Exclusive Interview: Bernard Hopkins Part II

By G. Leon


Exclusive Interview: Bernard Hopkins Part II

Hopkins Says King And Arum Need To Pack It In!

GL: You've said you will be promoted by Golden Boy Promotions for the rest of your career. What exactly does that mean and how long will that be? "Greg, my thing is, I'm 40 years old in January and the clock is ticking. But Bernard Hopkins has an outside agreement along with the promotional agreement. I have a business interest in Golden Boy Promotions. He offered it and I accepted it, and being a part of it's huge. Outside of the business thing with the promotion, I knew that my future in the sport will not be long, I've said it to you before and I'm not going back on that."

"I have now set up that other exit door and I'd like to send this message to my brother and friend Evander Holyfield, there is another life after boxing. To do this while I'm active, last time I read I'm the best boxer in the world. Why wait until I'm the second best to do it? Why not groom myself now when I'm at the highest level any fighter can help put himself in?

"On personal levels Oscar and I have shared the same experiences. Ten years ago his mother died from breast cancer and a little over a year ago Shirley Hopkins died from breast cancer at 55.

"I grew up in Philadelphia, in a bad part of the city called north Philly, the ghetto. Oscar De La Hoya grew up in East LA which is called the barrio."

"I come from the ghetto Greg, you come from the ghetto Greg, most of your readers come from the ghetto Greg...I know you got that out there first because of the amount of people that came up to me at the press conference.

"To people this might seem weird, but this a great thing that's happened. Four months ago we fought, then we show up at the MGM and stare each other down at the press conference, then we smiled at each other, shook hands and took care of the other fighting business called promotion.

"This is two mature fighters who understand their position in boxing has more to do with than just throwing punches. This should be motivational to young fighters who have looked up to Bernard Hopkins and Oscar De La Hoya.

"People could say, my promoter has been saying that Hopkins is crazy and De La Hoya achieved greatness by receiving gifts in fights. Whatever these individuals have said in the past Greg, they have to eat crow now.

"We are stepping into an area where our sport needs new fresh blood. The dinosaurs in boxing, and there's only two of them...those dinosaurs are actually outdated. I am the Miles Davis to the Don King's and the Bob Arum's...It's time to pack it in."

"This move will generate a lot of positive and negative feedback, but it's good that we have both because it keeps myself and Oscar De La Hoya focused on one thing, bringing integrity and credibility to the fighters and the regular non-boxing Americans...boxing has a new face.

"Everybody that reads Boxingtalk.com will laugh and chuckle all day long if they think I could save my whole neighborhood. But if I can't save my neighborhood, I know I can't change boxing in one day, one month or one year. Hopefully one day De La Hoya and I will get so old that someone younger comes along to take the baton.

"This is not only history, this is a statement and very few would venture out on a move like this because we are trained in a way and we have this ego before the fight, which is justified, but why can't we leave that animosity in the ring?

"Well Greg, that's we've done here. We need to get over that hump that the promoters have mastered to keep us on each other's jugular before and after the fight. There are some guys out there who still don't like each other years after they fought each other!

"Oscar De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins have broken that mold. When you look at Ray Leonard and Marvin Hagler, how great would that bond have been? If you look at Frazier and Ali, how great would that bond have been? We didn't want to make the same historical mistake, and that's something De La Hoya was clear to me about, so why not get together? 

"There's a new day and there's been a lot of new days in my time, and there's been a lot of new days in history. 

"I can't wait to get home and talk to a few fighters, and I say this is a new day because in terms of credibility with the fighters, it's like night and day comparing us to any other promoter.  Fighters WANT to talk with us because they've seen us go through the pain. 

"Remember the people have read a lot of negative things about me, but now they're starting to see that is was trickery that made Bernard Hopkins look that way.


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