by Kieran Mulvaney
The city was humid, and the gym, like boxing gyms the world over, stifling. Whether because this city has become a boxing hotbed – which indeed it has – or because of the imminent arrival of a famous guest, the gym was packed. The gathered journalists were ushered to a far corner, and the guest’s arrival a few minutes afterward was marked by a drop in background noise as those who were working out briefly stopped skipping ropes and pounding heavybags to take the measure of the future Hall-of-Famer now in their midst.
He marched in, head down, hands already wrapped, offering the faint hint of a nod as he recognized one of the waiting journalistic throng. He did not smile, did not offer a hand.
Bernard Hopkins did not want to be there.