On Sept. 29, 2001, then-IBF middleweight titleholder Bernard Hopkins scored what was, at the time, perhaps the greatest victory of his career with a 12th-round knockout of Felix Trinidad at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
During an interview with the Baltimore Sun in 2001, Hopkins talked about the win, which happened in the same month that Hopkins had watched the second airplane ram the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 from his Manhattan hotel room 20 blocks away.
The fight having been postponed from its original date of Sept. 15, the victory over Trinidad earned Hopkins the WBA’s title, marking his second straight in two appearances at The Garden. Hopkins had vanquished Keith Holmes as WBC beltholder there by unanimous decision in his previous fight in April of that year.
Hopkins handed Trinidad his first-ever loss against 40 wins and 33 stoppages and ended his consecutive knockout streak at three. The triumphs over Holmes and Trinidad were the 13th and 14th middleweight title defenses during a record run of 20 by Hopkins.
Hopkins, now 47, recounts his experiences at The Garden starting on Wednesday night at 10:30 p.m. on Episode 3 of “The Garden Transformed: Year Two,” which chronicles a behind-the-scenes look at the second phase of Madison Square Garden’s historic, top-to-bottom transformation.
Voiced over by actor Billy Crudup, the episode is part of a five-part series running each night this week on MSG’s website, giving viewers a firsthand look at how the arena’s upper bowl was gutted and rebuilt as well as input from athletes and celebrities who have called The Garden home.
Hopkins will be shown as he toured the transformed arena this summer, speaking to workers about his bout with Trinidad.
Hopkins could face undefeated IBF 175-pound beltholder Tavoris Cloud on March 9, sharing the card with unbeaten welterweight contender Keith Thurman against an opponent to be determined at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, pending approval from the IBF, according to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer.
With a victory, Hopkins, who will turn 48 in January, would extend his own record as the oldest man to win a significant crown, a feat the Philadelphia native accomplished at the age of 46 with a unanimous decision over Jean Pascal for the WBC’s light heavyweight belt in May of last year.
Thurman (19-0, 18 knockouts) is coming off a fourth-round stoppage of former WBO 147-pound beltlholder Carlos Quintana on Nov. 24, scoring his eighth consecutive knockout the day after his 24th birthday.
MIKE TYSON, SUGAR RAY LEONARD LEAD NEVADA HALL OF FAME’S INAUGURAL CLASS
Former world champions Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya, Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes and Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., trainers Eddie Futch and Freddie Roach, promoters Don King and Bob Arum, referees Mills Lane and Joe Cortez, and broadcster Al Bernstein were among those inducted on Wednesday into the initial class of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, which was established in October by longtime boxing commentator and historian, Rich Marotta.
The announcement was made during the organization’s inaugural meeting at The Richard Steele Boxing Club at 11 a.m. in North Las Vegas, and was overseen by Marotta, of KFI Radio, Los Angeles.
Below is a list of the are the inductees beneath the categories for which they were chosen, along with a brief skinny — all of which was provided by the NVBHOF:
Nevada resident boxers:
Mike Tyson (50-6, 44 KOs) — The former undisputed heavyweight champion was also the youngest man to wear the heavyweight crown during his first of three title reigns. He was renowned for his punching power and became boxing’s biggest draw. Tyson is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Mike McCallum (49-5-1, 36 KOs) — Held the WBA super welterweight, WBA middleweight and WBC light heavyweight titles. McCallum is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Diego Corrales (40-5, 33 KOs) — Held the IBF junior lightweight title and unified the WBO and WBC lightweight belts with a knockout victory over Jose Luis Castillo in arguably the greatest fight of his era.
Non-Nevada resident boxers:
Julio Cesar Chavez (107-6-2, 88 KOs) — México’s greatest fighter, this three-division world champion was unbeaten in his first 90 bouts. Made his Nevada debut in 1985, knocking out Roger Mayweather in the second round to retain his WBC lightweight title. Nevada record was 21-4 with 12 KOs. Chavez is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Larry Holmes (69-6, 44 KOs) — Known as “The Easton Assassin,” Holmes had one of the great jabs in boxing history. He won the title from Ken Norton in an epic bout in 1978 and held it until 1985. A member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Holmes was 18-3 in fights in Nevada.
Oscar De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs) — “The Golden Boy” won 10 world titles in six weight classes. He was the biggest pay-per-view star of his time, and his bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2007 set the record with 2.5 million buys. He’s now the president of Golden Boy Promotions.
