|Another Hopkins seeks title bout
Interview by Ken Hissner, DoghouseBoxing.com (Aug 13, 2008) Doghouse Boxing
Philadelphia’s Demetrius Hopkins is hoping the third time is a charm after hooking up with Top Rank Promotions. He started with the Duva’s and signed with Golden Boy Promotions after they bought out his contract for a good sum of money. He was in line to fight then IBF world champion Lovemore Ndou when Golden Boy failed to put up a $100,000 bond. “That is when Paul Malignaggi went in the back door (DiBella Promotions) and got the shot,” said Hopkins. “Paul said he didn’t want to fight me, but get a couple of easy defenses. His last fight with (Herman) Ngoudjo wasn’t so easy, but I do pick him over Hatton,” Hopkins added.
“Cameron Dunkin is my new manager (also has middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik and Philly’s Anthony Thompson) now.”
“He fights September 5th in New Mexico and then on the under card of Pavlik-Hopkins in Atlantic City on October 18th,” said Duncan. “He has the ability and desire to be a world champion,” said Duncan. Hopkins is currently ranked #7 by the WBC, #10 by the WBO and #12 by the IBF.
In 1999 Hopkins was the National Golden Gloves champion and looking forward to the 2000 Olympics. It wasn’t to be, losing to Ricardo Williams, the eventual Olympian, in the trials. He would turn pro in May of 2000. He started his amateur career at the Lonnie Young gym in Philly under the guidance of Jazz Jarrett of Together Brothers. Upon turning professional Jimmy Green took over as his trainer, with Derrick “Bozy” Ennis as his assistant.
Turning pro in May of 2000, Hopkins had four fights out of town, before fighting at the Blue Horizon in his first 6 round bout against previously unbeaten Jaime Palma (3-1-1). He won every round and almost finished Palma off in the last round having him on the canvas several times. With only 3 career fights in Philly, he found himself fighting in places like Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver and Atlantic City. In his ninth fight against Bobby High (5-2) it would be the only non winning bout so far in his career with it ending in the 2nd round from an accidental head butt that cut High and resulted in a technical decision.
Hopkins would defeat Edwin Vazquez (19-7-1) in August of 2002 in his 12th fight. In his next outing in Dover, Delaware he fought his first 10 round bout winning what would be his lone majority decision win so far, over Andre Eason (12-1). He scored a 2nd round knockdown to help seal the win.
In the Pocono Mountains at the end of 2003 Hopkins stopped Roberto Ortega (18-8-1) who had just lost a 12 round decision to Terrance Cauthen. It would be the first stoppage of Ortega’s career. Hopkins, a gifted boxer, could turn on the power when he had to.
After an eight month break Hopkins would travel to Chicago, defeating previously unbeaten Al Gonzalez (14-1-1) via a technical decision in the 7th round when Gonzalez suffered a cut due to an accidental head butt. Next up would be his first trip to Las Vegas defeating Ubaldo Hernandez (19-13-2) who had been in losing efforts with Miguel Cotto, Vivian Harris and Juan Diaz, also had a knockout win over unbeaten Ebo Elder in the 1st round. Hopkins would walk away with the decision.
This would be the last time fighting for the Duva’s. It was then his uncle Bernard Hopkins would take him into the Golden Boy stable with an 18-0-1 record. His assistant trainer Ennis would take over with the death of Green. His initial bout was in Los Angeles with whom he called “one tough guy even though he only had a 5-3-1 record,” said Hopkins. He would win the decision ending Garcia’s career in February of 2005. “I would be known as the Mexican killer starting with this fight,” said Hopkins. He would defeat Mexicans in 15 of his 29 bouts up to date. Only 3 of Hopkins 19 opponents have not had winning records and that was at the start of his career.
Three more wins and in his 22nd fight he would meet Ernesto Zepeda (37-8-4) whom he would stop in the 9th round. “This was one of the toughest opponents I would meet up until then,” said Hopkins. He would follow-up stopping Jesse Feliciano (13-4-2) in the 4th round. Feliciano would go on to defeat former champion Vince Phillips in his next fight. Then Hopkins would defeat his 10th straight Mexican back home in Philly at the New Alhambra winning the vacant USBA light welterweight title over Mario Ramos (16-1-1) in March of 2006.
Wins over tough Michael Warrick (18-3) and Rogelio Castaneda, Jr. (23-10-3) would set the stage for a USBA title defense win over former world champion Steve Forbes (32-4) in Las Vegas. Ennis would say “it was not one of his better fights but he did win it big on the scorecards. I had him fighting more inside.” “I would like to have a rematch with Forbes,” said Hopkins. He then followed up with an impressive 1st round stoppage of Haider Berrio (11-2). In his last bout in November of 2007 he stopped the 7 fight win streak of Enrique Colin (23-3-3) winning almost every round in Atlantic City.
“I beat Kendal Holt (current WBO champion) in the amateurs and would like a shot at his title or the winner of Malgnaggi-Hatton,” said Hopkins. He knows Ennis runs a tight ship. When one of his four fighters gets to that championship fight he should receive the recognition he well deserves. “He listens well,” said Ennis referring to Hopkins.
Hopkins should not to be compared to his uncle Bernard. Their styles are in no way similar. B-Hop has earned his reputation on a defense that shuts fighters down. His nephew on the other hand is a master boxer and with Ennis’ guidance will continue to develop that right hand power that will lead him to that championship belt! When that happens, there will be another world champion in Philly named Hopkins.
e-mail Ken at: email@example.com
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