Boxer Bernard Hopkins will receive the 2013 Wanamaker Athletic Award

Bernard Hopkins
Bernard Hopkins, 48, gearing up for his March match. (Credit: Rikard Larma / Metro).

Philadelphia boxing legend Bernard Hopkins – also known as “The Executioner” – will receive this year’s John Wanamaker Athletic Award, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau announced on Monday.

The oldest fighter to win a world championship in boxing history, 48-year-old Hopkins in March snatched the IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion title from Tavoris Cloud in a 12-round unanimous decision.

“I am extremely honored to be named the Wanamaker Athletic Award winner,” Hopkins said in a statement.

“Breaking my own record as the oldest fighter to win a world title was a great accomplishment in my career and for my city to recognize that means a great deal.”

The John Wanamaker Athletic Award, which has been presented each year since 1961, recognizes an athlete or team that represents Philadelphia within their sport.

Members of the public this year voted for nominees and a committee of media and sports specialists made the final selection.

The award will be presented by PHLCVB division the Philadelphia Sports Congress in a June 20 ceremony at the Wanamaker Building’s Crystal Tearoom.

“Everyone knows that Philadelphia breeds great champions and I take so much pride in representing Philly every time I step into the ring,” Hopkins said.

“Many thanks to the Philadelphia Sports Congress for this great honor.”

Nonprofit Back on My Feet, which builds confidence among homeless people by engaging them in running, will also be honored June 20 with the Robert P. Levy Community Service Award, given to those who have done the most to improve Philadelphia’s quality of life through sports.

The city Department of Parks and Recreation will further present its third annual Sports Volunteer of the Year Award to Office of the City Solicitor employee Yolanda Laney, who has for over 30 years coached youth basketball programs in the Tri-State area.

“This year’s recipients are all great examples of the impact that individuals can have on others,” Philadelphia Sports Congress chairman David Montgomery said in a statement.

“Bernard Hopkins is a true champion who has continued a wonderful legacy of Philadelphia boxing. In addition, Anne and Yolanda have dedicated their lives to making a significant difference for so many people. They embody the true spirit of giving back to the community. All recipients represent our city extremely well.”


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