Sugar Ray Leonard (36-3-1, 25 KOs) — A 1976 Olympic gold medalist, Leonard was boxing’s top star of the 1980s. His wins over Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns and Roberto Duran remain among the most significant in the sport’s history. Leonard was 11-0-1 in 12 Nevada fights.
Eddie Futch — The legendary Futch, a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, is regarded by many as the best trainer in boxing history. He trained greats such as Joe Frazier, Riddick Bowe, Michael Spinks and Alexis Arguello. He also mentored several great trainers and taught Freddie Roach the business.
Freddie Roach – The International Boxing Hall of Fame member is most known for his work with Manny Pacquiao, but he trained a series of great fighters, including the late Johnny Tapia and Mike Tyson. Roach is a five-time trainer of the year.
Mills Lane — Lane became arguably the top referee of his time with a fair but no-nonsense style that commanded the respect of the fighters he worked with. A former pro boxer with a 10-1 record, Lane worked many big fights, including Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield II, Pernell Whitaker-Oscar De La Hoya and Riddick Bowe-Evander Holyfield II. Lane was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame and will be inducted in June.
Joe Cortez – Nicknamed “Fair but Firm” for not only his familiar catchphrase but also his style, Cortez was one of boxing’s great referees during his 32-year career. Cortez worked many of the big fights of his era, including Floyd Mayweather-Ricky Hatton, Shane Mosley-Fernando Vargas, Erik Morales-Manny Pacquiao and Lennox Lewis-Hasim Rahman. Cortez is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Al Bernstein — A familiar voice for more than 30 years as an analyst and play-by-play man on boxing broadcast, the affable Bernstein is best known for his work at ESPN and Showtime. He also served as the boxing analyst for NBC’s coverage of the Olympics in both 1992 and 1996. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Royce Feour — Feour covered boxing in Nevada for more than 40 years, the last 37 at the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was ringside for all of the big fights as Nevada earned its label as the boxing capital of the world. His first major fight was Sonny Liston-Floyd Patterson in 1963, and he covered all of the big stars of the five decades.
Bob Arum — A one-time U.S. attorney in the Kennedy Administration, Arum became perhaps the most significant promoter in history. He promoted more than 20 fights involved Muhammad Ali and was also the promoter of stars such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran, Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, among many others. Arum’s Top Rank Inc. is based in Las Vegas and put on many of Nevada’s biggest events. Arum is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Don King – King was a numbers runner in Cleveland whose quick wit and indomitable work ethic led him to become one of boxing’s greatest promoters. He led the careers of dozens of stars, including Mike Tyson, Felix Trinidad and Larry Holmes. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Marc Ratner– Ratner was the executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission from 1992 through 2006, earning a reputation for honesty and fairness, as well as the top regulator in the sport. Prior to becoming executive director, Ratner was the chief inspector for the commission and worked closely with his predecessor, Chuck Minker. Ratner is now the vice president of regulatory affairs for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
James Nave – A local veterinarian, Nave was a member of the Nevada Athletic Commission for 11 years, from 1988 through 1999, and served two terms as its chairman. He was considered one of the sport’s top regulators and was a fierce advocate for fighter health and safety. Nevada made major strides in enforcing safety regulations during his tenure.
Sig Rogich — Rogich served on the Nevada Athletic Commission for 12 years, from 1974 through 1986, including several stints as chairman. For many years after his term on the commission ended, Rogich worked closely with major promoters to help bring major boxing shows to Nevada. The president of the Rogich Communications Group, Rogich was a confidante and advisor to Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
Kirk Kerkorian — A one-time amateur boxer of some note who was known as “Rifle Right Kerkorian,” Kerkorian helped bring big-time boxing to Nevada. He helped usher Las Vegas into the mega-resort age and his MGM Grand played host to some of the biggest fights in boxing history.
Donations to the NV BHOF are tax-deductible, as are tickets purchased to NVBHOF-sponsored events. Donations can be made by visiting the NVBHOF website: www.nvbhof.com. You can “like” NVBHOF on Facebook (facebook.com/nvbhof) and follow it on Twitter (@nvbhof).
GREG COHEN SIGNS UNBEATEN CANADIAN ADAM TRUPISH
Greg Cohen, the promoter of WBA junior middleweight beltholder Austin Trout, has signed undefeated 154-pound prospect Adam “A-Bomb” Trupish (11-0, 8 KOs), a Las Vegas-based, two-time Canadian Olympian who has scored five consecutive knockouts and is being trained by former titleholder Eddie Mustafa Muhammad.
