Bernard Hopkins: ďMost people are looking for me to beat Chad Dawson, well theyíre absolutely right! But itís the way I beat him that I think theyíre going to be shocked and surprised about.Ē
by Geoffrey Ciani (Exclusive Interview by Jenna J & Geoffrey Ciani) - This weekís 144th edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio (brought to you by CWH Promotions) featured an exclusive interview with reigning WBC light heavyweight world champion Bernard Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KOs) who made history in May when he became the oldest boxer to ever win a major world championship. Hopkins is scheduled to defend his title on October 15 against ďBadĒ Chad Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs) in a fight that will be available on HBO pay-per-view. Hopkins spoke about his upcoming fight and also shared his views on a variety of other topics, including the importance of having an old school corner, the key to beating Floyd Mayweather Junior, top boxing trainers, Antonio Tarver, and his vision for a battlefield in the cruiserweight division that would include migrating smaller heavyweights and bigger light heavyweights. Here is a complete transcript from that interview:
Article posted on 30.09.2011
JENNA J: It is time for our final guest of this weekís show. He is the reigning defending WBC and Ring Magazine light heavyweight champion of the world. Making his eighth appearance to On the Ropes Boxing Radio we are once again joined by ďThe ExecutionerĒ, Bernard Hopkins. Howís everything going today?
BERNARD HOPKINS: Iím doing fine. Iím looking at some history and just winding down, and then winding back up in another four hours before I head out to the gym.
JENNA: Alright well the fight is less than three weeks away. How are you feeling now?
HOPKINS: Iím feeling good. I mean itís a thing, a process that started four or five weeks ago. But everything is good. Everything is on time and everything is moving the way itís supposed to.
JENNA: So what things are you working on in camp with Nazim to deal with someone that has the speed and size of Chad Dawson?
HOPKINS: Basically, you know, be me and do what Iíve been doing for two decades in my career. As you know and for people that havenít known, this is 13, maybe 12 southpaws that Iíve fought, especially in championship bouts. So Iím very aware of the style and what to do. Iím 12-1 with southpaws and some people could easily argue that Iím 13-0 if you go to the Joe Calzaghe split decision loss. Other than that, I donít like to use the phrase ďbusiness as usualĒ even though I just said it. I take every fight seriously, but to me it is a thing where I understand where I need to be and I understand what I need to do.
JENNA: Okay well the last time we had you on you said you werenít fighting Chad Dawson, youíd be fighting Emanuel Steward and have to deal with his legend to win this fight. Emanuel is no longer involved. How do you think that changes the fight?
HOPKINS: Well it doesnít change the bout for me. I think it changes the bout for Chad Dawson because itís his situation and itís not mine. My focus has always been that not only am I going to win the title, but Iím going to defend the title. So I look at it like this. The only way Iím worried about who he has and who he doesnít have is if God is on his side. If God is on his side I donít have a chance, but I understand that Heís on mine and Iím going to prove it. So he can have Emanuel Steward, he can have the great Angelo Dundee. It doesnít matter to me. When I go into the ring, I go in the ring knowing that physically and with my IQ being so far past Chad Dawsonís IQ that a lot of people are going to be shocked by how the fight goes. I think thatís where itís going to put me in a different stage of conversation again, other than the last two fights. Emanuel left some good wisdom in him I believe. Emanuel worked with him, so I believe that he still gets advice and still gets some good pointers from Emanuel here and there, but whether heís in his corner or not itís cool. Just move on to whoever is going to be giving him the information. When itís said and done, fighters fight! You go in the ring, you got to do what you got to do, and you got to come through when the action is heating up or when the action is in progress. So Iím good. Iím cool! I think itís more his problem, if it is a problem, because to me it doesnít matter. It just gives me one less thing to concentrate on. Like you just mentioned and I knew about it, you scratch that out and thatís one situation that I donít have to deal with.
