Bernard Hopkins vs. John David Jackson

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Bernard Hopkins 157 lbs beat John David Jackson 156 lbs by TKO at 2:22 in round 7 of 12


  • On the day of the fight, the Philadelphia Daily News reported: "Bernard Hopkins . . . is angry. He's angry that he hasn't fought in nine months, largely because of legal wrangles with his estranged promoter, Butch Lewis. He's angry he hasn't gotten the big paydays nor the recognition he believes he deserves. He's angry he again must perform off boxing's beaten path. . . . He is displeased that Don King, who won a purse offering to promote tonight's card, has kept him waiting to fulfill his mandatory defense . . . and put the fight in a small Southern city with little boxing tradition." [1]
  • Jackson entered the fight as the IBF's No. 1-ranked middleweight contender, even though he had lost his previous fight.
  • Hopkins was a 3-1 favorite.
  • The fight was televised live by Showtime.

Hopkins Stops Jackson In The 7th
By Harriet Ferrell, The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 20, 1997

SHREVEPORT, La. — Things went just as Bernard Hopkins planned when he stepped into the ring against John David Jackson last night.

The International Boxing Federation middleweight champion from Philadelphia knew just what to expect from Jackson, his former sparring partner.

Hopkins predicted Jackson would avoid him in the early rounds. That's what happened, and the two fighters were greeted with boos after the first three rounds.

Hopkins predicted the fight wouldn't go the scheduled 12 rounds. It didn't.

He knocked Jackson through the ropes in the sixth and seventh rounds, prompting referee Johnny Femia Jr. to stop the fight at 2 minutes, 22 seconds of the seventh round.

Hopkins had said he would wear down the 35-year-old legs of Jackson. In the fifth round, Jackson's legs began to give way.

"He was a little more powerful than I anticipated," Jackson said.

And Jackson should know. Just four years ago, when Jackson was the World Boxing Association middleweight champion, he and Hopkins trained together.

"He was the champion, but I held my own with him back then," Hopkins said.

And Hopkins has gotten stronger since those early days of his career.

"He was the teacher, but there comes a time when the pupil must graduate," Hopkins said. "Today was that time."

The fight was Hopkins' fourth title defense, and the victory raised his record to 31-2-1, with 24 knockouts. Jackson, who lives in Los Angeles, dropped to 35-3, with 19 KOs.

"Me and John David - I love him," Hopkins said. "I give him all respect. He took me to school for a while. It was never a grudge match."

Hopkins' successful title defense was the second of two world championships on the line last night.

In the first title bout, Frankie Liles defended his WBA super-middleweight championship with a TKO over Segundo Mercado at the 1:37 mark of the fifth round. [2]

Preceded by:
Hopkins vs. James
IBF Middleweight Title Fight
# 29
Succeeded by:
Hopkins vs. Johnson