Bernard Hopkins: Calzaghe-Kessler winner makes for bigger fight than Trinidad or Jones

By G. Leon


Bernard Hopkins: Calzaghe-Kessler winner makes for bigger fight than Trinidad or Jones

GL: here with the undisputed light heavyweight champion of the world, Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins.  What's the latest and greatest?       "The latest is that I'm in New York City, ready to announce the major superfight, on December 8th, 2007.  Of course Mayweather is, pound for pound, the greatest fighter on the planet, against Ricky Hatton, which I call The Raging Bull/ Roberto Duran when he was a lightweight.  I think this is going to be one of those fights where it reminds me of Ray Leonard and Duran.  Of course, Duran won the first fight, but I'm not saying that Ricky Hatton is going to win the first fight, or going to win any fight, if there's a second one.  I'll say that there's that kind of chemistry, that type of rivalry in 2007, and guess who's involved.  We are, Golden Boy Promotions, the leading and the best promotional team of this boxing era.  I think it's great.  We're doing big things in the year that's winding down into 2008."

GL:  When will you fight next?  Obviously there's going to be a demand for you to fight the winner of the November 3rd fight between Calzaghe and Kessler, as well as the January fight between Trinidad and Jones.  Which is your preference?

BH:  The Trinidad and Jones fight is, to me, something that I'm not even intrested in.  You're talking about two guys that basically have a name, but that's it.  I have a name, and still have the ability to win big fights right now.  I think the big fight, for me to have motivation and purpose to get me up, is Joe Calzaghe after Kessler and him battle November 8th.  As far as Jones and Trinidad, I mean, I can't knock the hustle.  You've got two names, and that's it, you've got names but not really any substance.  I think Roy should beat Trinidad, but I don't think it will be a fight that everybody will be running to spend their $50 on.  The fight I would like to fight, if it can be made, if Joe Calzaghe doesn't make any unrealistic demands, it will be with Joe, sometime early next year, or before the spring of next year.  It's a big fight that will bring Bernard Hopkins back in the ring.

GL:  Hardcore boxing fans, and the experts, wouldn't argue that Calzaghe's a bigger challenge, and would probably mean more legacy-wise, but in terms of PPV buys, I'm sure most would agree that the Jones Trinidad winner against you would equate to more PPV buys than the Calzaghe-Kessler winner.  Don't you think so?

BH:  I disagree, if Joe wins, the Calzaghe-Hopkins fight, and this is a big if.  The guy Kessler is no pushover.  I think with the England market backing Joe Calzaghe, and then you have myslef, who's recognized worldwide, in his country.  I think it's easy to see that the fight, between Joe Calzaghe and Bernard Hopkins, is bigger than a Roy Jones and Bernard Hopkins, or a Bernard Hopkins and Trinidad.  I think people would want to see can Bernard Hopkins take away Joe Calzaghe's 0, and make it be not undefeated.  That's the thing, Roy has losses on his record, Trinidad has losses on his record.  I fought both of these guys, I didn't embarrass myself in either one of those fights.  I split 1-1.  Joe Calzaghe as of today hasn't experienced a loss on his record.  So I think contrary to what you were saying, that it would be a bigger fight because of Roy and Trinidad, I think it would be a bigger fight because of Calzaghe.

GL:  That's what it is, we'll have more of Bernard on BoxingTalk in the coming weeks leading up to his next move.  In the meantime, give us some closing thoughts for the fans.

BH:  The closing thought is that Golden Boy is representing big boxing, between now and December.  Then  next year it's going to look even brighter for Golden Boy, especially my nephew, Dimitrius Hopkins, who'll be fighting for a world title.  We're trying to get a guy from New York, the flashing Italian stallion, as I like to call him, Paulie Malignagi.  I would love to see Dimitrius and him get it together.  It could be in Atlantic City, or it could be in New York City.  They're both hometown guys, from close to both of those cities.  That would be a huge fight for 2008, one way or the other, Dimitrius is going to be in that #1 spot.  He'll get the fight, if he can keep the title between now and then.