JENNA: Okay well Bernard, youíre a guy who in your career has always thrived when people doubted you, but for this fight many people are favoring you to beat Chad Dawson. How does that perception change or affect you at all?
HOPKINS: Not for me, because thatís when you really need to be on your Pís and Qís. It could be a strategy of trickery and boring. So you only get bored mentally. You donít want to think that theyíre going to give me anything. Iíve been down that road before. Iíve been down that road with Jermain Taylor. Iíve been that way with Joe Calzaghe. Iíve been that way in my life sentence on different stuff. SO I donít want to be the underdog and I wonít be the underdog because when I set my mind, which has been my biggest plus, if itís 3 to 1, 4 to 1, 5 to 1, 6 to 1, 10 to 1, in Bernardís a favorite I reverse it! So no matter what, Iím always going to think and always going in with that demeanor and that spirit and that hard work that I do in the gym, to know that I got to do above and beyond because Iím 46 years old, because I want to show everybody that Iím fighting like Iím 26 or 36. So that in itself puts me in a situation where whether I feel that Iím the favorite or the underdog, I have to do above and beyond just for what I represent in todayís world of athleticism and sports. That is that you have a senior citizen in the sport where you definitely need, youíre not a heavyweightóyou need these things what you call reflexes, speed, endurance, and all of the other things that have to do with youth. Iím going to support that come October 15 and I have to represent it.
I look at it as a brand right now. I look at it as the more Iím successful, the more I can show the opposite of what somebody at home on a couch watching my fight saying, ďWow, Iím 45, Iím 46, Iím 47, Iím 50, and I donít feel this way. Let me get myself in shape! Let me get some inspiration through Bernard HopkinsĒ, and I got the chance to make that brand come into existence right now. Why not do it outside of where I come from, and thatís boxing. So Iím putting unnecessary motivation that I need for my own self past boxing, outside of boxing. I have an agenda! I have a commercial agenda, I have an add to my legacy agenda, and I have to make a statement to let people know. Two years ago they were asking me to fight Chad Dawson and made a big deal about it that I didnít fight Chad Dawson, and theyíre going to see the reason why but it ainít going to be the reason they think. Itís going to be the reason like you said. Most people are looking for me to beat Chad Dawson, well theyíre absolutely right! But itís the way I beat him that I think theyíre going to be shocked and surprised about.
JENNA: Alright well Bernard, we are joined by my Co-Host Geoff, also.
GEOFFREY CIANI: Hey Bernard! Itís a great pleasure to have you back on the show.
HOPKINS: Itís good to be on, always!
CIANI: Bernard, going back to Dawsonís last performance against Diaconu on the under card of your rematch with Pascal, what did you of his performance in that fight being he was coming off his first professional loss?
HOPKINS: I think Iíd give him about a B. I think heíd been off at that time like 15 months or less and heíd just started meshing with Emanuel Steward. So thatís like a guy or a girl going to a new grade in school. You got to get to know the teacher! So he gets a B. He won the fight. A win is a win is a win, and he just started working with Emanuel Steward to my knowledge on a fighter-trainer basis. So I think he gets a B.
CIANI: Now Bernard, you mentioned Emanuel and the last time we had him on our program he said he was looking forward to going up against not just you, but the great old school corner you have. He said it reminded him of when he was going up against Eddie Futch when he was training Holyfield for Bowe. Emanuel mentioned not only you and Nazim, but Danny Davis. You were talking about your motivation before. Whatís it like having that old school mentality in your corner that thinks like you do? How does that help with your motivation and preparations to stay that hungry at this age?
