Bernard Hopkins’ Hall of Fame career started with a visit in prison from a boxing ref named Rudy Battle

Published by
The Philadelphia Inquirer

PHILADELPHIA — The sneakers his mother sent had not yet arrived, forcing Bernard Hopkins to leave Graterford in 1988 while still wearing his state-issued prison boots. He spent five years in prison after being arrested when he was 17 years old. As he left, the warden told Hopkins he would see him again soon. But Hopkins — who would become one of Philadelphia’s all-time great boxers — was determined to never wear those boots again. Seven years later, he became a world champion despite losing his professional debut. He fought in the ring, Hopkins said, with the same aggression he had on the stre…

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