Hopkins not calling time just yet
Despite celebrating his 48th birthday in January, Bernard Hopkins shows no signs of slowing down as he attempts to extend his record as boxing's oldest champion in New York on Saturday night.
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Almost 20 years after his first world title tilt ended in defeat to Roy Jones in Washington, Hopkins will challenge for the IBF light-heavyweight title currently held by unbeaten Tavoris Cloud.
It will be Hopkins' first fight since his rematch loss via majority decision to Chad Dawson in April last year, which was assumed by many to be the last time the veteran Philadelphian would pull on the gloves.
However, Hopkins insists that while time will soon draw a close on his exploits, he is still "not satisfied" with a career that started in ignominious circumstances back in 1988, when he was outpointed on his debut by Clinton Mitchell.
While Mitchell had four more fights before fading into oblivion, Hopkins went on to establish himself as one of the most storied boxer of all time - and 59 fights later, he could be on the cusp of his greatest achievement.
Hopkins said: "What drives me is I'm not satisfied, and when I'm not satisfied I keep driving. I know there are a lot of other things to accomplish - maybe not in the ring, because it must stop soon, but a lot of young fighters that need [my] help.
"I'm not counting age. Everybody else is counting it. But I've been doing it for more than a decade. My thing is just that I want to be satisfied with everything I do, without embarrassment."
Hopkins will be up against it against the 31-year-old Cloud, who is promoted by Hopkins' former promoter and now nemesis Don King, and who has won all 24 of his professional bouts so far.
However, Cloud has no particular pay-per-view-sized scalps on his record, with his most high-profile wins coming over the almost-as-ancient Glen Johnson in 2010, and Sheffield's Clinton Woods the previous year.
Hopkins believes he is now reached an age where he can affect his younger opponent simply by facing them in the ring and letting them realise just how much older he actually is.
"I know I'm the better fighter," said Hopkins. "Cloud is in his early 30s fighting someone who's almost double his age - it's natural he'll get the ring thinking, 'he's a couple of years younger than my father or mother.'
"It will mean a lot to me but it will mean a lot more to the young guys who admire me, to understand that if you keep your body clean in and out of the ring and you do the right things, you might not fight in your 40s but you can have a great career.
"I'm an example and I might as well get everything I can out of it, because I doubt very seriously you will see a longevity in any sport of a Bernard Hopkins, certainly not in my lifetime."