HOPKINS: Oh, it helps absolutely a lot! I mean you need a team, even though I go in there and Iíll do the alternate fight, but at the end of the day you need the team just like you need water for your body to stay hydrated. Itís a thing where the old school is added to the new school, but the old school is the foundation for me. I canít speak for anybody else, but old school is the foundation for me. And listen, if I have to add the new school of how people look at boxing now or what judges want to see in boxing now, more of how many punches you throw more than how many that land. So boxing has changed in a way where substance is better than quality. So I can do that! You know, listen. My body is tested to do so many things that are good with energy, and moving, and ducking, and sparring four minute rounds for 5, 6, 7, 8, and sometimes 10 when you get close to ending sparring for a fight. So I can do those things. To me the new school is a lot of substance but not a lot of accuracy. Okay, thatís the new school. If you add that on the old school, thatís a guy thatís hard to beat, the guy thatís hard to beat is the guy that has that old school mentality but he doesnít look strange in the new world that we live in. Iím that antique car that rides down the street that looks so shiny and so good, that even the new cars have to stop and pay homage and look at it and bow down and say, ďHey! Thatís a nice classic! Thatís a sharp, sharp automobile. Thatís me in 2011 even though Iím a 1965 GTO Goat.
CIANI: Bernard, I have a lot of friends that are causal fans of boxing and these are the kind of people that will text me around the times that Pacquiao and Mayweather are fighting, but they donít watch much boxing otherwise and they havenít been too entertained by Pacquiao or Mayweather of late. But during your last fight with Jean Pascal I canít tell you how many texts I got from people that normally donít watch boxing who were super interested, that were tuned in and actually thought it was an exciting fight. How does it feel at this late stage in your career to finally be getting that top star recognition that escaped you for much of your career?
HOPKINS: I mean it feels like it was premeditated by me. I donít go in the ring trying to fight boring, but I fight the style that I need to fight to win the fight and a lot of that has gotten lost in the history and the legacy of boxing. To me, boxing is looked upon as a sport that you donít have to have brains to be a marquee fighter. You just have to be able to withstand the punishment and bring crowds to the fights based on how much you can take and how much you can give. But I was taught different, that old school to hit and not get hit. Some people I understand want to get their moneyís worth, and I understand if you go to a movie and itís not a good movie, you want to leave because you havenít seen any killing in the movie, you havenít seen anyone get shot, and you havenít seen anybody get his head cut off. I understand that, too. But if I want to be around for other things then I have to duck, I have to move, I have to have strategy, and sometimes people donít have the patience to see the strategy play out. At the same token, theyíre spending their dollars, theyíre spending their time, and they deserve to pay for and get what they want to see.
I realize that I honestly am leaving the best for last, and leaving the best for last is showing that I can go back to that old grime Philadelphia type of fighter that I started off in my career to be. But to save myself, to save my brain, to save my speech, to save my charisma, to save all these things I must learn how to duck some, I must learn how to work on the things that Iíve been taught by the late great Bouie Fisher, I must learn how to learn to use the things from training with Smokey Wilson at Graterford State Penitentiary, from Nazim Richardson, from Danny Davis, even from Emanuel Steward, Buddy McGrit, Georgie Benton God rest his soul, he just passed away. These trainers, some of them have never been in my corner but I have been around them. I got tapes! I got TV! I watch fights and I watch what the trainer says. Iím the kind of guy that always learns even to the day at 46. So to me, Emanuel Steward trainer me. To me, Eddie Mustafa trained me. To me, all the great trainers that came from yesterday, and some of them are still hanging around or hanging in there, I took a page out of their book.
Thatís what makes me undetected. What I mean by Ďundetectedí is that makes me hard to pin down. When Chad Dawson has to get sparring partners to fight Bernard Hopkins, theyíre getting Yusaf Mack from Philadelphia. I donít fight like Yusaf Mack! I donít do anything that Yusaf Mack does! Itís very hard to pinpoint what Bernard Hopkins you are going to get on fight night, and thatís what the fans spoke about to you, that it was an exciting fight, that they got their moneyís worth, that they were texting you because I went back in my old bag! I went back to the old Bernard Hopkins but with some charisma, and some knowledge, and some youth. This is the best time to save the best, and Iíll use the word ďlastĒ not to say the end, but Iíll use the words ďthe best for lastĒ because I am 46. So why not give you all the best for last? Why not have people standing up to see I had it in me? I showed you all when I started my career, I saved myself, I made history, I broke records and set records, and now Iím showing you all itís time to get down and dirty, Philadelphia old style! Letís do it! So thatís what youíre all seeing, and Iím glad people are paying attention to it and noticing it, and Iím glad that Iím starting to get a fan base that understands, ďHey! This man is 46 and heís doing pushups in between roundsĒ. Thatís what I want them to see.
