Boxing


Bernard Hopkins Interview - Hopkins vs Jones

Oscar de la Hoya: Thank you very much, Kelly, and thank you, all the media for being on the call. ďRivalsĒ is going to be a very interesting because not only do you have two great fighters who are once again facing each other, but this rematch has been in the making for many years. Each fighter has gone their way. Each fighter cemented their legacy. But on the other hand, you have one fighter in Bernard Hopkins who has been stepping up to the plate and really making history as time goes by. And it doesnít seem like heís getting any older. Heís getting younger.. He has on the way of making history. Heís beaten the likes of Antonio Tarver. Heís made history by beating Felix Trinidad. And when you talk about Bernard Hopkins, you talk about a living legend.

So April 3rd, itís nothing but respect towards both fighters because of what theyíve accomplished and what they are still able to accomplish. And so the fact that these two fighters are facing each other really shows a great deal of admiration they have for the sport and for the fans. This is truly one of those rivalries that you just donít want to miss. I know that style makes fights and from watching the first fight taking place, it was a very competitive fight.

Obviously Roy Jones, Jr. came out with a victory. He was the more seasoned, experienced fighter, but now you have Bernard Hopkins, who has also gained the respect from everyone because of his dominating performances. But also, heís gained the experience to match or even surpass Roy Jones Jr. in skill and talent alone. So it is my pleasure and honor to be introducing a living legend. He is one of the best middleweights that weíve ever seen in the sport of boxing. He carries a record of 50 and 5 with 32 knock-outs. He is trained by one of the best or if not the best trainer in the world, Nazim Richardson. That is Bernard Hopkins.

Q:
Why do you think it took so long to get this rematch?

B. Hopkins
A lot of reasons. Itís over 15 years and things happen, just like in most negotiations, some fights go through, some fights donít. At the end of the day, itís a combination of a lot of things. But sometimes itís the one fighter donít want to really fight the next fighter where he can fight anybody else and make the same money or more and not take a risk. We all know that exists in boxing and unfortunately, but you can call it good management. You can call it good promotion. You can call it whatever, but Iím always willing and able to fight anybody. I donít think anybody can charge or accuse me of ducking anybody in boxing. You can, anything you want to say about Bernard Hopkins, but I donít think my worse enemy can say that Bernard Hopkins was afraid to fight anybody. I really believe that.

Q:
Do you think that people still care about this rematch? Obviously, you have continued to be a great fighter. Youíre 45 years old now and youíre still fighting like you were a lot younger. But you have two guys over 40 fighting; do you think people do care at this point?

B. Hopkins
I think people care. I think people care just like if Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan was playing a one on one and youíre a basketball fan, youíre going to show up. One thing, age cannot compete with accomplishments and names and with those individuals or us have done in the boxing game. When you have a situation where you donít see this often, I think you will agree, I hope that you look to agree that this doesnít happen all the time on a respectful level. The word respect is very important in this fight. This is not on some clown reality show where you have two wrestlers, two boxers, two old entertainers, two old singers squared off in some reality show. This is the real deal. This is the real deal and Iím pretty sure youíre going to be watching, too.

Q:
One last question there, Bernard, youíve only fought what once in the last year and a half or so. Do you feel like you can shake out the ring rust and be in top shape for this fight?

B. Hopkins
Yes, because Iím a veteran and Iíve been doing this thing as a professional for over 18 years. And if Iím not mistaken, I was off eight or nine months before I beat up Kelly Pavlik whoís the Great White Hope 17 years younger than me. And I so I donít have anything to do with the guy thatís experienced to understand the name of the game and you know the way I live. The book is already written on me. Everybody knows Bernard Hopkins. I always come in shape. I walk around 10, 15 pounds over at most in between fights. Iím a rare breed, man. I answer the call when the call is called and youíll see a great performance come April 3rd.

Q:
Obviously, youíve been able to compete at the highest level a lot longer and a lot better than Roy has. Why do you think thatís the case? Why do you think heís declined where you maintained really high level of competiveness.

