LOS ANGELES (Oct. 12, 2011) - Two Bernard Hopkins showed up at the final press conference today for Saturday night's "Believe It or Not!: Bernard Hopkins vs Chad Dawson" WBC and Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight Championship at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles which will be produced and distributed live on HBO Pay-Per-View®.
Both turned out to be stars in their own right, however, as the "real" Hopkins helped unveil an exact replica of himself - a wax figure created by the Ripley's Believe It or Not! F/X department - to the amazement of the large media contingent gathered at the event.
The "real" Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins, the oldest fighter to ever win a major world championship and a long-time Ripley's fan, spent two days in July having a full body wax casting made as the first step in the creation of his likeness. The one unveiled today will be a part of a future Believe It or Not! exhibit of Hopkins at one of the worldwide Believe It or Not! Odditoriums.
Ripley's decided to create the figure of Hopkins and to honor him as a living Believe It or Not! following his unbelievable victory over the younger, then World Champion Jean Pascal in May. During the 1930s and 1940s one of Robert Ripley's favorite subjects to write about and illustrate was boxing and the decision to honor Hopkins reflects the company's rich heritage and tradition in that sport. It also continues Ripley's uncanny practice of being able to find the most amazing and unbelievable people, places, things and accomplishments around the world.
A second wax figure of Hopkins is nearly finished and will soon travel to Philadelphia where it will be put on display in Hopkins East Coast home.
"It is a great honor to be recognized by Ripley's and I look forward to having the figure in my trophy room alongside my belts and other boxing memorabilia," Hopkins noted. "I am going to put it under a beautiful light, but it is not going to be too hot for fear of melting my better half."
Hopkins, a future Hall of Fame two-time light heavyweight champion and former undisputed middleweight champion, at 46-years old became the oldest fighter in boxing history to win a major world championship with his unanimous decision victory over 28-year-old Pascal on May 21, 2011. He broke the previous world record set by former heavyweight champion George Foreman 16 years ago - Believe It or Not!
The Hopkins wax figure will be a part of most fight-week activities, including the official weigh-in, set to be held in front of the Hollywood Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium on the corner of Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave. on Friday, Oct. 14 at 2:00 p.m. It will be on temporary display at that museum on Sunday afternoon free for the public to view.
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?