At 51-years-old, Bernard Hopkins is the latest conquest of the undefeated Father Time.
The saying goes “No one can beat Father Time”. However, I’ve always said that Bernard Hopkins has at least fought him to a draw thus far. Well…scratch that. Father Time’s résumé remains without a blemish.
Hopkins, at nearly 52 years of age, suffered an embarrassing defeat in the final fight of a Hall-of-Fame career…getting knocked clearly out of the ring to add some grey-haired insult to balky-ankled injury.
We’ve seen it time and time again. Muhammad Ali, Emmitt Smith, Michael Jordan, Carl Lewis, Venus Williams, my own dad…the list is endless. Countless droves of great men and women have been left in the wake of Father Time. Some accept it…some remain in denial into perpetuity. Someday, I’ll take my rightful spot in that long list of losers as well. We all will.
Watching Hopkins get knocked out for the first time ever last night, was a harsh reminder that Mr. Time is one cold-hearted muth—–. He’s an indiscriminately ruthless and calculating individual. Hearing Hopkins babble off excuses immediately after getting pummeled to the ground (literally), certainly makes me realize that age is a humbling fact of life. Even a man knowingly going into his last professional fight (because he knows he’s 51) couldn’t grasp the idea that his old ass just got knocked out of the ring by a 27-year-old who isn’t half the fighter Hopkins once was. It obviously was genuinely unfathomable to Hopkins that he’s the helpless old man in a sense. He was outclassed the entire fight.
Fitting also, is the fact that Roy Jones Jr was calling the fight ringside. Jones falls into the category of those greats who refuse to see that he has long been beaten by time, still dragging his old bones into the ring hoping to recapture once glory.
So, in a year where good ol’ F.T. added the likes of Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Peyton Manning to his Wall of Shame, it’s nothing short of fitting that he sends another all-time-great out to pasture.
It’s been real, Bernard. It truly has. But, hopefully you look at the replay of that entire fight – especially the end – and it humbles you into knowing and accepting that it’s time to lay it down at this level.
If it doesn’t do it for you, it surely did something for me. It told me to keep going hard as long as I can. But, it also was a steely-eyed reminder that the day will arrive when I too will have to sit my old ass down somewhere.