GARY SHAW INKS ENRIQUE COLLAZO
Former standout amateur middleweight Enrique “Kikin” Collazo, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, signed promotional deal with Gary Shaw Productions and Universal Promotions, whose president is Javier Bustillo.
Collazo won gold at the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games held in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, and was the gold medal winner as well in the 2012 “Juan Evangelista Venegas Olympic Cup” in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Collazo also represented his country the London Olympics this past summer.
“Adding Collazo to our stable is tremendous as we move forward to 2013,” said Shaw of Collazo, whose professional debut is scheduled for Jan. 25 at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, N.Y.
“Enrique brings an exciting style to the ring, and together with my good friend Javier Bustillo, we plan to showcase him on an international stage. I’m very excited to be working closely with Bustillo in Puerto Rico to bring the best talent out of the Island. Our already great stable of fighters is growing just as we planned and we feel we have the best fighters coming out of Puerto Rico.”
Bustillo spoke of Collazo’s character.
“We are proud to add ‘Kikin’ Collazo to our team. He is a warrior in life,” said Bustillo. “He is an example for our society, as he has raised his family, his brothers. Our goal together with Gary Shaw is to fulfill his dream of becoming world champion.”
CLEOTIS PENDARVIS PURSUES SIXTH STRAIGHT WIN
Junior welterweight Cleotis “Mookie” Pendarvis (16-3-1, 5 KO’s), of Los Angeles, will pursue his sixth straight win against Michael Clark (43-7-1, 18 KOs), of Columbus, Ohio, on Friday at The Florentine Gardens.
“I cannot wait to put my hands on Clark. I’m going to spoil his Christmas, that’s for sure. There will be nothing but ice and band aids in his stocking this year,” said Pendarvis, who will return to the ring for the first time since May.
“My camp has been crazy. Every day in the gym has been better than the day before. I am ready. I can’t wait, and come 2013, I’m going to make some serious moves and noise. I want to fight the best in my division.”
RANCES BARTHELEMY ‘READY’ FOR ARASH USMANEE
Junior lightweight Rances Barthelemy (17-0, 11 KOs), of Miami, will be looking to step up to a different level against Arash Usmanee (20-0, 10 KOs), of Montreal, when they meet on Jan. 4 at Miami’s Magic City Casino.
“My partner Leon Margules, his manager Henry Foster and I feel this kid is world championship material. It’s time to take on a guy like this. He’s ready,” said the 26-year-old Barthelemy’s Miami-based co-promoter, Richard Dobal, president of Bad Dog Productions.
“I say that because he’s had an opportunity to be in several training camps and all the feedback we get is that he’s ready for bigger and better things. He was just in camp with Mercito Gesta and before that with Sharif Bogere and Marco Maidana. He’s sparred several top guys and handled himself very well.”
Dobal believes that Barthelemy is ready for the improved competition.
“Whenever we’ve put an opponent in front of him where he had to step up, such as Hylon Williams, Rances proved he was ready,” said Dobal, referring to an eight-round unanimous decision victory over the previously unbeaten Williams in February. “I think he’s one of those fighters that the better the opponent, the more inspired he gets in training, and in his performance.”
Barthelemy is no stranger to Usmanee.
“What I like about Usmanee is that we know him. They had an opportunity to spar a couple years ago, and Arash is a guy who comes to fight. Rances won’t have to find him and those are the type of opponents that showcase Rances at his best,” said Dobal.
“Rances likes to fight. He likes to get down and slug it out. These are the types of opponents that Rances stylistically will do well against. We’re all conscious that Arash is a very tough fighter and this is probably the toughest fight that Rances has ever had. But these are the types of guys you have to fight to become a champion.”
Barthelemy recently moved his base of operations back to Florida after spending time in Vegas working with well-respected trainer Miguel Diaz.
“He is with new trainers now, John David Jackson and with Chico Rivas, and they put a little more emphasis on strength and conditioning. We’re very grateful to Miguel, who worked with him all this time,” said Dobal.
“But Rances is going to be a father soon and the distance from his fiancé with him living in Vegas wasn’t working, so he made the decision to come back to Miami to support to his new family. Rances is a very good kid and family comes first.”
In the co-featured televised bout, junior middleweight contenders Johnathan “Mantequilla” Gonzalez (15-0-1, 13 KOs), of Puerto Rico, and Derek “Pooh” Ennis (23-3-1, 13 KOs), of Philadelphia, will meet.
Photo by Ed Mulholland, Fightwireimages.com
Photo by John Gurzinski, AFP/Gettyimages
Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Photo by Peter Politanoff
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com