Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dan Rafael [Print without images]

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Hopkins celebrates 49th birthday

By Dan Rafael

Light heavyweight titlist Bernard Hopkins, already the oldest fighter in boxing history to win a world title or to hold a world title, is still going strong. And on Wednesday, he turned 49.

Most fighters are long done by that age. If they do still fight, they certainly are not on top. Yet Hopkins (54-6-2, 32 KOs) isn’t talking retirement. Instead, “The Alien” is looking forward to a probable title unification bout with Beibut Shumenov in the spring.

But on his birthday, Hopkins looked to the future.

• His birthday wish: "My birthday wish is to be the undisputed light heavyweight champion of the world. I want big fights in 2014. I want to fight twice this year. I know I can do it and be victorious."

• His wish for boxing this year: "I want the 'cold war' [between Top Rank and Golden Boy] to end in boxing. Everybody in boxing should do what's right for the sport and its fans."

• His advice for young fighters: "Young fighters should pay their dues and continue to train and learn their craft before they call themselves superstars."

• His advice for the 40-and-over crowd: “A body that's moving is alive, a body that's still is dead. Be conscious of what you put in your body. Continue to be active and move your body."

• His advice for young people everywhere: "Young people have to learn from the mistakes and bad decisions of others and make sure they don't repeat them."

Happy birthday, champ.