Boxing


Interview with Bernard Hopkins

bernard hopkinsBy Mike Cassell 10/3/07 - I recently got to sit down with Light Heavyweight Champion, Bernard Hopkins. He was his usual honest self, talking about The De La Hoya photo scandal, as well as the future of the middleweight division. He was at Comcast Sports Net, helping to promote the ďFighting CityĒ series of matches recently recorded for broadcast, in which he was a guest analyst. He doesnít always say what you want to hear, but he always says what he believes, and you have to respect that.

Mike Cassell: What is going on with those pictures of Oscar De La Hoya on the internet. The media is really grabbing onto it. Are those pictures real?

Bernard Hopkins: My opinion is, Itís the price of fame. Itís the price of being in the spotlight. You know, a lot of things come along. If you do not have thick skin in this business, you will not make it. What if They come out next week with Bernard Hopkins in a wig and a dress. That comes along with the territory. Iím not asking for it, but you have to pick and choose your battles. I talked to Oscar, and he told me that, absolutely, 100%, those pictures were Photoshop, and the people involve wanted money.

Mike Cassell
So they are allegedly extorting Oscar?


Bernard Hopkins
They got paid. They got money form the tabloids, TV. Now the people involved recently came out and said they werenít real.

Mike Cassell
Kelly Pavlik. The kid filled boardwalk Hall, and destroyed Jermain Taylor. Is this the real deal?


Bernard Hopkins
It`s hype, because he was in there with a guy who was made, or created. Dont get me wrong, Pavlik is good, but he was in there with a guy (Taylor) that was made by the industry, with talent, but still a creation. In the end, Pavlik was good enough to go in there and expose Taylor, and take him out. And it goes to show you, if Pavlik didnít knock him out, the judges had Taylor ahead, and he was on his way to another bogus victory. I watched that fight 8 or 9 times since Saturday. I couldnít believe they had Taylor ahead.

Mike Cassell
So Taylor is an industry created guy that got a lot of breaks?


Bernard Hopkins
Absolutely, I believe he got a huge break in the Winky Wright fight. He fought to what they said was a draw. He didnít lose his belts. The fact is that, if you didnít knock Jermain Taylor out, you werenít going to win. The worst thing that would happen is a draw. A draw is a win for him. A draw in our first fight would have been a win for me. I could have kept my titles. They kept those belts around him, milking that status until he can move up in weight and fight Joe Calzaghe. Now thatís out the window.

Mike Cassell
Bernard, it seemed as if after Taylor went 24 rounds with you, he was not the same fighter. He was tearing everybody up, and then seemed to stall in his last few fights.


Bernard Hopkins
One word, gun shy... Watching him, it reminded me of a basketball player tearing through a guard, and he just backs up out of the way, and not just this fight, but the fight before it. Cory Spinks, a smaller guy, had him backing up, and so did Kassim Ouma. Twenty four rounds with me, took a lot of confidence out of him, and changed him physically. An athlete, a true athlete may say and do what they say and do in front of the media. But when we are alone, we know in our heart the truth. It bothers us, you know? He knows that his fights with me, the Winky fight, and his fights with Ouma and Spinks, were not good fights, and deep in his heart, he knows he lost a few. He can't run from that, and he carried that into the ring with him. He had that doubt.

Mike Cassell
Okay, I am going to give you some names as possible opponents for Kelly Pavlik. Tell me who would win and why. Winky Wright and Kelly Pavlik. Who wins?


Bernard Hopkins
I like Pavlik, and I think Pavlik would stop Winky. I think he would beat him up real bad. Do you know why? Because I had Winky first. (LAUGHS) I took Winky OLD PHILLY style. It wasnít pretty, but I did it like they did it in the old days. I mugged him.

Mike Cassell
Okay, how about the Viking Warrior. Mikkell Kessler


Bernard Hopkins
Very very tough fight. I believe Kessler would win it though. But tough to call.

Mike Cassell
How about Joe Calzaghe?


Bernard Hopkins
I like Joe Calzaghe to beat Pavlik if they fought. Calzaghe throws a lot of punches. He gets in close, and would take away the range of Pavlik. Those long arms need space to build power. Calzaghe would smother him.

Mike Cassell
What do you think of Bob Arum hinting that Pavlik may fight John Duddy in Madison Square Garden next. Is that fight good for boxing?


Bernard Hopkins
No. Its bad. That is just Bob Arum sticking it to Lou Dibella, because Dibella threatened to take the belts off the table if the rematch clause wasnít in there on the Sept 29th fight.. So Lou Dibella strong armed Bob Arum originally, saying we want the rematch over 160lbs. Thatís why Arum wants the Duddy fight in NY.

It doesnít matter though, I think Pavlik would beat him up even worse at 168.

Mike Cassell
You sat in and did some commentating with me for Comcast Sports Net in September at the Blue Horizon. How surreal was that?


Bernard Hopkins
You know Mike, if you can fight at the Blue Horizon, you can fight in any venue in the world. I made my bones there, it is where I started, Iíve come full circle. It was an honor to sit with you guys, and get exposure for young talent. Its needed, and I was proud to be apart of it.

Mike Cassell
It was our honor, thanks for your time.

Article posted on 04.10.2007



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