Bernard Hopkins yet again set another record in boxing by becoming the oldest champion at 46 years young surpasing George Foremans at 45 years old beating Pascal.
Hopkins broke his sectets down on Friday Night Fights last friday, while they aren’t really secrets. They are thingsthat not too many other fighters do.
Hopkins has always done the little things right n the gym which reflects on fight night, he’s always honing the fundamentals. He has a solid base and is the true definition of the sweet science. In contrast to Roy Jones Jr. who was brutally KO’d once again, Hopkins yet flourishes because of the work he’s put in the gym, the proper lifestyle, and the way he has eaten, he is indeed like fine wine.
Roy in his prime was a uber talanted athlete who got away with doing a lot of things wrong with his athletic gifts. Those gifts have been gone for awhile and Roy doesn’t have a backbone of skills that Bernard has to allow him to win, let alone compete. Roy never worked on all the little things, never mastered the sweet science, in his prime he didn’t have to, but in Hopkins and Jones you have two amazing examples on what happens when the well of youth runs dry. In Bernard’s case, youth was but a tool, in Roy’s, it was everything. and what to fall back on.
Study Bernard, although not dynamic or flashy, he reflects what boxing is and how the sweet science can beat a fighter who is younger, stronger, faster, and more powerful.
Sparring is not about going out and beating the shit out of each other. Hard sparring is a must, but not at the expense of creating a glove shy fighter who learns NO skill.
Fighters at my gym work their way up to intense sparring, they don’t start out that way. They also work down if needbe. My definition of controled sparring is working on different real ring scenarios, working on drills to improve defense and footwork. This is great for mastering the basics and buliding confidense with the skills learned and mastered in this setting.
This also prepared the fighter for more intense sparring against more experienced fighters,. I belive you must build the fighter up through sparring, and bring them back down with the sole intent of building and mastering skill.
Sparring partners and styles must be choses properly for this, because its the difference between making a fighter better through continued growth, or making them glove shy.