B. Hopkins
I think a lot of it has to do with my having to rely on fundamentals from the beginning. One thing about boxing, boxing is one of those sports where starting off, a guy might look like he isnít going to last long in the game. I remember a friend of mine named David Reed who came out of the Olympics with a gold medal. He came and went. Jermaine Taylor, the recent bronze medal winner of the Olympic came and went. You deal with the individual. You have to deal with the individual. You have some average, you have some thatís good and you have some thatís special. The ones that stand out as the special ones are in our history books that we all talk about, whether itís baseball, football, hockey, boxing. Thatís why we talk about legends as Oscar de la Hoya mentioned, living legends, legends who arenít here anymore. They will never be missed. They will never be unspoken when we talk about different sports.

When I leave the game, I wish and hope and I know that Iím doing all I can to have that same conversation talking about Bernard Hopkins 10, 15, 20 years from now. So itís about the person. Itís all about the personís style, lifestyle, the way he takes care of himself and last but not least, genetics. Genetics plays a lot in peopleís lives, just the way they age quicker than others.

Q:
I was going to mention the styles. I always thought that Roy relied almost too much on his speed and his athleticism and once that started to go, maybe he started to go. And in your case, you developed such great skills, that you didnít rely as much as just your natural gifts. You relied more on your brain. Does that make sense?

B. Hopkins
Yes, that makes a lot of sense and to add on to that is that I think that in this era, I think Iím one of the greatest technician fighters, a technic fighter that boxing ever produced.

Now some people think thatís a boring way to fight, but thatís what boxing is all about, longevity, executing your opponent.
Q:
We were just on the phone with Roy before you came on to do your portion of this call. I asked him for his recollections of the first bout, which obviously we know he won. It was your first championship fight, his first championship fight. Iíve never heard you dispute the decision, but Iíd like if you could just give me your recollections of why that fight went the way it did and what you think about the way that that fight went and if is has any bearing whatsoever on what may take place next Saturday.

B. Hopkins
Well, first the fight was a fight where Roy was the most out of tube, out of myself and him was the better fighter. He was the better fighter not only from his experience, but the ability. Roy Jones was one of the brightest amateurs to come out in the long term. We all know that he should have got a gold medal, but he got a silver medal and he was just the all around better fighter, all around quicker, all around smarter. And even, I donít know if he had it then or waiting on the table after the fight was over, a multi-million HBO contract waiting on him. So a lot of people had a lot of high expectations for this guy and he deserved everything he got. And he owned up to all that stuff eventually.

So that night, May 22nd, I believe in RFK Stadium was the night that changed both of our lives. I think the history reflects what happened after those years flew by. He went his way and I went my way as you know.

Q:
Why was he able to for a lack of a better term, be able to beat you so easily?

B. Hopkins
Well, I donít know if he was beating me easily. I think it was a fight where both of us didnít do what weíre supposed to do.

Itís just the thing then where going into that fight, I literally probably had to do what most people have to do in my situation, win and win big and I didnít. I make no excuses for that because that fight there helped sculpture the character and my psyche of going in that ring and training and ran off 27 something straight wins after that fight. And I believe I went undefeated forward ten years holding that middleweight-

And that was Segundo Mercardo, which I believe I won that in Ecuador, but I wound up knocking him out four months later and became the IBO champion. But the thing is there, it shows that when I get a second chance in life, I think everybody whoís listening to this should take account in this. Itís not for a record up on the computer and see the times I fought people twice. Other than the Jermain Taylor fight, which people still see it my way, I normally get it right the second time around.

Q:
Well, I have to ask you about that. Why are you going to get it right the second time around for you, Bernard with Roy Jones?

B. Hopkins
Guess what then, itís funny if you ever look at it in my life personally, I never went back, baby. So itís just in my DNA to, when I fall, if I ever get up, donít look for me to fall again. That is just me personally. Forget boxing. Thatís just me personally. Now boxing, it makes it better for me because I know that I can have always that clutch, remember.

Q:
Do you think that winning the rematch with him, other than personal satisfaction of evening the score, put that aside for a second, because obviously if you beat him, youíre going to be satisfied because youíve won a fight and youíve beaten the guy that most would consider your greatest rival. That it may not have the same meaning of beating him that it may have had if this fight took place when he was more at the fresher part of his career and maybe even just a few years ago.