CIANI: Youíre coming off an historical win where not only did you become the oldest fighter to win a world championship ever, you broke an iconís record in George Foreman. How do you top that now?
HOPKINS: By knocking out Chad Dawson. I havenít had one in four or five years. I havenít been close to having one. Iíve been punishing guys and taking their careers from them, but I havenít had that signature knockout that I am craving for. I know thatís out of character for me saying that, because I donít look at myself as being a knockout puncher but I donít look at myself as being a light puncher, either. I systematically take their careers in the ring over twelve rounds. There are a few fighters out there who if theyíre honest with themselves can tell you that theyíve never been the same. I am craving for that but in a smart and systematic way. Thatís my goal and thatís what Iím gunning for. Thatís how to top that. I know that might be falling short for some. Hey, a knockout is just a knockout but what you did with George Foreman was a million times higher than that, and it still would be.
But I have to top myself by winning and right now at 46, that I continue to keep promoting as my brandóthe 46 brand, the 46 club,the 40-and-up club I call it. You top it by continuing to win. You top it by doing what Jersey Joe Walcott did when he won the title, doing what Ezzard Charles did when he won the title, and even ďThe Old MongooseĒ when he won the title. He defended it. Iím going to defend it as long as I can and to me, thatís making history because now that Iíve made history I can now make history by breaking the records of ďThe MongooseĒ and the defenses, whether itís 3, 4, 5. Can you now hold on to it and fight the best? I ainít talking about tomato cans. Fight the best out there, whether theyíre in Europe, whether theyíre in the States, whether theyíre in China, no matter where they are at. Can you continue to not only win it but defend it? George Foreman won it and he relinquished it after Michael Moorer. Iím not doing that, not doing that at all!
JENNA: Alright now Bernard, fundamentally between Chad Dawson and your last opponent Jean Pascal, how can you describe the differences in what type of opponent youíre facing?
HOPKINS: Itís night and day! Their styles are totally different. I mean Jean Pascal is an elusive guy. Heís a wild swinger and heís basically all over the place. Chad Dawson is a sniper. You know how a sniper snipes! A sniper doesnít jump over anything, he doesnít shoot and roll around on his back and then get back into position. He sits there and he snipes. So itís two different styles. Itís two different fighters. So you got the sniper versus the uzi. The uzi is all over the place and there is a lot of fire coming out of that barrel, and the sniper is looking for one, or two, or three shots and heís got you. So itís two different styles, and thatís why there was a problem when they both fought. Chad couldnít understand him, and Pascal understood him.
JENNA: Okay well last time we had Chad Dawson on he said the reason why he believes he is going to win is he believes he is hungrier than you. He believes he has the desire to win back his title, and thatís something that you donít quite have at this point because you are a champion, that you are content. Youíre 46 and you already proved everyone wrong. What do you think about his opinion on that?
HOPKINS: Oh, thatís great! I mean thatís great. (laughs) Whether heís wrong or right it doesnít matter to me, because if thatís the way he feels he sounds like a guy who is with me 24 hours a day 7 days a week to tell me whether Iím hungry or not. I donít know where he gets his report card and his information, but if thatís what he feels he needs to tell himselfóthat Iím 46 and Iím just glad to have the title? If heís going into the ring like that, then donít get any popcorn. Donít even go to the bathroom!
JENNA: Okay well after this fight, and people are already looking beyond it when they really shouldnít, Jean Pascalís name has come back up. He claims that if you win this fight that he will have a third fight with you, that HBO has already promised him that. Is there any truth to that?
