"Will De La Hoya's Corner Allow It To Continue Until He Looks Like William Joppy?"
GL: Bernard, what do you think about Ricardo Mayorga and Felix Trinidad making a $100,000 bet for their upcoming fight? "First of all, I think it's brave and good that they put that extra pressure on themselves by betting each other $100,000 that they will win the fight. I think that's gangsta. I don't know who brought it up, but whoever brought it up that was strictly gangsta because that particular person is saying to the world, 'I know I can beat him and now I'm going to put my money where my mouth is.' This is something that I started doing as far back as the Trinidad fight. I did it for the Joppy fight as well and I know they read Boxingtalk.com, so that must be where they got the blueprint from. My thing is this, it shows they pay attention what I say on your site because now they're coming around doing the same things I have done."
GL: How has training for the De La Hoya fight been going?
Bernard Hopkins: It's cool. I got Comcast with me every morning all the way up to the gym. Tomorrow we're going to meet at 8am. This morning we ran the famous Rocky steps at 5:30, they're going to be with me until I leave for Miami on Sunday and they're going to be with me there until a week before I leave for Vegas and then they're going to be with me the seven days prior to the fight on September 18. They came up with the idea when Smarty Jones was getting ready for his big race. They want to have basically have every move I've made on tape. Kind of like what Boxingtalk.com has been doing since you guys have exclusive footage in the gym and in my suites on me for my last three fights.
I want to make another announcement, Bernard Hopkins and Duva Boxing, with Dino Duva have come into an agreement with me to help my nephew Demetrius Hopkins get on board. Demetrius is here with me in camp right now and he will be leaving to Miami with me. He's been under my experience right now along with my cousin Willie Gibbs. Greg I stay in great shape, but I'll tell you these guys made me look slow the first few days my experience got me through. Give me a couple of weeks and I'll be up to there level though. And I'm not saying that to be diplomatic. Demetrius has good speed, youth and legs. He was nervous because I'm his uncle and the respect is there, but as days went on he got comfortable. And I had to spank him on his butt every now and then to let him know that no matter I got to keep him honest. He's a professional, but I'm a veteran professional, so even if he hits me with a good shot I have to keep it in the back of my mind, 'hey I can't get hit like that again and I can't go out there to kill him' because then I would be acting unprofessional.
I"m learning from all these speedsters with their youth and sharpshooting in the gym and we're working together day and night, and we run together too. It's important for Boxingtalk.com readers and subscribers to know that there's going to be a young fighter to carry the torch after I'm gone, and that's Demetrius "The Gladiator" Hopkins. I'm very happy to be working with, and helping Duva Boxing to bring my nephew into the light as one of the best prosepcts out there. As you saw with Bojado losing without a robbery taking place, that same Olympic Team will Bojado and Ricardo Williams...I'll go on record and say this now. Even though Demetrius didn't get the silver and even though he didn't make the team. I believe he beat Ricardo Williams when the computer broke down on them. He's the best darkhorse that was left off the team. And you're going to see that now that his uncle's in his corner. Duva Boxing and I have buried the ax because this is not about ego, it's about Demetrius.
And guess what? This is the first time he's been in camp with me so he's going to see first hand why I've been a champion for ten years and why I have eighteen defenses. He's going to see how hard it is to do quarter mile sprints on sand as thick as two blankets on a bed. He's going to see how it is to be in a HOT gym aftering doing eight or nine rounds and he still has to do four or five more rounds with pads, jumping rope and some cardio exercises.
When he leaves the gym he's not going to want to do anything but go to bed. And it could be 5 or 6pm but sleep is all he's going to want to do because that's the way I train. So they got someone else to worry about, and that's Demetrius "The Gladiator" Hopkins. A lot of things have been happening since you've been out of the loop and I'm going to fill you on my in. I know you already got all of the training footage from Philly, and I'm sure you're going to have someone come down to Miami to shoot his footage so Boxingtalk.com has more than enough footage on Bernard Hopkins getting ready the massacre of Oscar De La Hoya on September 18.
GL: While working with these younger fighters, even though you're their mentor so to speak, you're using their speed and youth to help you prepare for the massacre, correct?
BH: Yes. That's really correct because I have to keep up with them. And even though they're telling me that I'm fast, quick and hard to hit, I'm telling them not to say that because they need to do their things and be themselves. I need to be just as fast as Demetrius Hopkins and you have to understand that these young guys are thriving off of nervous energy. And you have to understand that even though they've settled down a little, they're more dangerous being nervous because they're throwing punches from everywhere and a lot of them. It's not like I'm fighting someone whose waiting for their shot, these guys are throwing six to seven punches at a time. I could imagine that De La Hoya is not going to slug with Bernard Hopkins, so it's going to be a hunter trying to hunt the rabbit. And the rabbit is eventually going to get caught. And it's not going to be by one or two punches, it's going to be by a bunch of punches that prepare him for his execution. So how do I prepare for that? By working with guys who aren't too big and aren't going to throw anything less than five punches at me.
GL: How do you think Willie Gibbs does with Jermain Taylor?
BH: He knocks Jermain Taylor out in the seventh or eighth round of a ten round fight. Jermain Taylor will try to use his power because he thinks he's a puncher but he's not. If you look at Taylor's last three or four fights, you'll see that he's hit guys with his best shot and they didn't go down. He's not the power puncher he thinks he is. Pat Burns or anyone could tell him to pick his shots as they come, but once you believe you're a puncher it's hard to convince a fighter otherwise. Willie Gibbs will take his shot and fire back, and Willie Gibbs is a far better all around fighter than Jermain Taylor. Jermain Taylor has the entity behind him because there's no young fighter out there who has the public in uproar right now, so he's the next best thing to nothing. Slightly better than nothing. And when that's the case we end up with overhyped fighter. Jermain Taylor will never fight me, he'll never fight Antwun Echols and I doubt they'd fight Robert Allen. And my understanding is, the people at HBO will not buy another fight that he shouldn't get tested in. They've taken that stance before and I've always been under that microscope, which I don't mind because it has helped me stay on top of my game and that's why I'm here now.
GL: Earlier you said the fight with Oscar is going to be like a hunter trying to chase down a rabbit. That holds some similarity to the Hagler-Leonard fight everyone likes to compare Hopkins-De La Hoya to. Which fight, if any, have you seen where you've said to yourself, 'our fight is going to look more like this one than Hagler-Leonard?'
BH: I don't know why they want to use that fight as something they could compare this fight to. Hagler and I have two totally different styles and I believe Marvin Hagler will attest to that as well. I believe this fight will be a lot more like Aaron Pryor-Alexis Arguello. The first one or the second one, De La Hoya could take his pick. It's going to be an Aaron Pryor and Arguello type of fight, and I'm only saying that as far as the physical outcome will be. It's going to be like, 'when are they going to stop this execution?' The biggest question everyone should be asking themselves is, 'will De La Hoya's corner allow it to continue until he looks like William Joppy?' It should be interesting to see if they'll allow the Golden Boy to suffer and get broken down to silver?
(Much more to follow, which is always the case when we spend over an hour on the phone with Bernard. ALSO: Matthew Goldstein will be dropping two HOT videos of Hopkins training in Philly and we'll be bringing more hot footage shortly after he touches down in Miami this Sunday. Stay Tuned.)
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