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Blog 21

Updated: April 17, 2008, 6:43 PM ET
By Kieran Mulvaney

Thursday, 12:50 p.m. ET -- Career reinvention

I had an interesting chat with Bernard Fernandez last night after most folks had left the media room area. Fernandez was ringside for Bernard Hopkins' first fight and has seen most of his bouts since.

"The thing that many people forget or don't realize," said Fernandez, "is that early in his career, Hopkins really was The Executioner. Ten of his first 12 wins were first, second or third-round knockouts. At some point in his career, he realized that, if that career was going to have any real longevity, he needed to switch to a more conservative style. To have that kind of focus and planning is amazing and to think that the boxer he transformed himself into was as good as the one he transformed himself from … Sugar Ray Robinson fought until he was 45, but he was washed up long before that. Hopkins, at 43, is not only still fighting, but he's fighting at the top level. Most people have him as one of the best fighters in the world pound-for-pound.

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