Bernard Hopkins in South Florida

Miami Herald boxing article by Santos Perez on Bernard Hopkins .
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Bernard Hopkins ready for Saturday’s fight against Pavlik

Posted on Mon, Oct. 13, 2008

BY SANTOS A. PEREZ

Bernard Hopkins closed the South Florida segment of his training camp last week and now is on a short wait leading to Saturday night’s bout against Kelly Pavlik in Atlantic City.

Six weeks ago, Hopkins returned to South Florida to train for fights after a three-year absence. Hopkins, who trained for the Pavlik fight at the Normandy Gym in Miami Beach, worked out in local gyms during the late stages of his 10-year middleweight championship run.

Now fighting in the light-heavyweight division, Hopkins, 43, prides himself on conditioning as a pivotal reason why he continues fighting. Hopkins stressed dedication to fellow Philadelphia fighters he brought to his recently concluded camp.

”They’ve been here with me training and running with me because I want them to see how an athlete is supposed to train,” Hopkins said during a conference call last week. “We’re in Miami. We’re in the bed at 9 [p.m.]. We’re up at 5:30 [a.m.] — in Miami.

“So, you know, when people listen to this interview they’ve got to understand, can’t too many athletes at any sport train in South Beach, Miami and stay this focused.”

Hopkins (48-5, 32 KOs) has reason to remain focused against Pavlik.

Considered one of the top fighters in the sport, Pavlik knocked out Jermain Taylor, who ended Hopkins’ middleweight reign three years ago. Pavlik (34-0, 30 KOs) also defeated Taylor in a direct rematch.

”Kelly Pavlik is the perfect opponent for me [Saturday] because he comes forward, he comes to fight and look, he wants to knock Bernard Hopkins out,” Hopkins said. “But he’s going to find it difficult and that’s going to change the fight.

“If Kelly Pavlik thinks he’s going to beat Bernard Hopkins because he has a right hand, he’s a damn fool.”

DAWSON WINS EASILY

On Saturday night, Chad Dawson won a convincing unanimous decision over Antonio Tarver and captured a light-heavyweight title in Las Vegas.

Dawson (27-0) was the busier fighter throughout the bout and solidified the victory with a knockdown in the 12th round. Two judges scored the fight for Dawson, 117-110 and the third also had him winning 118-109.

Unsuccessful in his first defense as International Boxing Federation titleholder, Tarver is now 27-5.

MIAMI FIGHTER DIES

Bobby Marie, whose professional career in the Miami fight circuit spanned from the late 1950s to mid 1960s, died Oct. 1. He was 71.

A longtime Hollywood resident, Marie fought in 51 bouts and compiled a 33-16-5 record according to boxrec.com.

Marie fought in local and defunct venues such as the Pan American Club and the Little River Auditorium.

”He was proud to be a boxer but he also knew when to get out,” said former boxer and Weston resident Dwaine Simpson, who fought Marie twice.

THIS AND THAT

In an effort to promote National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, fighters will wear pink gloves and perform on a pink canvas during Friday night’s card at Miccosukee Resort and Gaming.

Mexico’s Jorge Lacierva and Colombia’s Feider Viloria will fight for a regional super-bantamweight title in the eight-bout card’s main event.

• Miami’s Jorge Valdez (23-5-2) lost a unanimous decision against Van Goodman on Saturday night in Hinckley, Minn.

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About Jorge Costales

- Cuban Exile [veni] - Raised in Miami [vidi] - American Citizen [vici]
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