Hopkins: "Tarver is trying to bamboozle the public!"

By G. Leon


Hopkins: "Tarver is trying to bamboozle the public!"

Boxingtalk spoke with undisputed middleweight king, Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins yesterday afternoon to see what the latest was on his potential fight with Antonio Tarver, which has been the buzz of the boxing world since it first (and only) came to the forefront on this website.

Shortly after speaking with Antonio Tarver's advisor Charles Muniz, who informed Arnold Joseph that Don King has an option on Antonio Tarver, Bernard Hopkins told Boxingtalk.com, "I'm not dirsrespecting De La Hoya, but I am looking past him because I have to look to the future to stay young mentally. With Tarver I'm tired of wasting time on the impossible. I've called his bluff, but now they've got to take care of his own problems, and this fight won't make it to a fax machine with Don King in the middle."

"Greg, (Charles) Muniz told me that when Tarver signed the contract to fight Jones, he granted Don one option. He said that DeGuardia and Don were fighting it out and they'd have a resolution in a week or so, so I told him to get back to me when that issue is resolved. Bernard is about to go into camp for the De La Hoya fight and that's going to push everything (with the Tarver negotiations) back, because when Bernard is in camp we don't talk about future contracts, and quite frankly, that's my gravy time to work with other clients," said attorney Arnold Joseph.

GL: So there's no chance this fight happens with Don King in the middle as the promoter?

AJ: "No. Nothing can happen with King in the middle. We've been trying to a fight with...well, I'm not going to that. I don't believe anything can happen with King in the middle.

GL: Will you not even explore the possibility?

AJ: "Again, King hasn't called us. So it would be irrelevant to talk about what we would or wouldn't do. If King called and offered a large sum of money for Bernard to fight him, we'd talk to King or anybody else for that matter. In boxing you never close the door just because of who's on the other side of the door.

Bernard Hopkins: (cutting in) "Greg, you know how mind is always working...well, something just came to my mind. How is this joker going to call me out for a fight, then we're ready to move forward and make it happen and now he's trying to hide behind trouble? How are you going to hide behind your problems and call me out at the same time? I want to fight this guy, he supposedly wants to fight me but now they can't even talk about it?

"I think he's been misleading the boxing world and the Boxingtalk.com fans who have confidence in him and respect him. I think it's misleading to have people thinking he's good to go when he's having problems that are preventing him from sitting at the table with Bernard Hopkins and the powers that be to make it happen. I think he's bamboozling the fans around the world, but not me. That's why I jumped on this early and boldy stated that I'd beat him badly. I'm glad we got this done early because now we see where he's at, and I can focus on Oscar De La Hoya. If something comes up in the next couple of weeks, Arnold Joseph and the Fisher's will still be communicating with me, so we'll see. But I think he's been misleading his fans. I believe he will lose a good percentage of fans who thought Bernard Hopkins was going to over price himself or something like that. If you didn't call them and ask them what's up they still wouldn't have called me up dawg!

GL: Are you still open for the discussion of the Tarver fight? Or is it already a dead issue.

BH: "If I see paperwork saying that Bernard will not be liable for any agreements that he may have with other entities. Because I don't want to be caught in the middle of any lawsuits over interferecne.

AJ: That's just what Bob Arum did with us. We had to indemnify him from any other claims. When he contacted us the first questions he asked was, 'is everything over with Don ?' We said yes. Then he sent his lawyers in to overlook it and then we moved forward. So we're no different than that. If he's not going to be with Don, he's going to have to indemnify us the same way.

BH: "And Greg, that just doesn't go for Bernard Hopkins. I advise any fighter who may want to fight Tarver to make sure that they protect themself the same way. I don't want to see any fighter get caught into something they were mislead with. I don't want anyone to interfere with Don's rights just like I don't want nobody to interfere with mine. Since this is out there, Tarver should provide you with his paperwork, like I have done so many times, so you can see what the deal really is! Then you can have a clear picture and not the cloudy one other people would like for you to believe. And I'd also like to make this perfectly clear now Greg, anybody I fight from this point until the day retire, no promoter is getting options on Bernard Hopkins. On September 18 I have an obligation. Not the 19th, 20th, or 21st. I'm a businessman so the money has to be right, but there will be no options. I'm on the verge of the biggest fight in boxing and I'm NOT giving any options, so the other promoters should already know that I'm not giving options. I just wanted to come public with this, so now they don't even ask.


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