Hop­kins down but not out, yet

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

PHILADEL­PHIA: Bernard Hop­kins will re­turn to the ring de­spite suf­fer­ing a crush­ing de­feat over the week­end to Rus­sian Sergey Ko­valev, the 49year-old for­mer cham­pion said.

Hop­kins, who failed to win a round on any of the three judges’ score­cards in the lightheavy­weight ti­tle uni­fi­ca­tion bout, ended spec­u­la­tion of his re­tire­ment by say­ing he will fight “one more time”.

“Who will I fight? I don’t know,” Hop­kins said. “But it will be somebody I will be an un­der­dog against be­cause I want to be the un­der­dog.

“If this is the last time I’m go­ing into the ring, I will not cheat my­self. It will not be a freak show. I will never short­change my­self and my dig­nity.”

Hop­kins, who de­fended the mid­dleweight ti­tle a record 20 times from 1995 to 2005 and has never been knocked out, was floored Satur­day in the first round by Ko­valev, a fighter 18 years his ju­nior.

But the fighter known as The Ex­e­cu­tioner was back in the gym on Mon­day. “Phys­i­cally, if you see me to­day, you’d think I didn’t have a fight (on Satur­day),” he said. – Reuters

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