Exclusive Interview: Bernard Hopkins Part III

By G. Leon


Exclusive Interview: Bernard Hopkins Part III

GL: Who? When? And Where? What's the deal for your next fight, your first fight under the banner of Golden Boy Promotions? "Let me tell you something Greg, whoever is willing to put up the fee that Schaefer, Oscar and myself have agreed upon, that's where I'll fight. It could be in Alaska and it could be in Africa. It could be in Dubai, as long as the money's there that's where I'll be."

GL: What does this deal do to the HBO deal you had on the table?

BH: "They are my promoters and I am a partner and this plays right into hands with that. That's a great question Greg, I got my promoters license with E-X Promotions. People might want to say, 'Bernard could have done this', but for me it's a bigger picture. And the bigger picture is the second half of the equation, which will continue after I retire, which won't be too far from now. And Greg, I hope to live until I'm well into my 70's so this is a long term decision.

"This is like insurance for later on and that's why the situation was great. I would love to be sitting here 10-15 years from now, looking at everything and saying we started something first.

"I want to be the first figher, along with Oscar De La Hoya, to be on the cover of Time Magazine, and Forbes Magazine for being on top of the game outside of the ring even better than we were inside of it."

"When, I'm not saying if, this thing manifests to what I know it will mature to, it will be the undisputed promotional company in boxing. The best way to start this crusade off, along with Golden Boy Promotions, Bernard Hopkins will remain active and stay on top of the boxing world.

"Whoever the unlucky #20 is it doesn't matter. What matters is 20 defenses. I don't have a specific name because that gives them credibility when it comes to overpricing themselves when it comes to doing someting realistic."

GL: As much as you seem to be feeling this vision, if you had a choice between fighting De La Hoya for eight figures again immediately or becoming partners with him, what would you have done?

BH: "First I would have went with the rematch if De La Hoya wanted the rematch. There were never any rematch clauses in the contracts from the get go. But yes, I would have first given De La Hoya a rematch and put this venture off for a few months. I think De La Hoya did better than Trinidad did with me. I think he had moments, Trinidad didn't.

GL: Speaking of Trinidad, in the past, Papa Trinidad sarcastically  told Boxingtalk.com  that De La Hoya was your promoter. What do you think Papa Trinidad will have to say now that this has come to fruition?

BH: "Greg, first of all before Papa Trinidad makes a statement he needs to ask his father and manager, Don King. Didn't you know he can't make any statements without asking King?"

GL: As you pointed out, both De La Hoya and yourself are still active. Will you ever spar with each other in preparation to help each other out?

BH: "Hell no!

GL: Why not?

BH: "The instincts that we have as athletes, certain things have to remain in their context. It's not a thing of trust, it's just something that we both have to get used to while being active, and that's the unique thing about this merger, we're still boxing.

"Oscar is planning to come to Philadelphia so I could show him the hood, and I'm going to go to East LA and see where his world was at 25 years ago. Certain things will not happen right away until we get EXTREMELY CLOSE and know each other.

"You know I've told you all the dealings with Bob Arum for the June and September fights went smoothly. Arum has been on record saying the same thing Greg, because it was a smooth negotiation. But now I'm going on record to tell you this deal was even smoother than that one."

"I gotta tell you Greg, I commend Arum for stepping down. He's not stepping out, he's stepping down and I think he's come to grips with the fact that maybe the spirit and the energy is not there, I think he did the right thing. Maybe Don King will smell the aroma and do the same thing. 

"A dangerous person is the one who knows he should step down but sticks around out of greed."



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