I recently had a chance to catch up with boxing legend and reigning IBF/WBA light heavyweight champion, Bernard Hopkins, to talk about his future and get his thoughts another great fighter in boxing today.
In part 2 of my interview, Bernard talks about the possibility of him getting fighter of the year if he becomes the undisputed light heavyweight champion. Bernard also talked about the future of Floyd Mayweather Jr, and if he believes that a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is getting closer to happening. In closing Hopkins talked about what he thinks he will do when he accomplishes all his goals in boxing. Here is what Bernard Hopkins had to say.
Jenna J: Bernard, do you think if you beat Adonis Stevenson that you will be the fighter of the year?
Bernard Hopkins: No, I’m not saying I hope to get it now. I’m saying that with all these accomplishments, with that as a caveat. I don’t think I deserve it or want it now. It’s up to them to decide.
I feel at the end of the day it’s all about people’s opinions, but then when you back things up against the wall where they can’t deny you — I’ve been in this position where you couldn’t deny me based on what I’ve done that year, whether it’s 2001, whether it’s living in the past of living in the present, I force the respect to be given to me, not ask, not beg, not plead — I didn’t do that, that’s not my style.
Understand my track record, and my personality that I don’t ask for nothing. Nobody gave me nothing, I fought by performance, by breaking and setting records and doing things that are not done now, before, and possibly never.
It’s hard to deny a person due process of justice with what he deserves. That’s why I like being under that type of pressure to come through to say, “when was the last time a fighter of the year has been in his forties?” I don’t know, maybe you can tell me.
Jenna: Speaking of fighter of the year Bernard, do you think it’s getting to the point where Floyd Mayweather is running out of big named opponents and he’s gonna have to look towards making a super fight with Manny Pacquiao?
Hopkins: I don’t think he’s gonna be forced, no. I believe that if Floyd Mayweather and Pacquiao fight tomorrow, I think it would be easy money for Floyd Mayweather. I didn’t think totally that way four or five years ago when the hype was at the highest. I think that Pacquiao took three notches back. That’s my opinion — and that was before the knockout from Marquez.
My thing is that no, I think that at the end, the fights that are out there — do I think there’s a 10-15 long line of people that would want to see fight Floyd Mayweather and pay for it? No. So you got to pick, whether it’s up in weight, whether it’s up a notch or two or whatever.
The fighters have done it from the past, the fighters are gonna do it in the future. There’s no stranger to the Henry Armstrong’s of the world — who I believe went up six or seven weight classes, all the way up to super middleweight from 135 lbs. So when you go back then and you go see other things, after a while you have to do what you have to do if you want to continue to make big fights and make big numbers, and get big numbers.
Sometimes you’re gonna have to take a little more risk than you normally take because you cleaned out big names in a division where most people might not care about it. I don’t think nobody is actually attached to one guy and they have to do this because he’s the only one in town.
Jenna: Do you think people still really want to see a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight?
Hopkins: I think to be honest with you, it’s a buzz of certain numbers that would like to still see that fight, but you and me will probably agree that the buzz of the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight compared to four years ago or longer is not the same because things have happened since then — and I’m not just talking about the knockout.
I don’t agree with anybody that thinks that Pacquiao-Mayweather is the big fight per say of the perception of who would win and who would lose like it was before. I think we lost that opportunity, I think we lost the biggest super bowl in boxing.
Jenna: In regards to yourself, if you do become the undisputed light heavyweight champion of the world, what’s there left to do?
Hopkins: To possibly fight the baddest man on the planet, and then go ahead and continue to do what I do outside of the ring, and that is, contribute to boxing on the business level, and give the young around the world that might approach me for advise on not only the business part but advise on how to keep their bodies right.
I will continue to build my brand, and continue to do my personal entrepreneur stuff that I’ve been doing for almost two decades now, that I don’t highly publicize but a lot of people know what that is — and it’s a good thing. Trust me, I’m okay. I’m always gonna do something to stay busy.
For right now, either love me or hate me, you’re gonna have to watch once in a life time, in this situation of my history and my legacy. Some might get bored and tired with it, but one thing they will do, they’re gonna tune in and watch to see if this is the train wreck, whether it’s October or September, no matter who it is, and I’m glad they’re there because they motivate me.
Jenna: I’m looking forward to seeing you get in there with Adonis Stevenson, you’re something special to watch. Looking forward to seeing you keep doing what you’re doing.
Hopkins: No problem, continue being the undisputed messenger and announcer of knowledge out there and I’ll be looking in and tuning in every now and then. Thank you.