HOPKINS: Um, thereís not any truth in that to me. I donít know where he heard that from. Maybe heís talking to somebody else thatís telling him something that ainít true, but Iím concentrating on Chad Dawson and I have no reason. Iím 2-0 fighting that guy. There is nothing in it for me. Right now there is just Chad Dawson, and whatever comes after that I will sit down and look at it. But to me, itís a step backwards as far as Iím concerned. Iím 2-0 in Canada.
CIANI: Speaking of fighting in Canada, what was that whole experience like going in there at first as an enemy, as a guy that they were assuming Pascal would win. By the end of the fight, that they warmed up to you and your style, was that something you were expecting and how did you feel during the course of that transition?
HOPKINS: That was nothing that I expected, but I also know that even ten years ago when I was in Madison Square Garden, as I talked about recently with the 911 anniversary and I know I fought that month. I told people when they were hollering ďTitoĒ in Madison Square Garden, around the sixth or seventh round they were yelling ďB-HopĒ and 80% of them were Hispanic people. So I said listen man, the fans should be loyal to their countrymen. They should be, just like I expect my fans to be loyal to me if Iím fighting somebody from Europe or somebody from somewhere else thatís not in the States. You should root for your man, but something that happens and itís one thing about sports. If youíre winning, and I donít care what damn sport you play in or for what team, when youíre winning and youíre winning the way youíre winning, there are two things that are going to happen. Theyíre either going to be quiet, or theyíre going to cheer, especially if they see something they didnít expect.
I get a lot of support based on being a guy thatís way over 35. Itís people sitting in those stands who are my age or older. People are living longer. People are paying attention to how can this guy do this four years from being 50 fighting guys that he can be their father. He can literally by their father! And if you do that, I donít give a damn if youíre in Canada, I donít care if youíre in Africa, and I donít care where youíre at! Theyíre going to pay attention to that and theyíre going to forget who theyíre supposed to be rooting for when history and something unusual, thatís the word, is happening in front of your eyes that you never witnessed and might not 20, 30, 40, 50 years from now! So they get caught up in a good way. They get emotional and they forget that theyíre supposed to be rooting for the other guy! Canada is another home base for me. I loved to fight in Canada! I would love to go back there. They treated me fantastic, even in the first fight maybe because they thought I was going to come in there and lose and they wanted to be good hosts. Maybe that was the case, but boy oh boy in Montreal! That felt like my town. That felt like my city. So as Iíve said over and over and over again, Iím glad I went to Canada.
Iím glad that I didnít take the fight to the States with the second Jean Pascal fight. I believe I gave Canada something that they will never forget, and they are always going to know who B-Hop is, and they always will invite me back whether Iím a fighter or not. Thatís something that I have to pat myself on my back along with Golden Boy, and Richard Schaefer and everybody, and my team. That was a great choice and Iím glad I fulfilled that second rematch in Canada. Itís another home base for me. And speaking of Canada, they will see this fight on pay-per-view. On their pay-per-view, this fight will be live! If theyíre listening or reading this article, they will see this quote that the fight will be in Canada. So they will be able to watch B-Hop make another historic move come October 15.
CIANI: I have to ask you quickly, fans were really disappointed with the way the Floyd Mayweather Junior fight ended recently. A lot of fans, the same kind of guys who text me during your rematch with Jean Pascal, they tune into these fights to see Floyd lose. As a fighter with an old school mentality, in your opinion what is the key for somebody to beat Floyd Mayweather?
HOPKINS: There is no key.
There is no key.
There is no key to beat Floyd Mayweather. Mayweather right now in that weight class that he fights in, up and down, a notch up and a notch downóso whatever weight is a notch down, junior welterweight and I guess a notch up is junior middleweight. With his style, his old school style and his IQ, he can box until heís 50 if he wants. Yeah! This isnít the first time that Iíve said this. See, you take all of that stuff that you think about a person. You got to remember, Iím the one that jumped in and got Shane in the buzz to do that fight when HBO and Max Kellerman were doing an interview. I said, ďFight ShaneĒ, and he beat Shane easily! It started off rough, but he showed me moxie. He showed me that he had something where nobody had ever seen him in that position.
