The photo of Bernard Hopkins on the cover of the September 2011 issue was B-Hop’s idea.
Originally, it had been suggested he pose in a rocking chair, but the 46-year-old light heavyweight champion didn’t want anybody getting the wrong idea. Instead, he suggested the clock gimmick and actually purchased it himself on the way to the gym. With award-winning photographer Ed Mulholland on hand, an instant classic was created.
The cover story is a 10-page RING Interview conducted by Editor-in-Chief Nigel Collins – the first in-depth interview Bernard has given since his record-setting victory over Jean Pascal to regain the 175-pound title. As always, Hopkins is brutally candid in his remarks. Here’s what he had to say about old foe Roy Jones Jr. continuing to fight at a point where he’s become a touring knockout victim.
“There are two reasons why fighters fight beyond the time they are supposed to fight: One is money; two is tax problems. Also, they are in denial as to where their careers are now compared to then. I don’t know for sure, but all of the above probably apply to Roy Jones. But in the end, I believe fighters have to be saved from themselves. If you’re declining, not winning, getting knocked out two times in a row, it’s a problem. Somebody has to go ahead and step in.”
In “Vacant Ring Championship at Stake in ‘Super Six’ Finale” Managing Editor Joseph Santoliquito covers the Carl Froch-Glen Johnson showdown in Atlantic City, N.J., and looks ahead to Froch’s bout with Andre Ward in the final of Showtime’s super middleweight tournament.
“Now The Ring belt is on the line, it makes it a huge deal,” Ward told Santoliquito. “The fact that I am No. 1 and you look above that and see ‘champ vacant,’ that bothers me. I understand it’s been vacant for some time. I see other champs with that belt, and I want that belt extremely bad. I think no one would argue Froch and me are the two best super middleweights in the world right now. It should come down to us.”
West Coast correspondent and “Digging Deep” columnist Ivan Goldman was ringside for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.’s close decision victory over Sebastian Zbik and he delivers his expert analysis in “A Flawed But Riveting Attraction.”
“With any luck, there will be additional excellent nights ahead as the impossible-to-dislike Chavez Jr. defends his new belt, taking his unpolished, predictable but entertaining style into still more spirited contests against opponents whose defects will give them world-title opportunities,” writes Goldman.
“Shot But Bulletproof”is Contributing Editor Eric Raskin’s thought-provoking theme piece about formerly great fighters risking their legacies by fighting on past their primes.
“In the moment, we hold the ineptitude of these legends’ performances against them,” writes Raskin. “But as soon as they announce their retirements, we’ll forgive them. When assessing each fighter’s greatness, we’ll more or less pretend that the post-prime losses never happened.”
“Unforeseen Consequences”is UK correspondent Gavin Evans’ take on a topsy-turvy night of boxing when almost nothing turned out the way it was originally planned.
“One of the many things to love about this sport of ours is its glorious unpredictability,” writes Evans. “No matter who you think you are, you’re only one step away from the nearest banana peel. The big bill at London’s O2 Arena was full of such skins, several dropped before hostilities commenced and a really big one for the big night.”
Contributor Lee Groves takes readers along with him to Induction Weekend at the International Boxing Hall of Fame in “Hall of a Weekend: The Next Best Thing to Being There.” From his arrival on Thursday morning until his departure on Sunday afternoon, Groves’ firsthand account covers everything from Micky Ward’s Ringside Lecture – When someone asked whether family members uttered as many F-bombs as was portrayed in The Fighter, he said, “they actually toned that down.” – to Sylvester Stallone’s acceptance speech – “Yo, Adrian. I did it.”
All boxing fans worthy of the appellation know about former light heavyweight champion Archie Moore’s Hall of Fame boxing career, but Moore also did quite a lot of acting. Contributor Don Stradley documents this aspect of Moore’s remarkable life in “Moore than Just a Boxer: Archie Goes to Hollywood.”
“Unlike most fighters, Moore wasn’t stiff and self-conscious,” writes Stradley. “He was articulate. He could emote. His voice was soft but with a small amount of grit in it, bred by years of shotgun shacks and hard travel … If casting agents didn’t have a category for aging gunslinger-Buddhas, they created one the day they saw Moore.”
“Amateur New & Views”columnist Michael Rivest profiles Michael Hunter, the son of former professional heavyweight Mike “The Bounty” Hunter. The talented 22-year-old Hunter has worked as Wladimir Klitschko’s sparring partner since 2009. “He doesn’t care who’s in front of him. He’s not afraid to try things,” said Klitschko. “He has fire in his guts.”
Undefeated middleweight prospect Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin is the subject of this issue’s “New Faces” by Senior Writer William Dettloff. “A Young Turk who shows up calling himself Kid Chocolate brings certain expectations,” writes Dettloff. “The original was really something else. But Quillin can fight. That’s a start.”
In “Does Size Count?,” “Fight Doctor” columnist Dr. Margaret Goodman examines whether or not certain body types give one fighter an edge over another. Not surprisingly, Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward prefers tall fighters such as Tommy Hearns and Wladimir Klitschko, but believes “there is no one body type that makes a great champion.”
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