- The Washington Times - Friday, October 10, 2003

When Washington middleweight William Joppy had a chance to step into the big time before, he was bounced quickly by Felix Trinidad.

Now Joppy (34-2-1, 25 knockouts) has a chance to beat the man who beat Trinidad and get another chance to rule the division when he faces the class of the middleweights, Bernard Hopkins (42-2-1, 31 knockouts), in a Don King show Dec.13 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. The show will feature seven world champions in five bouts.

The King show, which visited the District yesterday as part of its promotional tour, also will feature Baltimore heavyweight and former World Boxing Council champion Hasim Rahman (35-4-1, 29 knockouts) against John Ruiz (38-5-1, 27 knockouts), who will be coming back to fight for the first time since losing his World Boxing Association heavyweight title to Roy Jones in March.

Also, Ricardo Mayorga (26-3-1, 23 knockouts), coming off his stunning two victories over former champion Vernon Forest, will defend his WBA and World Boxing Council welterweight championships against International Boxing Federation welterweight title holder Cory Spinks (31-2, 10 knockouts), the son of former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks, in a unification bout.

World Boxing Organization junior welterweight champion Zab Judah (29-1, 21 knockouts), WBA super welterweight champion Alejandro Garcia (27-0, 27 knockouts) and International Boxing Federation junior flyweight title holder Victor Burgos (35-13-2, 20 knockouts) will all put their belts on the line against opponents yet to be determined.

The fight that most intrigues Washington boxing fans will be the one featuring Joppy against Hopkins. In one of the more bizarre setups of the sport, both fighters are WBA middleweight champions. Joppy lost his WBA title to Trinidad, who in turn lost it to Hopkins, who became the undisputed middleweight champion, holding all three major titles.

But the WBA designated Hopkins as a “super champion” and declared the WBA middleweight title vacant again, which Joppy won by decision over Howard Eastman in November 2001. Now Hopkins will be fighting for the title he had already won once.


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