Bernard Hopkins (born January 15, 1965, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American former boxer who competed from 1988 to 2016. Nicknamed The Executioner, he is best known for his ten year reign as World Middleweight champion, in which he defended his title 20 times. He also is the first ever boxer to win all four major boxing governing body belts including the Ring Magazine belt in the same fight, and is also a former World Light Heavyweight champion. He currently fights at Light Heavyweight, and is also a minority partner in Goldenboy Promotions.
Born to Bernard Hopkins Sr. and his wife Sue, Bernard grew up in the Raymond Rosey projects with his family. He turned to crime early in his life, and by the age of thirteen he was already mugging people, and had been stabbed three times. At the age of seventeen, he was sentenced to eighteen years in prison for nine felonies. He served his sentence at Graterford Prison, and during his time inside he discovered his passion for Boxing. In 1988 after serving nearly five years, Bernard was released from prison. He converted to Islam, and decided to use boxing to turn his life around. Bernard pledged on the day that he left prison, that he was never going to return.
Bernard joined the professional ranks, campaigning at light heavyweight, but lost his debut fight against Clinton Mitchell in Atlantic City in October 1988. After a sixteen-month layoff, he resumed his career as a middleweight, winning a 4 round unanimous decision over Greg Paige in Philadelphia in February 1990.
Between February 1990 and September 1992, Bernard won 20 fights, 15 by knockout, with 11 inside the first round.