Late last night, Boxingtalk.com spoke with undisputed middleweight champ Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins to gather his thoughts on light heavyweight champ Antonio Tarver's "winner take all" challenge to fight him. You don't want to miss what Bernard had to say, but you're going to have to be a member to peep it.
"It's very easy to say winner take all, but it's stupid because it's against the rules. The commission would never allow it. I know boxing and I know the rules, all he knows what the people who are pulling his strings tell him. No fighter can get in the ring and do purse vs. purse, we can make a bet though. All you have to do is ask Larry Hazzard or Ratner and they'll tell you it's a joke. Whenever a fighter says winner take all most people look at that as a joke. You see Greg, I was ignorant at one time and I've said winner take all, winner take all because I didn't know better until somebody pulled my coat and told me, 'Bernard you can't do winner take all, you could never fight purse vs. purse. The commission will not allow it. When Tarver says things like that he needs to go to his mouthpieces to find out what he should tell you next.
"But if he's serious about fighting me, all we need to do is start talking about it now. Pick up the phone and make the call. All he needs to do is get one of his mouthpieces, whether it be Charles Muniz or Joe DeGuardia, or whoever else may handle his business to pick up the phone and make it happen. Let's start talking about this now! What's going to happen on September 18 is going to happen, but any business man, and I imagine that's what Tarver is, looks towards the future.
"If Tarver wants the fight, there's no use to go back and forth with bullshit, just pick up the phone make the call and we'll see who doesn't want the fight. I'd like to see Tarver before the end of this year. I'd like to make that the last major PPV of this year. I know HBO's Mark Taffet, Ross Greenburg and the rest of them will eat this up. Let's start the talks right now, and not just through the internet, because Greg, you're going to get it anyway since Tarver talks to Boxingtalk.com as much as I do.
"He doesn't like what I said about him going into relapse and being on the pipe. I don't like what he said about me and that's fine. How do we settle it? Let's get into the ring and punch each other in the face for some money. Let's see who the best fighter is that night. Jones beat me eleven years ago and he knocked Jones out, so hey, as far I'm concerned fighting him is like fighting Jones. And Greg, I'm willing to put to my goal of 20 defenses to side for a minute to knock Tarver out, because once I'm done knocking him out, or beating him badly, I could go to Roy and say hey, 'let's do this right, because now I've beaten the guy who beat you and that wipes out 93!'
"This is something I would love to interact in. I want Tarver to be sharp and I don't want any excuses from him. I have mad respect for his trainer Buddy McGirt and I know one thing about Buddy is he doesn't get into the trash talking. I know he's a real professional and I know I have to be on my A game whenever I fight any of his fighters because he knows how to dissect fighters. And he was right, all I had to do was show up to beat Robert Allen.
"Tarver and Hopkins is the biggest fight in boxing after I take care of Oscar De La Hoya. And we'll do it at 175 because he deserves to get rewarded those extra five pounds for knocking Roy Jones Jr. out. I'll go up to his weight and see him. Tarver is a businessman, and I consider myself a businessman. My suggestion to Tarver is, let's get the ball rolling and make it happen, but let's be businessman right now. If we continue to call each other names nothing will get done. Let's cut the fat out and start the dialogue to make this fight happen after September 18.
GL: Bernard, HBO has December 4 available as a PPV date.
BH: "PERFECT! Let's grab that date for Tarver and Bernard Hopkins that would be great. I think that should be music to your ears. If Tarver wants to make the fight, keep talking to Boxingtalk.com. I believe the Oscar De La Hoya fight was greatly influenced though Boxingtalk.com. Some people might not want to give that entity, that website the credit, but there's no other website on the internet...not maxboxing, not fightnews, not eastsideboxing, no other website gets the exclusive back to back inside negotiations that this website gets. And look, I'm not saying something that's not true, just read this article when it comes out. Read Tarver's article when it comes out. Hey, when Roy Jones Jr. wasn't doing any interviews who did he reach out to? Boxingtalk.com. Nobody could get Roy, no newspapers, no television, but Boxingtalk.com got him, so the credibility is there and I believe the fighters have made that clear time and time again.
"I think this fight with Tarver can be stirred up and brought to fruition way before the September 18 fight takes place. We could get it out there now and give the people something to look forward to. And for the people who know me, this gives me a great motivation and something to look forward to after I'm done with De La Hoya.
GL: Is a situation like this with the possibility of a Tarver fight in December vital for your motivation in the sense that everyone expects you to destroy De La Hoya, which is a position you're not used to being in? Does this keep you on the grind?
BH: "Absolutely! The bottom line is, the Tarver fight keeps me grounded because I believe a fight with any other middleweight including Trinidad will be easy even if I'm 60 years old. This gives me something to look forward to and a reason not to underestimate nothing because without Oscar De La Hoya there is no Tarver fight. And I'm not here to waste anyone's time. But Tarver and I could begin these discussions now, let's talk with respect, let's make it happen and let's see who doesn't want the fight! The two of us want to fight and this is the biggest fight in boxing after I beat De La Hoya. I'm tired of slinging mud, if he wants to get it done, let's begin talking and grab that December 4 date now. And if Oscar De La Hoya thinks I'm disrespecting him by negotiating something before we fight, that should give him more of an incentive to make the fight happen!
HOPKINS ON JERMAIN TAYLOR:
"When it's all said and done, Lou DiBella is going to sit his ass outside that ring and hope that Jermain wins his fights. But he can't fight for him. So when the student gets in the ring with the professor he's on his own. They could hype the kid up all they want, but based on what I saw last Saturday, they could say next year all they want, that's nothing but BULLSHIT!
"They're going to do what they're supposed to do and wait till I leave. Can Jermain be champion? Maybe. Maybe not. Because I truthfully believe, and I'll bet anybody out there that Kassim Ouma would beat Taylor. If Taylor is Lebron James, then he's Carmelo Anthony. I'm telling you right now at 160, he'll beat the dogshit down Jermain Taylor's leg because he can't make 160 and be strong for a hard fight. I know for a fact from reliable sources amongst them that he struggles to make weight. Rubber suits and all that, and he spends a lot of time in the sauna. Not only that, he's big but he ain't tight. He's a black man with a Mexican's body. He's soft and all you have to do is look at him to know that joker is carrying a lot of water. I guarantee you he's walking around at over 180 pounds.
"If Lou DiBella really believes his horse could beat me then that horse is going to wind up like Smarty Jones."
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