Exclusive Interview: Bernard Hopkins Part 1

By G. Leon


Exclusive Interview: Bernard Hopkins Part 1

"I put the pound for pound debate to rest!"

Hopkins vs. De La Hoya

Undisputed middleweight king, Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins called Boxingtalk to discuss his huge knockout victory over Oscar De La Hoya, his future, and much more. "First of all Greg, I know its been a while since I've talked to my Boxingtalk.com fans, but when you're going into a big fight like I was, you've got to be focused. You got to be ready and focused when you go into battle, especially at my age. But I'm back and I'm going to be here for a while now, it's time to give the fans what they want to hear and I think it's time to put me on one of those chats I've been hearing about. We got to get that done and I'm going to come on Boxingtalk.com to talk to my fans, that's a given."

"I trained hard, I worked hard, I thought hard and Bouie strategized the plan. Before we get into the questions and answers, I think the most surprising thing, or the most eyebrow raising thing was that Bouie Fisher and Bernard Hopkins knew I was coming down to 156 or 157 by going ten rounds with three different speed demons in front of me. We came up with a plan, expecting. And we got kind of bamboozled, but we had to figure it out that I had to be in position to chase him if I had to and be quick, so I had to be lighter. I was reaching more towards junior middleweight than middleweight. I knew that would give me help with speed and keep me energized, instead of the opposite.

"From what I've read after the fact, word spread like a forrest fire that Bernard Hopkins weighed 156. I didn't really expect people to go off about me weighing in at 156. Bert Sugar shouted out, 'he's a deadman, now we really know who's going to win this fight.' Whether he's a historian as he says he is, I respect him as a person, but everybody is not always right and I think I've proven it.

"Our first strategy was to come in light because we knew that De La Hoya mentioned coming in light and we knew he was going to come in light because he was training to run. The thing is, he didn't run right away. He didn't run early and we didn't expect him to stay there as he did, but we knew he wasn't going to stay there for long.

"Before we get into how many hours we're about to talk for, I've been saying it for years, that I'm a full fledged, certified, bona fide middleweight. People have always questioned my height, questioned me, that I was picking on little guys, that I should be moving up to cruiser, I should be doing this or that. Even though when I was under Don King's promotion I was willing to and signed off on going all the way up to 190 to fight James Toney to prove that I'm not a coward and I don't turn down deals.

"But with all due respect, I am what I am. A shark cannot live in the jungle with lion's the same way lion's can't live in the water with sharks."

"The world is going to recognize that Bernard Hopkins is not only one of the best fighters in and out of the ring when it comes to discipline and delivering for a long time. De La Hoya, you've got to take your hat off to him because other's have fought other fights knowing that they don't want the pressure of being mentioned with my name. I have created fights for Shane Mosley. I have created fights for other middleweights. I have created fights for Winky Wright. I have created fights for everyone around my weight limit any time my name being brought up as an idea and they ran off to do something else. I have played matchmaker on the heels of people not wanting to fight Bernard Hopkins.

"These guys right now have some damage control to do with their next moves. With Oscar and Bernard, we've been established, especially me since I was the winner, but the rest of the top guys need to be put up or shut up whoever they fight, because I've set the bar so high now. This has nothing to do with the fight because the fight speaks for itself. I'm not saying it's going to go down as one of the greatest fights of all time, but I think the ending will. I think that when people left that arena, there wasn't no controversy, there was no BS about a bad decision because he's Oscar or any of that. The people got a mega fight that ended without controversy and the pound for pound dispute was TKO'D Saturday night."

"At least right now, I'm thinking Floyd Mayweather Jr., my little buddy needs to have a muzzle on his mouth when it comes to pound for pound status. Right now I'm not going to sit back and bask in the sun. I don't think things are just going to start coming to me because I had a great win the other night, I've just got to keep fighting and keep fighting till it's over."

Boxingtalk will have much to come with the undisputed middleweight king. All of the above is what he had to say before we got a single question in.



Send questions and comments to: gleon@boxingtalk.net