41(22 KO)-7(1 KO)-1. On January 15, he will become 45-years-old!
Also, 45-years-old on January 15, becomes one of the best German amateur light-welterweights (63.5 Kilo), The Turkish-born Oktay Urkal. Born in 1970, Urkal won 1994 World Cup in Bangkok and 1996 European Championships in Vejle, Denmark. At the same year Oktay also won the silver of Atlanta Olympics, losing in the finals to the strong Cuban, Hector Vinent. At the professionals, Urkal took the nickname Cassius, he was the European Champion at light-welter and welter weights, and four times he has attempted to the world titles, but always unsuccessfully. He lost to The Russian Kostya Tszyu, twice to Vivian Harris of Guyana and in his last fight to The Puerto-Rican, Miguel Cotto. Urkal's final record was 38(12 KO)-4(2 KO).