PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia boxer Bernard Hopkins drew a crowd today on a stage alongside the “Rocky” statue, near the steps of the art museum, as he celebrated his historic light-heavyweight championship.
Mayor Nutter may have been wearing a suit and tie, but he clenched his fists on demand, bobbed and weaved, and played ringside announcer:
“The reigning light heavyweight champion, Bernard Hopkins Junior! Let’s get ready to rumble!”‘
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The champ has returned from a tough 12-rounder with Jean Pascal, winning a unanimous decision, and becoming at age 46 the oldest boxer ever to win a major world title.
Hopkins recalled the “Rocky” movies today, and said his life followed a similar path.
“I played jacks like they was aces, and made something out of nothing. When you don’t have lemon to make real lemonade, you imagine when you’re drinking water that it tastes like lemon,” he said.
Hopkins was reflective as he explained how he takes care of his health without getting caught up in the high life of being successful, and not ending up a a punch-drunk has-been:
“Not hustle boxing, because boxing will hustle you, and you be walking funny, and not talking right.”
Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio 1060