Then of course you have to understand, he has a father thatís an encyclopedia! When I start talking about Emanuel Steward and the great trainers, you know Freddie Roach, the IQ, Eddie Futch. Freddie Roach learned from Eddie Futch! When you start talking about these guys you canít rule out Floyd Senior and Roger Mayweather. You canít rule out these guys, man! That is history there! In todayís crop of fighters, and there are some good onesóeven in Golden Boy, even on our side, even on Top Rankís sideówith todayís fighters, being 30-plus years old, seasoned, he keeps his body clean, stays in shape all the time. The only negative is that he doesnít fight as often, but he doesnít abuse his body where heís 200 pounds. Me and you both know you have fighters who take off two months and then theyíre 80 pounds overweight! No name, no blame. We ainít got to mention names. But at the end of the day man, you asked me a legitimate question and I have to give you a legitimate answer. If he wants to fight until heís 50, with the style, the IQ, and the father and uncle in your mind, hey manóthe only person who could beat Floyd Mayweather is Floyd Mayweather!
JENNA: Alright well Bernard, we just have a couple of more questions before we let you off the line. In the past you had mentioned that you were considering a move to heavyweight if the option was right. Heavyweights have taken a lot of hits of late. The fight with David Haye and Wladimir Klitschko didnít please too many fans.
HOPKINS: That knocked me out! That took me out of the boxing picture. David Haye didnít win.
JENNA: Do you think that division will ever return to the way it was thought of in the past?
HOPKINS: Yeah, around the time my daughter gets married and sheís 12óand I told her she canít get married until sheís 30. The heavyweight division is in a coma right now. We donít know when itís going to wake up. We just hope and pray that it does. Itís in a coma right now, a massive coma! It doesnít look good. The big name that I wanted to do was beat the guy that beat a Klitschko and David Haye didnít do that, so I have no interest in fighting at heavyweight. I think they should just cut the heavyweight division out of the 20-something plus divisions there are, until it gets a life again. Seriously.
I mean we donít need the heavyweight division right now, do we? Itís doing just fine with the little guys and hopefully the junior middleweights, the light heavyweights, and the cruiserweights will start getting light, the Cunninghams of the world and guys like that. Tarver just won a title. I mean there is some cruiserweight action that could happen! You know what I mean. There are a lot of small heavyweights and a lot of big light heavyweights.
Maybe that cruiserweight division should be the next heavyweight division? You can make more fights down there with light heavyweights going to cruiserweight and smaller heavyweights coming down! Hey! This might be breaking news right here! Letís just cut the heavyweight division out until it comes out of the coma, and letís focus on the light heavyweights! So anybody out there thatís weighing a little bit less than a big heavyweight would be and youíre not that tall then think about the cruiserweights! Anybody thatís a light heavyweight that wants to go up thatís struggling, you know Chad Dawson after he loses this fight here, heís 6í2Ē. He can pack on another twenty pounds like our friend Adamek did who he went up and fought a Klitschko. Itís been done before. Michael Spinks! He went from one weight class to another from light heavy. He wasnít a huge light heavyweight. Yes, when he fought Mike Tyson it was a different story. But he did beat two or three old legends and that was Larry Holmes and I believe one more person.
So hey! Thatís breaking news. The big light heavyweights and the small heavyweights migrate to the 190 pound cruiserweight, oh itís 200 pounds! I just had a flash through my memory bank. It ainít 190 no more, itís 200 pounds. So thatís it! I fixed the boxing problem now! Breaking news, I just fixed boxing right now! You heard it here on East Side Boxingóthe cruiserweight division is the new heavyweight division! Letís make it happen! (laughs)
JENNA: (laughs) So if you are victorious, would you consider going to the new heavyweight division of cruiserweight and maybe taking on Tarver, or James Toney whoís been calling you out of late?
