By Paul Kurtz
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia boxer Bernard Hopkins has added another trophy to his case: the 2013 John Wanamaker Athletic Award.
At age 48, his remarkable career is still going strong. But in accepting the award today, Hopkins — the oldest fighter ever to wear a title belt — reflected on his inspirational journey that began at the bottom: first as a 17-year-old behind bars at Graterford Prison, and later as a boxer who quit for a while after losing his first pro bout.
“From 1989 to ’90 I was missing in action in boxing,” Hopkins recalls. “I had to make a choice: to be the same person that I used to be, or go back and try again. And this time it lasted almost three decades.”
Hopkins joins such notables as Julius Erving, Chuck Bednarick, Mike Schmidt, and Roy Halladay on the Wanamaker Award list.
His next bout will be against Sergay Kovalev.