B. Hopkins:
What Iíll prove is that reason Roy Jones didnít want to fight me because he understood the execution thatís coming April 3rd. I think that I will be the last judge and the jury to show people that he wanted to beat me late, he got it late. He could have gotten it earlier, but he wanted to play the dollar money game. So my whole thing is like I said early on to people before this fight was being worked out, I would have named it personal because it is a personal vendetta. It is a personal achievementÖ I accomplished almost mostly everything else I wanted to do in boxing when others said I couldnít. So when you want to stay in this game, if youíre smart, you would try to find nothing soft to stay in there because then you could be conquered.

So I know I have something legitimate to me to me personally. I know that going into this fight and as I trained so hard with these young guys for almost six, seven weeks, I know that Roy Jones, Jr. is going to put up his last defense to try to win this fight. Heís rather lose to you than lose to Bernard Hopkins. Thatís how much animosity, sort of like the Larry Bird, Magic Johnson saga.

I went to Florida down to Royís farm to negotiate with him. I donít know if you remember doing a story on when I got on the plane, went to Pensacola to talk to Roy Jones Jr. thought we had a deal, though we had a deal, thought we could go ahead and announce it to media. And he sort of played me, but Iím trying to be a man, trying to look in his face in his hometown, on my dime flew down there with no entourage, by myself, no, I think it was Andre Fisher with me at that time. Iím sitting there talking to this guy after waiting in the lobby for 40 minutes and he was just using me to do another fight. He was using me to get it out there that Bernard Hopkins and Roy might fight. And whatever deal that he was working on the side, he made that happen quickly because thatís the old negotiation trick, everybody does it. But at the end of the day, I got it all marked down on my listing in my head. Every punch is going to mean something in 17 years, so that means I have to be pulling a lot of combinations.

Q:
Was that the time when you went to the farm and when you were done, you said you had been to Royís farm and after the negotiations didnít work out, you realized that, I believe you said he was a chicken and a pig.

B. Hopkins
Yes, exactly.

Q:
So even though Roy is at the end of his career, you will take equal satisfaction of beating him down on April 3rd as you would have, had it been four or five years ago when you were both still at the top of your game.

B. Hopkins
Yes, and the thing is this. I think anybody if theyíre still in the game has one great game left in them and really looking at take that out there and I know I have to be right. Just like the football player, Brett Favre. He knows he has one more game left in him and he knows heís going to try to get that Super Bowl, win, lose or draw. But he just wants to make it there by being 38, 39. Thatís how athletes think, the ones on that level.

I canít speak for anybody else, but I know for a fact that Roy Jones, Jr. is not coming in no fight to lay down. Heís going to try you. Heís going to try me and heís going to try to make up for everything that happened to him or over the last five or six years because heís batting 500 right now. If he was a baseball player, 500 isnít bad, 500 isnít good. But guess what? He thinks that if he can go ahead and accomplish a big bang with me, that in his mind, not yours, but in his mind the way he thinks, he can erase anything that you thought or said about him prior to April 3rd.

I know how this guy thinks. He thinks he knows me. I think I know him. This fight here is a fight that the winner is going to get rewarded if he gets the knock-out. Thatís the great thing about this fight because it isnít winner take all, all that crap you said, the hype of the press conference, no, no, no. We know that we have an incentive that you have to be out of character for this fight. Roy Jones Jr. has been vulnerable only because the things that he had when we first fought. If you stay in the game, we all lose something in this game if you stay around long enough.

Now, Ray, few people can stand around in their mid 30s, let alone 40s. So we all lose something, but some can adapt to other things and camouflage it. And some where so special, so talented, where they didnít have to have the basics. They didnít have to have the jab. Theyíd get you with your left foot, jumping from one side of the ring. But when you stay in the game long enough and the basics become now your lifesaver, oh, boy, oh, boy. I donít have to tell you what the ending will be.

Q:
Roy just said on the conference call that he knows you as a fighter and thereís no way today you can beat him. And also he said that heís going to knock you out. I just wanted to know if you had a version of how you thought the fight was going to come out and how you felt about him saying that.

