Yahoo! Contributor Network
This article was created on the Yahoo! Contributor Network, where users like you are published on Yahoo! every day. Learn more »Yahoo! Contributor Network
Should Bernard Hopkins Retire? Fan’s Take
First ballot Hall of Fame fighter, Bernard Hopkins, turned 47 on January 15th and it may be time to make the hardest decision of his 23-year professional career.
The former undisputed middleweight champ and current WBC light heavyweight titlist is on the last legs of a stellar career and, from looking around at the list of available opponents, there's just nothing on the horizon that makes much sense for him.
The WBC has mandated a rematch with Chad Dawson after their controversial second round no contest last October 15, but the first bout, for the little while it lasted, was hardly fan-friendly and the rematch will likely be similarly slow-paced.
Aside from the lackluster stylistic match-up, there's not exactly a public outcry for Hopkins-Dawson II. Only 40,000 people bought their first bout on pay-per-view. After the unsatisfying ending of the first contest, sales figures would likely be lower for a return.
At this stage of his career, Hopkins is on borrowed time and should only get in the ring for what could be described as "legacy" fights that either offer a high reward for a win or promise an interesting, stylistic pairing. Dawson provides neither.
It's rumored that Hopkins is pursuing a catchweight bout against IBF super middleweight titlist, Lucian Bute in Canada. Showtime is said to be interested and, while it may be just slightly more entertaining than Hopkins-Dawson, it will be guaranteed to produce a packed house in Bute's adopted hometown of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Hopkins-Bute, though, would force Hopkins to abandon his world title and would not likely produce the type of career-ending send-off that a fighter like Hopkins deserves.
Another option for "B-Hop" is to take on one of the young lions of the division and either once again defy modern pugilistic logic with an unlikely win or do the sport a favor by passing the torch.
IBF light heavyweight titlist, Tavoris Cloud, has publicly stated his desire to fight Hopkins while two other young 175 lb. titlists, Nathan Cleverly and Beibut Shumenov, were mentioned as possible opponents by Hopkins, himself.
Still, other than an honorable passing of the torch gesture, none of these fighters would generate much heat.
So, what would be the right career move for a legendary fighter with nothing left to prove?
The right move could very well be retirement. Hopkins could then make a life out of teaching young American fighters the secrets of the sweet science. No other fighter knows as much about the nuts and bolts of boxing than Hopkins and just having him around could benefit the stars of tomorrow. Hopkins, whether he realizes it or not, has the makings of a true, old-school trainer, along the lines of his personal trainer and mentor, Bouie Fisher.
However, it's going to be tough for a true gladiator like Hopkins to admit that the sport needs his mind more than his fists. So, expect a couple more relatively pointless fights before the end comes to a truly outstanding career.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. He is also a contributor to Fox Sports. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
Kevin Iole, Hopkins Fears for Future, Yahoo!
Lem Satterfield, Lem's Latest: Cloud's bursting, Broner's rapping, Ring TV
Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.