Bernard Hopkins Retires

By G. Leon


Bernard Hopkins Retires

"Everything is good Greg. If you look at me right now, you'd say what fight were you in. I'm cool. There's no marks on me, but trust me, I'm good. I don't know what you seen on TV or in the interview, but that's the way I looked after twelve rounds. But him, he don't look the same. Maybe in another two weeks from now, yeah, but not now."

GL: Was there anything about Calzaghe that surprised you? Was there anything you were planning on doing but failed to do during the fight?

Bernard Hopkins: "There was nothing I saw from him that surprised me. He's going to come forward and he's going to take a good shot. That's his style, he comes in, he's wild and he throws pitty pats. My boxing and my style is not appreciated in this era of boxing. When you look at the precise and the accuracy and the technician drawing him in, and that's not running, that's not coming to fight, that's making him come to you so you can make him knock himself out.

"Case in point, first round. He comes out, boom there he goes. My thing Greg is, one thing about cameras they sent a lot of people to jail and they get a lot of people out of jail. They don't lie. There's nothing I was surprised about. This is not me being Monday morning quarterback. I don't know what that one judge was seeing, but he was way off the mark with those numbers."

GL: In your mind, do we need to go back to 1993 to locate your last loss?

BH: "Exactly. 1993 with Roy Jones. That's the last time I lost a legitimate fight was with Roy Jones Jr. That's exactly right."

GL: Do you want a rematch with Calzaghe? Do you think there's going to be public interest in the rematch?

BH: "Truthfully his fans didn't support him. They were giving tickets away. Robert Earl and them were giving tickets away. It wasn't a Ricky Hatton fight because he didn't get the same support. From $1500 ringside tickets they had to give them down. Some people would say well Bernard you didn't bring the crowd either. No, no no. You can't put that blame on me, the problem was nobody knew Joe Calzaghe. After this fight they know who he is, but in the way that he wanted them to.

"The judges beat me in this fight Saturday. Without bitterness or anything, people know that the judges beat me. They can look at that fight and they can see the accuracy in the punches, they can see that there was some close rounds here and there. The knockdown round was 10-8 and then there were other times were my punches were more effective. Not volume, but more effective. I was landing the harder shots the whole fight. I am impressed that he takes a great shot. He takes a great shot, but we don't get points in boxing for taking a great shot. I never got hurt in that fight one time. I'm not just saying this, look at the tape. I want all my fans who tune in through Boxingtalk, to know that I am fine, I'm healthy.  One thing they can't take away Greg is my legendary career and the fact that I stood up to the powers that be and I will do that continously with the young fighters.

"Boxing is an art and if everything isn't categorized as an art in boxing, then sooner or later the UFC is going to take over. But one thing they don't have is this situation where one judge sees one thing and the other judge is watching a different fight. Where did they get those numbers from? But it is what it is Greg. it didn't start with Bernard Hopkins and it's not going to end with Bernard Hopkins."

GL: Was that your last fight or will there be more to come?

BH: "There's nothing left to prove. Greg, there's no motivation. I said before the fight I was going to make him look amatuerish, I was going to bust him up and that's what I did. You didn't see me bleeding dog. I knocked him down and he got up and he fought and showed grit, but at the end of the day the old master was at work. It's not like I was getting beaten up and it, I have a great chin. I've never shyed away from showing that I can take a great shot, but I know my style, and at the end of the day accuracy has to count. It's not the volume of punches, but maybe I'm too old school. If volume of punches, not effective punches, dictates who wins, I'd never win another fight. I was taught not to waste punches, but when you throw them you throw to connect and to do damage. The judges want to see a guy buckle, they want to see effective punches that show physical damage for that second or two. I was never hurt during the fight and it was quiet as a church during that press conference, except for his father. But Greg, I'm cool and if they want me to take it like this and pay me like this, I'll take it and go. There's no shame in my game.

"I'm not going to put myself in a position and I don't want to put my personal busines out there, but Greg, I'm cool. I'm still out here in Vegas and people are coming up to me telling me what it is. I've been a rebel with a cause in this business and I will not disrespect myself and go out there and sit in the audience like Roy Jones and Don King's old lawyer begging and pleading for a fight. Roy can fire back and say whatever he wants, but I've never been knocked out in my career. Go through your archives and do your research and try to find a guy who knocked me out, one time let alone two times. Anything that you stay in too long, comes back to bite you at some point or another. I'd rather leave following controversy because it makes the ending of my book better.

"I'm a guy who took the bull by the horns in and out of the ring. This is the perfect way to share that there is a happy ending. They gave me almost another $20M after they gave the fights to Jermain Taylor. But when this thing gets dissected, my story will speak for itself. I'm 43 years old and I went in there against an undefeated fighter who presses and I lead him and busted him up and he couldn't get nothing but a split decision with an old man. What does that tell you?

"I don't know what you expected, but if I had a problem with it I would have told you. I was telling Jin Mosley this morning that I'm cool and I'll be up there to help Shane and my whole thing is Greg, I'm blessed and I have nothing else to prove. I beat them at their own game. They paid me a substantial amount of money from Tarver to Joe Calzaghe. I'm more of an overachiever than they could have ever expected. I could have bowed out after the Jermain Taylor fights and then I went on to light heavyweight and made more history.


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