B. Hopkins
Well, first of all, heís lying. Heís not going to do anything to me, especially knock me out. But I know that when youíre going to get somebody, things happen. And so one thing about being aggressive, when youíre being aggressive and you throw punches, things can happen. So Iím not saying that I canít get knocked out. Iím telling you that Roy is not going to knock Bernard Hopkins out. See because I believe Iíve done everything I had to do in camp to be victorious in this fight.

I know we have to promote the fight, but Iím trying to restrain from getting into a verbal war with Roy Jones Jr. because Iíd rather be an executioner leading up to this fight because the executioner really doesnít talk. He just show up, do his job and leave. But I know this is an executioner that happens to be a promoter and I have to do the things and answer the questions the best way I can.

So Roy Jones is saying these things. Do I think he believes this? Yes. I think RoyÖone thing heís right about, even though he probably didnít mention it. Heís one up on me. Iím not one up on him. Heís one up on me. Right now heís one up on Bernard Hopkins. I donít care if heís old or have the things he used to have what everybody says, fine, great. But right now, heís one up on Bernard Hopkins and itís my job to even that up. Iíll be two up on him when I knock him out. That counts for two.

Q:
So just one more question, after 56 professional fights, youíre 45 years old and it comes to the point of you agreeing to do this fight. I know youíre one of the most prepared boxers coming into the ring. But does it ever come into your mind about the fact of injury maybe happening?

B. Hopkins
Fighters go through injuries all the time in training. Weíre no different than football players and basketball players when they go on the court and go on the field with their ankles bandaged and they play through it. Athletes, 90% of them will tell you even in high school and college, we fight and play with injuries all the time. They just donít tell you. This is just something we live with. Thatís just the way it goes. No matter what kind of athlete it is, heíll tell you Bernard is right. Thatís what we do. We donít worry about those things, man. We donít worry. Reporters donít have to worry about if he doesnít have ink in his pen. We donít worry about it.

Iím not saying itís bad because you have to write. So you have to write, you have to make sure you have a couple pens on you. With fighters and athletes, we might do that stuff, man. We go to the store and may get some Ben-Gay and get some whatever we have to get and get through it.

Q:
I have a question for you on Roy Jones. On the previous call he said that he was knocked down by Danny Green as a result of an illegal hand wraps. What strikes you about that? Does that hold water to you?

B. Hopkins
Yes, absolutely, as far as possibility or allegedly because I wasnít there, but Iíve the Ö.hand wraps compared to his right hand wraps different, goal, different texture, different inches of it. And I tell you my personal experience, as you know and you probably remember it just as clear as I do, 2001 with Felix Trinidad and with Nazene Richardson, who just happened to disclose two incidents where he had a piece of plastic substance in his hand wrap and obviously got suspended. Well, Felix Trinidad, it didnít get that far. But the commission made him wrap his hands all over again and he was ticked off, threatening to not fight, threatening not to go out there. Come on, man, your hands is wrapped the way you used to get it wrapped, but you think it gives you an advantage and you have to rewrap, the man was thinking about not fighting again.

So thatís the psychological defeat there and then you have to go in the ring. Thatís not good. So, yes, now letís go to the fight. Letís go. I saw the fight right after I got out of the ring, December 2nd in Philadelphia. They showed it to me on the monitor. I also have a DVD. Roy Jones got hit in the back of the head. His equilibrium was off, got up, didnít get hit with a big shot, a big throwing shot. They stopped it. Based on that, I think he didnít get the benefit of the doubt.

The hand wrap thing came later on. But when I saw the fight, I said wait a minute. Iím thinking before he got knocked out, the minute 50 seconds, he never got up. He was stretched out like he was when he fought Glen Johnson who I knocked out when he was undefeated. I did Glen Johnson, he was 37-0. When I saw the tape, they stopped it because of that? They were in Australia, you understand that.

