Short Attention Span Classics, Vol. 2: Bernard Hopkins Vs Steve Frank

I have a working theory that the Tiger King thing is a government depopulation program where anyone who watches it has his or her IP address logged and is deemed not only inessential, but completely expendable. Does it seem like a coincidence that it premiered the same week the corona plague washed up on our shores? Wake up, sheeple! I mean, it’s funny in spots or whatever but if I wanted to watch rednecks get high and point guns at each other I’d just watch Caleb Plant’s training videos.

All that aside, how is your quarantine going? Has your wife gotten over the whole Slimer cosplay incident yet? Did you ever find who was on the other side of that glory hole you found in your attic? Oh, and what ended up happening when you crushed up that Tide pod and snorted it? Did you your eyesight ever come back? You know what, we can deal with all of that later.

For now, let’s just focus on the current task at hand: getting through the next minute of existence on this godforsaken shit-caked, hellhole we’re for some reason still calling “Earth.” I mean, that’s really all life is, isn’t it? Just finding shit to do to pass the seconds until it’s time to get fucked up and go to bed again? Our current situation has simply just shortened that window for us.

And in sticking with that theme, boy have we got a banger of quickie fight for you today: It’s Bernard Hopkins’ double-barreled assault on late replacement Steve Frank from Jan. 27, 1996.

Last week we looked at the pure, uncut, bedlam of Sechew Powell/Cornelius Bundrage I, in which the gods of boxing all took a bunch of acid and button-mashed their way to the greatest spectacle ever seen in a boxing ring. Though not quite the same intravenous injection of mayhem, Hopkins vs Frank makes those 22 seconds feel like the extended cut of “The Irishman” in length.

Side Note: The quality of this video should serve as a stark reminder as to just how shitty everything used to be. There was basically no point to being alive before the advent of high definition television and the planet itself was more or less inhospitable before like 1984.

If you weren’t able to make out what the shapes on your phone screen were doing in the video above, here’s what happens: A nice man rings a bell, Hopkins punches Franks’ skeleton out of his fucking body and then the referee tells him to find another line of work. That’s it.

From a technical standpoint, Hopkins comes out, circles to his left and feints a jab that acts more as a rangefinder. The second he gets Frank to bite, he switches up and throws a right hand bullet up the middle, which is followed up by two short left hooks and a right uppercut on the way down for good measure. Boom, done. Five punches thrown, four landed and a plus one in the W category.

Most younger folks know Hopkins as the cerebral, elderly master who lulls (bores?) his opponents into submission with textbook precision. People forget there was a time when he was known as somewhat of a knockout artist, which is every bit as confusing as and contradictory as those anti-drug PSA’s Oscar De La Hoya used to do. Granted, this was back in the mid-1990s when Hopkins was just newly eligible for Social Security and you could only park one city bus in the gap between his teeth, but it was still an exciting time.

Now granted, Steve Frank was an unheralded, last-minute replacement for the intended opponent, Joe Lipsey, but this is what you’re supposed to do to last-minute opponents: treat them like Jehovah’s Witnesses at your front door and get them the hell out of there as soon as humanly possible.

Hopkins fought on for another 20(!) years after this while Frank retired the next year, and after watching this fight you have to think “Yeah, that feels about right.” There’s very distinct economic tiers to this sport, and this is Hopkins while he was still a working class hero, albeit one with a winning lottery ticket in the back pocket of his Zubaz. He wouldn’t cash it in for another five years and eight months, but watching him fight with urgency at this stage of his career was a real treat.

Bernard Hopkins is a living, wheezing legend and every legend has a few plumbers on his resume. This is what happens when they meet. The violence comes hard, heavy and, most importantly, quick. It’s the natural order of boxing’s class system.

In the uncertain circumstance in which we currently find ourselves, it’s nice to have a reminder of a time when order existed in our lives. By watching this brilliantly brief exhibition of violence we can recall a feeling of structure, and entertain hope that we one day may return to something resembling an organized society — and we did it all in under 30 seconds without even opening a bible. You’re welcome.

By shining this beacon of hope into your lives, all I ask in return is that you make me your new god and worship me as such.

Deal? Deal.

(photo: Bernard Hopkins before fighting Steve Frank; via)