Exclusive Interview: Demetrius Hopkins

By Ray O. Campbell Jr


Exclusive Interview: Demetrius Hopkins

"Y'all junior welterweights better watch out, because I'm coming!"

After extending his unbeaten record to 21-0-1(6) by outgunning veteran Ernesto Zepeda. Jr. Welterweight prospect Demetrius “The Gladiator” Hopkins spoke briefly with boxingtlak.com to give us his thoughts on his performance “I would give it was a B+” stated Hopkins. “I had messed my thumb up in training,” he revealed, and later on added “So being that it was bothering me I was focusing on it too much, but I just had to bite down on my mouthpiece and it came out of me.” In our brief conversation with him, he also spoke about possibly fighting on the same card with his uncle Bernard Hopkins (Rematch with Jermain Taylor) on December 3, for the vacant USBA title.

RC: Nice finish in your last outing against Zepeda
DH: I did my thing, I think some bad things too, but I just think I did more good things than bad.

RC: What are some of the things you feel you need to correct?
DH: Like I wasn’t jabbing hat much. I think I wasn’t jabbing that much because I was concentrating too much on my right hand. I had messed my thumb up in training. It isn’t broken or anything like that, and it is actually feeling a little better. So being that it was bothering me I was focusing on it too much, but I just had to bite down on my mouthpiece and it came out of me.
If I would have stayed busier, and move a little more I would have got him out of there a lot sooner. I just gotta start getting my combinations off earlier in the fight.

RC: You aren’t really known as a knockout puncher, but …
DH: (Cutting in) I can punch, ooh I can punch when I want. If I sit down and punch, I can get anybody out of there.

RC: What do you attribute your recent….
DH: (Cutting) That is for anybody, for anybody that I fight. I am strong, all my punches are meaningful, and I am quite sure that the guy (Ernesto Zepeda) that I fought on October 13th, I know he felt it.

RC: You also stopped Paul Delgado a couple of fights back, who had previously gone the distance with two of the division’s brightest prospects in Paul Malignaggi (2X) and Dmitriy Salita, only being stopped once by Jeff Fraza via TKO10.  What do you attribute your recent success in getting your last two opponents out of there?
DH:  I am doing a lot more exercise, a lot of strength work. I have been doing a lot more strength and conditioning work. So I am just getting stronger all around; my body is more developed now. I am 25 years old now, so I guess I got my man strength.

RC: How would you rate your performance overall?
DH: I would give it was a B+. It was ok; I can tell the movement was bothering him. He was holding, and I was holding too but it was like, I wasn’t tired but it was a difficult fight. I was like why is this guy holding me? Like I said, I was holding him a little too, but after a while I just had to go back to the drawing board and pull some combinations out.

RC: Give us your thoughts on 2004 U.S. Olympian Rock Allen’s performance (TKO2 victory over Candelario Herrera) who fought before you that night and is also promoted by Golden Boy East?
DH: Rock looked real good, he did real well. He sees how the pro’s is now. He is getting a taste of those little 8oz. Gloves. He is coming along fine. I have good stablemates over here; I got Rock Allen 3-0(3), Kassim Ouma and a few other good fighters down with me

RC: I believe I heard you are suppose to be fighting on December 3rd…
DH: Yeah, hopefully December 3rd on Bernard’s (Hopkins-Taylor II) card hopefully. They are working on getting me a fight on that card. They said I might be fighting a guy from New York for the USBA title. I don’t know who it is or anything like that though. To me it doesn’t matter, it is whoever. I just fought a guy with forty something fights. It doesn’t matter who it is, they can bring it because I can bring it too.

RC: Is there anything else you’d like to add in closing?
DH: You’ll Jr. Welterweight’s better watch out, because I’m coming.

RC: Providing you are successful in your next bout to close out the year, what are your goals for 2006?
DH: I want to finish up this year getting the USBA title, and I want to bring the jewels back home to Philadelphia. I am quite sure my uncle is going to bring the jewels back home when he beats Jermain Taylor, and then next year look to take on one of the top contenders.


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