Iím saying they stopped the fight because of this because of that to me was a premature stop. I donít think he got for the legacy that he carries and what he brings to the table, I donít think that coming off of three or four wins prior to that, I donít think he got the benefit of the doubt for the legacy he brings to the game. Thatís my personal opinion. I said it before the contract I signed because I didnít this fight was really going to take off until the tape was shown. When I saw the tape and the three other people saw the tape, especially Golden Boy, we made a decision. People in American didnít get a chance to see it unless they watched it on YouTube. But if they ever got a chance to see it, I believe a lot more people would have said that Roy Jones Jr. didnít get the benefit of the doubt. I really believe that and Iím a safety first fighter. I believe they stopped the fight based on where Roy Jones Jr. knocked on punches.

Q:
Iíd say you agree/disagree though. I think youíre in a bit of a Catch-22. I think itís possible that his chin is fatally compromised. If you donít stop them, then people say Bernard beat a shot Roy Jones, what about that? Are you in a Catch-22?

B. Hopkins
I think itís a situation where weíre both in a Catch-22. Saying more about my age when Iím doing interviews, but they forgot I just got finished beating up a guy 17 years younger thatís a killer named Kelly Pavlik. Itís funny how people keep forgetting and they have short memories. So as I keep being reminded that Iím 45 like itís a death sentence, Iím trying to remind them that yes, I am, but have I given you any evidence that I fight like Iím 45? Iím not talking about your personally. Iím not talking about you personally. But to me, I think weíre both in a Catch-22.

I said this for my future career. Yes, I still have a career. I hope to come out healthy. What I mean by that is I hope to win this fight not only impressively. I probably wonít get the credit because of whatís out there about Roy. But Roy is setting up the next big thing for Bernard Hopkins thatís going to have people saying has he lost is mind. But then youíre going to have people saying, man, it was done before. It already done by two people who happened to be middleweights at that time.

So my whole thing is, Iím in a Catch-22 personally to answer your question, because of my age, because I think thereís some entities out there that want me to just go away, go away, Bernard.

Q:
Who wants you to go away?

B. Hopkins
Oh, the mob.

Q:
The mob?

B. Hopkins
Yes.

Q:
Talk to me, the mob, who?

B. Hopkins
In boxing.

Q:
Yes.

B. Hopkins
The mob to me in boxing means the entity of powerful people that runs and calls the shots to make things happen when they want it to happen. Now you fill in the dots.

Q:
Does that mean youíre going to be fighting David Haye next?

B. Hopkins
To me the mob isnít the whole í50s and í60s guy with a cigar in his hat and cigar in his mouth and a hat tilted to the side sitting ringside waiting for somebody to die. Thatís old school. Thatís all played out right now. They donít get any respect in America any more. Iím talking about when you look in the dictionary and you see the word mob, thatís a group of people. So let me define mob, so everybody understands. Mob is a group of powerful people that have their goal is to make things happen when they want it to happen. Now you fill the dots in who you want that to be.

Q:
Bernard, last thing. Are you going to fight David Haye next. Is that what you were referring to before?

B. Hopkins
Iím going to fight David Haye? I think he has a fight with John Ruiz.

Q:
I think he beats John Ruiz and I think you beat Roy. Thatís just my guesstimation. If both those things happen and you fight Haye?

B. Hopkins
Well, we need you to start pumping that right now because you like me. If you want to start writing, I might use you for like, I guess a PR person for me.

Q:
You got a good one. You have Kelly. You donít need me, you know that.

B. Hopkins
I need you since you got that pen. You can go ahead and write that scenario because that scenario sounds good to me. But I have to come through April 3rd. I have to come through April 3rd. Iíve seen John Ruiz pull out a rabbit out of his hat a couple times in his career. Let me tell you, Iíve seen John Ruiz pull up some rabbit hats, the rabbit out of a hat so much that wasnít good for the next big thing, that style he has is real funky. I have my fingers crossed, though.

Q:
Thatís some big news. That would be interesting. If you donít do that, Iíd like to see you fight Chad Dawson, though. You did it against Pavlik, what about Dawson?

B. Hopkins
What do I gain fighting Chad Dawson?

Q:
I donít know, more respect.

B. Hopkins
I donít know. Do you know what that means? Letís not get into this right now, they would say, ďWhatís Chad Dawson going to do to enhance my career? How does that change Bernardís life? He just beat up on a guy 17 years younger, a star in boxing called Kelly Pavlik. Why do you want me to continue to destroy the future of boxing and once Iím done I want to promote the guy later on?

