LOS ANGELES – Bernard Hopkins’ presence hangs over the middleweight division as one of the division’s best champions.
Hopkins reigned as champion from 1994 to 2005 and made 20 successful title defenses.
Now, Hopkins, 52, is on the promotion side with Golden Boy Promotions on the biggest fight in the division he once called home, as middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) faces Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-1, 34), Sept. 16 in a middleweight unification fight in Las Vegas.
The fighters ended their three-city press tour Thursday at the Avalon in Hollywood.
“From 2001, all the way to now, it is almost the same math, 14-15 years later and what are we talking about here? The unification of the middleweight division,” Hopkins said. “I’m in this fight from the neck down, not only as part of the promotion, but the history and as a former representation of the middleweight championship.”
Hopkins unified the division with his TKO victory over Felix Trinidad in 2001 to become the first undisputed middleweight champion since Marvin Hagler.
When Hopkins takes his seat for the main event, at T-Mobile Arena, he will either see the coronation of the new middleweight division if Alvarez is victorious, or Golovkin could take another step closer toward Hopkins’ 20 consecutive successful title defenses.
Golovkin, the current WBC, WBA, IBF and IBO champion, has made 18 successful consecutive defenses.
“This is the fight that the fans all wanted,” Alvarez said through an interpreter. “It is time to work hard, train and get ready to win this fight.”
After dominating the junior middleweight division, Alvarez finally made the move up to middleweight when he dismantled Julio Cesar Chavez in May.
He said that after his seventh-round knockout victory over Liam Smith last September that he knew it was time to move up a division.
“I realized it was too much on my body,” he said.
Taking the next step up meant eventually running into the current…