Grantland


Bernard Hopkins and the Endless End of Boxing

GRANTLAND

January 25, 2012

By James Verini

Lately, boxers are in the habit of emerging for fights accompanied by deafening music from their homelands. In this respect American boxers have something of a cultural advantage — in hip-hop they have a brawler’s overture, entrance music that might have been created for the sport, what with its flow and flurries and self-aggrandizement. Bernard Hopkins has only recently pressed this advantage. He likes rap, but through much of his career he has preferred to appear for fights to “My Way.” The song, first recorded 44 years ago, is a personal anthem. He has it committed to memory. Asked during a segment of the HBO show Real Sports to answer accusations that he’s a paranoiac who’s betrayed trainers and managers and promoters over the years, Hopkins didn’t exactly deny the charge, but said, “I’ve done it the Old Blue Eyes way.” Flashing the interviewer with a feline proto-grin that almost seemed an invitation to join in, Hopkins then went into song: “I crossed the bridge … I took the blows … I’ve done it my way.” The grin had by this point turned, imperceptibly, into a glower. “Frank Sinatra,” he said. “It’s a bad piece.” See Full Story