Q:
Because you got more respect out of that fight than youíve gotten in I donít know how long. I would like to see an older guy take down a young guy.

B. Hopkins
I understand that and I agree with you, but itís not my fault that they want to respect me when they want to respect me. To me itís like a thing where is that as long as people know that Iíve always been a guy outside looking in, even though they act like I was in, I like that role. I like the Robin Hood role. I like the renegade role, because the renegade role has its own dignity and he canít be told when he donít agree on something that youíre an ingrate. Nobody can call me an ingrate because Iíve never been their boy, man. Iíve never been an industry boy and everybody thatís groaning on this phone understands what that means. Letís not play games. So if I never was the industry boy then, then why would I try to be industry boy now because first of all, Iím too far in right now to do the things Iíve done my way, the Frank Sinatra way. Why would I turn back now and I got in this position with some help from some people? I got here in spite of a lot of things, why would I sell out now? It doesnít make sense. If I was going to do that, I should have done that prior to being who I became.

Q:
What about fighting Chad Dawson is selling out? Iím not understanding that. Why is that selling out?

B. Hopkins
Because Chad Dawson hasnít sold out the way you sell out. Chad Dawson hasnít sold out any arena, not even in Hartford, Connecticut. He has no history in pay-per-view. He hasnít beaten anyone of significance other than who, Tarver who lost to a middleweight, Bernard Hopkins? I think it was a split, one and one, he beat and lost to Glen Johnson who I beat undefeated and knocked him out onto the ground. Where do I gain beating Chad Dawson when the money doesnít make sense because HBO doesnít want in on that? The money doesnít make sense. The money is not there. The risk is higher than the reward. What do I gain fighting a Chad Dawson where that brings nothing to me historically? It brings nothing to me financially.
There are two key things at 45 years old that get me aroused, financially and history. If it isnít that, I donít get aroused.

Q:
Bernard, you know how some fighters just feel that they own another guy, like maybe you felt that way when you fought Tarver and Tarver feels that he sees Roy Jones in front of me and says I know I canít beat that guy. I just asked Roy that question. He says he knows he owns you. Can you relate to that?

B. Hopkins
Nope.

Q:
You donít see that in other fighters that you faced, like how you just knew you had Tarver in your pocket and where that kind of elevates your game?

B. Hopkins
Mentally, mentally, I think I have every guy in my pocket when I go in there. Sometimes Iíve been right more than Iíve been wrong. But me, that way, why take 17 years for us to fight?

Q:
Iím just telling you the impression, what he said. But let me ask you this.

B. Hopkins
No, no, I agree with you. I was always told you listen to what people say can tell you how really smart they are. I agree with the question. The question you asked me, I understand the question. I tried to figure out if a guy has me the way he says he has my number, then why did it take 17 years for us to fight again? Iím not really asking you to answer; Iím just answering that question because I really canít. But all I have to do is say, ďHey, we should have thought like that eight years ago after I beat Tito and became the undisputed champ and he was the undisputed champ.Ē That would have been great, middleweight undisputed, light heavyweight undisputed. That would have been great. Or maybe he just got my number now, maybe thatís it.

Q:
Let me ask you this. Nobody is talking about this, but, Bernard, do you believe that Royís style presents you trouble for the fact that you like your opponent to come to you. You take the bullets out of their guns and you take him out to sea and you drown him. Where Roy, heís not going to come to you. Heís going to force you into fighting a fight that I believe heís going to make you go to him. Itís been while since youíve had to fight as the attacker.

B. Hopkins
I can go back to that. Thatís like, if he stays on the ropes because of me and heís not like he used to be, weíve been watching. Weíve been watching tapes. Weíve been doing our homework. This is called homework. I got one of the best strategists in boxing in the last 50 years and thatís Naazim Richardson. Listen, if Roy is still on the ropes and hold his hands like heís been doing for the last ten years youíve been covering him, the fight wonít go past five rounds.

Q:
Okay, because heís going to make you lead, which he probably feels that youíre not at your best. Would you agree with that?

