Bernard Hopkins: "I'm going turtle hunting!"

By G. Leon


Bernard Hopkins: "I'm going turtle hunting!"

GL: We haven't had you on Boxingtalk since your fight with Winky Wright got signed. Now the fight is a done deal, can you give us some thoughts on the fight? "First Greg, the last time I seen you was at a press conference. I did a three city tour, New York, D.C. and Philadelphia with Oscar and Floyd and I must say that Floyd took a few pages out of the old school book. When you can win the fight at press conferences that makes it all the more easy, but he got the wrong guy because Oscar has been there and done that. He's been through press conferences with me and other fighters, I mean you can still try him, but he's been there done that. It's going to be a very interesting fight for boxing fans on May 5. They get a chance to watch one of the biggest fights in the last 20 or 30 years. I'm not only glad to be a part of it as a Golden Boy Partner, but I'm happy to be there period. I just hope it lives up to the expectations of the press conferences. I don't want to see one guy dominate.

If it's my guy that dominates, that would be great, but I want to see two guys go in there and mix it up. This is the kind of fight that people should be introduced to boxing by. Right now I'm in the gym, stretching and doing a little light stuff before sparring starts. I've basically been doing what I've been doing for the last four months. I'm getting my three days of running in on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Sunday is my off day. I'm just keeping the body idle. I'm not going too hard or too soft, I'm just doing enough to stay ready to go so when I call on that maniac Mackie Shilstone I don't pull anything. He's got me on autopilot."

GL: I spoke with Winky the other day and he told me that come July 21 he's going to dominate you. I've never seen Bernard Hopkins get dominated, but Winky says he's the guy to do it. What do you think about that?

Bernard Hopkins: "I don't think I've been dominated in any fight over the last twenty years. Winky Wright is telling you things that he believes obviously...

GL: (cutting in) I've seen you run press conferences, he's telling me what he's going to do to you, tell me what you're going to do to him.

BH: "I know that he's going all that he think he's going to do and that's where my objection comes in. Anything he does, I'm going to physically object to and change his mind. Winky has to have a plan and I wouldn't expect any other comments coming from an opponent. What he believes or thinks he has to do, he has a task and he has to do it in the ring. I had to get here by proving that I am what I am. It's going to take time, months will go by before we get to tell each other face to face. I can't stop Winky from talking and I'm not going to discredit what he says he's going to do. All I know is Bernard Hopkins is going to be Bernard Hopkins in and out of the ring. I've grown stubborn in my old age. I've done and said everything and there's always more to say and do, but the bottom line is, I'm so much into this thing and I've been in this game for so long and the bottom line at the end of the day is we are on a countdown to an execution in July. Winky as far as I'm concerned is one of the best defensive fighters to come around in the last 15 years so it's going to make me look like a genius when I show that even with one of the best defensive guys of this era, he's going to get hit more in this fight than any other fight he's ever fought. And that's any fight at any level.

"Winky is going to get hit more in this fight than any fight he ever fought. People might read this and say that's not a big deal, but if you know boxing it is a big deal. Winky Wright has a turtle style defense. I named him the turtle. It has nothing to do with him being slow, because turtles are slow, but it's for his turtle type of defense. This is my prescription for the turtle defense. A turtle only sticks his head out of the shell when he believes that it's safe. Somehow you have to convince or trap the turtle into believing that it's safe for him to stick his head out of his shell. Me and you both know Greg, that one of the only ways a turtle is vulnerable is when he sticks his head out of his shell. It's going to take professor Hopkins to make the turtle believing it's safe for him to stick his head out. I'm going to start naming all of my opponents so stand by, Winky Wright is the turtle. Ali gave a lot of his opponents nicknames. He called Joe Frazier the gorilla, he called George Foreman the mummy, he called Earnie Shavers the acorn. I call Winky Wright the turtle. Let me say it again, Winky Wright is going to get hit more in this fight than any other fight he's ever been in, including the amatuers.

"I"m telling the world now, come July 22 it's going to be up on all the websites that Bernard said this would happen. This is another prediction. It has nothing to do with Winky not being credible if you know anything about boxing you know he's one of the best out there, but it's just going to be a testimony of how Bernard Hopkins can figure out any boxing style out there. I've been praised by you and other writers for being able to take apart an opponet. I'm going to figure this puzzle out. I've been up on Winky Wright for a minute, but I'm on my tapes now dissecting his every move and every breath. How he sits, how he reacts, I know Winky better than Winky. I understand there's always room for new things and new tricks, but you can't teach veterans much because at the end of the day we go back to what we know and what we do. It is what it is. A dog will be a dog. You can teach him how to be a cat, but when it comes down to it, a dog is going to shit where he shits and keep it going. A cat is going shit and try to bury it. That's the difference between a cat and a dog."

"And for the commentators who look at this fight and think it could be boring because they look at us and see two counterpunchers, two cowboys that don't want to shoot because they both got the same shot. I can't pre-sell anything to anybody because they're not going to believe it until they see it, but for the fans and the writers who think that our styles are the blueprint to what happens in the ring. In rare cases, styles that don't make sense become the best fights in terms of action. Somebody has to be the dog in this fight Greg. If nobody is the dog then we're playing into what some are trying to say. Whether they want to downgrade the fight or whether they have their own agendas, people have their opinions about this fight and every fight. I don't think they shouldn't say what they feel, but I will say that I'm going to be a dog in this fight. Winky probably believes that he has to be the dog in this fight and that's going to make for a helluva fight man.

GL: Is there anything you'd like to say in closing?

BH: "I'm looking forward to a couple of major events. I'll be in Vegas on March 17 for Marco and Marquez, De La Hoya and Mayweather is going to be one of the biggest fights of our time and then Bernard Hopkins fights the turtle. I'm ready to go turtle hunting and Winky Wright can get ready to get beaten up worse than he ever has. Remember what I said and on July 21 it will manifest when the world watches the professor go to work."


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