He took a brutal beating from Trinidad before the fight was stopped after five rounds. It turned out that in the next Trinidad fight, Bernard Hopkins exposed Trinidad for illegally having his hands wrapped, making it seem as if they were cement-like with power.
“I remember thinking that dude could crack,” Joppy said. “But it turned out they were taping his hands to make them like cement.”
Joppy was not the same after that fight, but stayed in the ring for 10 more years. He said he made some mistakes along the way.
“I started getting hit,” he said. “I was messing around with alcohol, messing around with women, and surrounded myself with the wrong people. That’s what I tell kids now, don’t make the same mistakes I made.”
He now works as a boxing instructor at the Rockville gym. He also has started a non-profit organization called Breakfast with Boxers, where he and other former fighters visit area homeless shelters to put on boxing exhibitions.
And he has devoted his run in the New York City marathon to raising money for kids. He is raising money through Team for Kids — volunteers who raise funds for critical services provided by New York Road Runners Youth Programs. These programs combat childhood obesity and empower youth development via running and character-building programs in low-income schools and community centers in New York City, throughout the country, and in Africa.
“I love goals, and this make this goal of mine something special,” Joppy said. “Running in the New York City marathon, and helping kids. Still fighting.”
If you want to donate to Joppy’s run, click here by Thursday, Oct. 3.
• Thom Loverro is co-host of “The Sports Fix,” noon to 2 p.m. daily on ESPN 980 radio and espn980.com