B. Hopkins
I disagree. I think Iím multi-styled. I think that all depends-

Q:
You could fight both ways, but you like-

B. Hopkins
I can fight any way. See, first of all, backtrack for a minute. Roy being the dictator on what and how I fight. Itís the game of the war of the minds and the war of the experience. See, Roy can get me to do what you say that he wants me to come forward, he wants me to lead, that Iím fighting the way he wants me to fight. See, I could have answered that two, three minutes ago when you first with that, but I wanted to go and do some sound bytes. But see the name of this game, we call me a veteran, where people call a veteran, they donít call me that because of my age. That plays a little part. But Iím not going to let Roy tell me and show me physically or how we fight in the ring, that Iím going to come to him. Hey, when you crack that joker, he might want to get back and come to me. The name of the game and the way I fought, and youíve witnessed this and youíve written about this, I have a skill to take a guyís best weapon, his style and somehow trick him and amaze him to do and fight down to the level of Bernard Hopkins or up to the level of Bernard Hopkins.

People have always spoken about how I dictated the pace, slow the pace or fasten the pace. I dictated the pace the way the fight was going to go without them really knowing it until the fight has already gone deep into the fight or deep into the rounds.

Q:
I would agree with everything you just said and you know Iíve written about that. But I would disagree with a little bit on one guy and I think that you couldnít, Jermain Taylor you had a hard time dictating to early in the fight. It took you a while to set him up and thatís probably what caused the decision, even though I had you winning the fight.

B. Hopkins
Yes, thatís accurate. Thatís accurate and even that fight there, that fight there was a fight where if it was started a little early and this and that, but again, I think those two fights, I think a lot of people on this phone may agree with that. Even though weíre talking about Roy Jones, April 3rd on HBO Pay-per-view, I think that those two fights with Bernard Hopkins and Jermain Taylor ruined this guyís career, I said it. Am I proud of that?

Look, Iím in the business. That happens. But I think those two 20 something rounds in the ring with Bernard Hopkins, a lot of fighters havenít been right. I can name ten of them, which Iím not going to do right now. But itís an unfortunate thing that happens. When you step into the ring with me, look at Kelly Pavlik. Do you think that Kelly Pavlik is the same?

Q:
No, his career is totally not the same and you would have undressed him if he fought at 150 or 190.

B. Hopkins
Roy Jonesí career right now, the little thatís left, will be gone April 3rd.

Q:
Ö.Bernard, you donít think heís going to be any more trouble than he was last time.

B. Hopkins
I think itís going to be a lot more competitive than the first time because if you go by the 17 years, Roy was unbelievable, unorthodox, did everything that we are told not to do in the gym. Look at his Tarver fight, the second fight, Tarver was just as nervous and scared as Roy, but Tarver took that jab out there and beat him and threw that right hand and Roy tried not getting hit. So when you think about getting knocked out, when you think about not getting hit, thatís when your worse nightmare happens. Roy Jones Jr. always had a problem on getting knocked out.

See, I never think about that. Think about what I just said. Two things Roy Jones and I hope heís listening that had a problem with and always thought about it, every fight and every time heís stayed in his game, he never wanted to wind up and he never wanted to get knocked out. There was two major things thatís his weakness and his armor. Everything else is great, historic and legendary. But itís two major things that haunt this guy, never to get knocked out or to get hit. Thatís why his speed and he relied on these things and he mastered these things, but he was useful.

Q:
Do you think you can walk through him and make it a street fight?

B. Hopkins
Iím going to have to.

Listen, you look at the times you got knocked out and beat. Those guys werenít fancy fighters. Glenn Johnson, flat-footed came right in, take a punch, throw a punch-

Q:
All over him.

B. Hopkins
Exactly, exactly. Everybody he knocked out other than Tarver was a no flash and pretty fighter.

Q:
Yes, Danny Green jumped on him and caught him.

B. Hopkins
Glen Johnson worked him down for nine rounds, worked him down. Heís a work horse. Heís like a termite.

Q:
I have one more thing for you. You hit on John Ruiz about how we could pull rabbits out of the hat and David Haye is not lock against him. If John Ruiz upsets David Haye and after you beat Roy Jones, would you have any interest in fighting Ruiz for the WBA title?

