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Two decades ago Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins was serving a five-year stretch for armed robbery in Pennsylvania's Graterford Prison when he laced on his first pair of gloves. After his mother died last year, the world middleweight champion was going through her belongings when he stumbled across a faded old photograph of him and his first trainer, the jail's boxing instructor Smokey Wilson.
"This is one of the people who made me a man instead of a punk," said Hopkins, proffering the photograph for inspection. It was inscribed to Saladinn, the name Hopkins had taken after embracing Islam in prison, and on the back Wilson had scrawled: "You will be the middleweight champion one day."