It’s seldom in boxing wherein you will see a boxer fighting the student of a trainer he once fought.
On November 8, the 49 year old Bernard Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KO’s) will face Sergey Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 KO’s) who trained John David Jackson who once fought Hopkins. The then, nicknamed “The Executioner” executed Jackson in the seventh round of their April 1997 encounter.
It’s not a personal challenge to me. First of all, John David Jackson, I always said, is one of the elite trainers out there who never really got his respect and November 8th he wants to get that big boost to get that respect. But, again, maybe John David Jackson will show him the fight that we fought and realize that he didn’t have the code to beat “The Executioner” at the time and now it’s “The Alien.” So, maybe John realized how he should have ducked or how he should have fought at that time.” Hopkins answered.
He further added that: “John isn’t fighting, John isn’t in the ring. You have to give the information to the athlete, the athlete has to be able to take that information, and be able to use it to his best ability.”
Well, Hopkins has a point, but the fact that Jackson had the personal experience fighting him inside the ring; he (Jackson) actually had the first hand experience to pass on to Kovalev. However, that questions the ability of the trainer how to pass knowledge to his student as what Hopkins pointed out.
“Let’s see if he can do that, because John David Jackson definitely can’t fight for him. John David Jackson had his chance. John David Jackson got knocked out, I believe, in the ninth round. So, to me how can a teacher teach a student and the teacher flunked the test too?”
Bernard Hopkins turns 50 years old in January. And he will be fighting 31 year old hard hitting Sergey Kovalev to unify the three alphabet straps. Hopkins started his professional boxing career late in the late 80’s. He first got a shot at the middleweight championship, but lost to former pound-for-pound kingpin Roy Jones Jr. in 1993. He got the opportunity again for the title, but ended up in a draw against Segundo Mercado. He finally became a world champion five fights after his lost to Jones by knocking out Mercado in a rematch in 1995.
Since then, Hopkins defended the title 21 times and became the undisputed middleweight champion. He held the title for one decade before he lost to Jermain Taylor in 2005. After the Taylor loss, I thought that was it, for the hall of famer career of Hopkins. But Hopkins move up in weight and started re-writing the history of the light heavyweight division.