HOPKINS: No man! Tarver is delusional, man! Listen, Tarver needs to beat Cunningham and if he beats Cunningham he is the legitimate guy. Cunningham is the guy you need to beat, seriously. Everybody will tell you that Cunningham is the guy he should beat, and once that division becomes something there are two or three fighters that it could happen if you come down from heavyweight. Those small heavyweights that are trying to fight heavyweights that know they really ainít got a shot, and those big light heavyweights that are only a door knock away from being a cruiserweight. Then you know, there can be a lot of rhythm down there. That division could be hot right now with the younger guys! Because the younger guys need the older guysí names, right? Itís the concept of the young taking over the old and they become the new era. So there is an opportunity for everybody to stand up and be accounted for, and also to make a name for themselves!
JENNA: Bernard, a lot of people have stated that boxing has been on a slow decline. With stars like Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Junior, and yourself getting a little bit older, you canít box forever. Who do you think will be the next stars of boxing and where do you think boxing will be in the next few years?
HOPKINS: Iím hoping it will be in good shape. You still have Andre Ward who Iím really high on. You also have a couple of great, great superstars that are coming up. Let me tell you something. Iím going to sound like Iím biased and maybe I am. Golden Boy has a lot of talented fighters that are going to hold down the fort. And look, Top Rank has some good fighters here and there. There are a lot of fighters all over spread out who can hold the fort. Trust me! We just need now a breakthrough of more weight classes to have one star in each division. Then it will be fantastic. It will be right what we need. In the meantime, boxing will never die and boxing will never diminish to the point where people wonít even talk about it, because they will. They just need the matches that they made now. Itís great. Fights are being made now that people want to see. You know what? When that happens people get interested, and then they want to see bigger fights, superstar fights. So at the end of the day weíre alright!
Boxing I think is better now than it was three years ago or four years ago. If youíre waiting for that heavyweight division to wake up out of the coma, then youíve already shot boxing in the foot. The heavyweight division is what it is right now. But now, you get the best of both worlds. You get the little fast guys, you got the big strong giant that can hold the fort and has held the fort. So as long as we have that, the middle of the bodyówhere the heavyweights are the head of the body, then if the head falls asleep then the middle of the body is still keeping the body standing. So letís enjoy that. Letís watch these young prospects come up, and watch these new superstars and make them the new guys. Youíre not going to get another Oscar De La Hoya, youíre not going to get another Bernard Hopkins, youíre not going to get another Marvin Hagler, youíre not going to get another Sugar Ray Leonard, but letís get the next this guy, letís get the next that guy. Whoever breaks through, thatís the next guy, and if he reminds you of the past then thatís even better. But right now, boxing is okay.
JENNA: Alright well Bernard, I have one final question. This fight with Chad Dawson is going to be on pay-per-view. I want you to tell the boxing fans out there why they should buy that and what they should expect to see?
HOPKINS: They should buy the fight come October 15 on HBO pay-per-view, because this is the best light heavyweight fight before the year ends, and this is a fight where B-Hop will do something special: (A) win the fight, (B) youíll learn something, (C) youíll never forget this performance just like you never forgot the performance a couple of months back. But youíre only as good as your last fight, so let me worry about this one. The fans, HBO pay-per-view! Watch this fight. I need a knockout. I want a knockout. I need a knockout for me, but I want a fantastic fight and I need two people to do that, myself and Chad Dawson, and when that happens you will see a good fight!
JENNA: Well Bernard, itís been a great pleasure having you once again appear On the Ropes. I myself as a boxing fan am looking forward to this: youth versus experience on October 15. I canít wait to see it!
HOPKINS: Thank you.
CIANI: Thank you very much, Bernard. Best of luck in your fight!
HOPKINS: No problem. Thanks.
For those interested in listening to the Bernard Hopkins interview in its entirety, it begins approximately one hour and fifteen minutes into the program.
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