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Old 02-15-2007, 11:34 AM
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Default Bernard Hopkins coming out of retirment to fight Winky Wright

ESPN.com - BOXING - Hopkins coming out of retirement to fight Winky Wright

Former middleweight and light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins is coming out of retirement to fight former junior middleweight champ Winky Wright on July 21 at 170 pounds. The site has not been determined.

Hopkins (47-4-1, 32 KOs) last fought against Antonio Tarver in June, dismantling him in what was at the time Hopkins' retirement fight.

Wright (51-3-1, 25 KOs) is coming off a unanimous decision over Ike Quartey and a controversial draw with middleweight champion Jermain Taylor. According to media reports the fight was signed last week and will be shown on HBO PPV.

Hopkins, 42, had said his fight against Tarver last June would be his final bout, win or lose. But having bulked up with the help of fitness guru Mackie Shilstone, Hopkins decided he still felt fit and that he still had fights left in him.

Hopkins said he originally pondered moving all the way up to heavyweight to challenge WBC champ Oleg Maskaev. When that didn't pan out, he asked Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, to get him a fight against as big a name as possible. Bouts with super middleweight champ Joe Calzaghe, cruiserweight champ O'Neil Bell and Roy Jones Jr. were considered before the Hopkins-Wright match was made.

"At the end of the day, I think things worked out better for me. Almost everyone has Winky ranked up there among the top three or four pound-for-pound fighters. Beating him puts me right back there again, and at 42 years old, too," Hopkins said, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

"I can still compete at a high level. Time beats every athlete eventually, but it hasn't beaten me yet. I'm the Jerry Rice of boxing. My best fights are yet to come. I'm not saying I got 10 or 20 fights left in me, but I'm ready to fight the fights that matter and that need to happen."
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