The acclaim for B-Hop just keeps on coming
The City of Brotherly Love’s favorite son Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins was recognized by his hometown with an official appointment to the Mayor’s Drug and Alcohol Executive Commission and was named Community Engagement Ambassador of Peace. Ex also had a street named in his honor.
Philadelphia’s Mayor John F. Street and the citizens of Philly recognized the new light heavyweight champion yesterday during a swearing-in ceremony at City Hall.
“Bernard Hopkins is much more than a superb fighter,” Mayor Street told the assembled throng. “He is a man who overcame a troubled youth, who believed in himself and who reached the pinnacle of his profession. His story is a testament to the human spirit and to the power of redemption.
“As a former inmate Bernard knows firsthand the struggles men and women face as they leave prison and re-enter society. Many face rejection and lose hope. In their despair they fall back into the same behaviors that dragged them down in the first place. Bernard understands this cycle. He triumphed over it. His powerful story of redemption can help others realize their life has value and meaning and can be put to productive use, provided they believe in themselves.”
A beaming Hopkins said, “I want to thank the Mayor and everyone else for this fantastic recognition of my career and the appointment as Commissioner and Ambassador for Peace. And now that my career is over, there is a future for me in the City. I might have been able to get out of the hard part of the City but I am committed to helping others do the same as the oath of the street is a ‘fool’s move’ and I want to help young adults see that there is another way to go.
“My fight in the ring is over but my fight for the kids of this City has just begun. The stakes are higher and the price for crime is too great for them today to make a mistake. I didn’t accept this job for show and I will take the responsibility as Commissioner with the same level of seriousness I showed throughout my career.”
Governor Ed Rendell (D-PA), who had phoned Hopkins early Sunday morning after B-Hop executed Antonio Tarver in A.C. to offer his congratulations, said this about the one-time Graterford resident turned hall-of-famer: “Bernard Hopkins is one of the greatest champions in the history of the sport of boxing. He has proven himself time and time again, and has surmounted every challenge. But Bernard is more than just a great fighter. He has devoted great time and energy trying to make sure that his fellow boxers are fairly compensated and treated fairly by the sport. While he’s stepping out of the ring, Bernard will continue to be an ambassador for the sport and this will be a great part of his future.”
Hopkins’ history-making victory over Antonio Tarver will be rebroadcast by HBO Saturday night as a prelude to the middleweight title fight between Jermain Taylor vs. Winky Wright.