B. Hopkins
I want to fight the winner of that fight. Theyíre both under Golden Boy Promotions, I donít know if you knew that.

Q:
Bernard, again, I hate to sound, to beat the subject to death, but Roy talked about stopping you. He sort of gave a game plan about stopping you. What is your game plan as far as maybe stopping him?

B. Hopkins
Iíll tell you my game plan is to wait to see him come and try to do something to me and do it to him before he do it to me. Because Roy Jonesígameplan that he told you, thatís a false decoy game plan. Roy Jones might act like heís crazy, but Roy Jones is too smart to voluntarily give up his game plan to you, knowing that youíre going to ask me the same question. So my game plan is simple. My game plan is is that I want the 60% of this whole promotion, so I must get this guy of here within 12. I donít know how the fight is going to start off. I donít know how the fight is going to end, but Iíll tell you I want to stop Roy and I want to end his career where I help him start his career in Ď93 and become a champion. And 17 years in between those sandwich years, I ended. That is so profound, isnít it? He started his career with Bernard Hopkins, the first middleweight champion and his career being the champion and winning the first title of his career. And then he happened to see me when his career is over, that doesnít happen all the time.

Q:
No, it doesnít.

B. Hopkins
I helped start his career basically and now Iím helping end it. Thatís is really profound.

Q:
It certainly is. My last question to you is this. In that first fight, I was there. He seemed to have got off to an early start. Will you allow that this time?

B. Hopkins
I canít afford to do that and guess what, Iím not the same, as you know, I canít. I donít think would have been on this phone if I was the same fighter in Ď93 than I am now. I had won titles, I had beaten guys that he lost to. Can you imagine what that would do to my psyche and my confidence? Youíre talking about a whole new different Bernard Hopkins. The question is, Bernard has proven heís has gotten better and getting better like fine wine. And can Roy say the same thing? Can Roy say that heís gotten better? April 3rd is going to be doomsday. Itís going to be the day of questioning. Has Roy Jones Jr. gotten better since 1993 when we first fought or has Bernard Hopkins gotten better. I think thatís the major, major discussion that people are going to be discussing when they hear this between now and come fight time in another ten days.

Q:
Thatís a very valid point you made. Good luck to you, Bernard.

K. Swanson
Okay, great, thank you, everybody, for joining today. Bernard, are you good. Do you want to say any last words? Itís been so profound today, I just want to make sure we didnít miss anything. Are you good, Bernard?

B. Hopkins
Iím good.

K. Swanson
Okay, good, and we thank also Oscar de la Hoya for being on the call with Bernard. And everybody watch for a fight week schedule thatís coming out shortly in the next couple days. We have a great fight week lined up for Las Vegas. You heard the details of the fight before the call got started. So if you have any questions or need any information, please feel free to call my office and we look forward to seeing you next week at fight week and for your coverage of this great fight. Thank you, bye.

END OF CALL

ďThe Rivals: Hopkins vs. Jones II,Ē set for Saturday, April 3 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev., is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Square Ring Promotions and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, AT&T and Southwest Airlines. The event will be broadcast live on pay-per-view beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Tickets priced at $750, $500, $300, $200 and $100 are on sale now at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smithís Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.mandalaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

The Hopkins vs. Jones II pay-per-view telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and has a suggested retail price of $49.95. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. The main event will begin live immediately following the college basketball semi-finals. For Hopkins vs. Jones II fight week updates, log on to www.goldenboypromotions.com.

Article posted on 30.03.2010



Bookmark and Share


previous article: Bernard Hopkins vs Roy Jones This Saturday

next article: Bernard Hopkins returns to ďOn the Ropes Boxing RadioĒ tonight at 6pm EST


Boxing Forum | Boxing | Bet On This Fight | Back To Top




Boxing Forum







If you detect any issues with the legality of this site, problems are always unintentional and will be corrected with notification.
The views and opinions of all writers expressed on eastsideboxing.com do not necessarily state or reflect those of the Management.
Copyright © 2001- 2012 East Side Boxing.com - Privacy Policy l Contact