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Bernard Hopkins: ...I'm here and glad to get this conference call over. This means the next step to counting down to April 19.

QUESTIONS:

Dan Rafael: Bernard yesterday or I guess on Tuesday Joe talked on his conference call about his motivation for the fight. Coming to the United States to fight for the very first time was a big deal for him. Moving up in weight to fight a Light Heavyweight and win the Championship there was a big motivation for him.

And I wonder Bernard at this stage of your career what is motivating you to go on and to take these types of fights?


Bernard Hopkins: Prove the nay-sayers wrong. Prove that the "so called" experts they're wrong, at least with Bernard Hopkins. I made a career of making people's mouths drop on super-fights like this. This is something that – this seems to tickle my fancy I'll say; just something that I like to do. I like to look at some of the media faces when they just look like they've just seen Jesus walk on water. So to me it's a personal gratification and it's also, you know, my way of proving that everybody's entitled to an opinion and I respect their opinion but I might not agree with it. But at the end of the day it just gives me the power to show that anything is possible. Anything can happen. That's my motivation.

Chris Murray, Philadelphia Tribune: Look one of the things that Joe Calzaghe said, you know, during, you know in his conference call with us the other day is that he is not necessarily intimidated by your record against southpaws and against left handed fighters and all that. What is it about his style that makes him unique or is he just another one of those guys who – is he just another left handed fighter?

Bernard Hopkins: To me he's just another left handed fighter. So he just, you know, just happened to be not African American or not Spanish or not Mexican. You know me I don't get a chance to get in the ring and to share my talents on another landscape of this nature but that's the only difference. I mean I've been around the best southpaws and trained with the best southpaws before I even became champion in Philadelphia. One of them is one of my assistants here in camp. His name is John David Jackson and you know I consider the best southpaws in my era. So again and, you know, this statement just analyzing with I've always looked at when I go up against any title defense or any challenge in my whole career. I look at this guy compared to that guy and analyze well is this guy slicker as a southpaw than Joe was or this guy hit harder than Joe or does Joe hit harder than this guy. And that it's different here but nobody's the same but it – I don't see anything that I could say wow I should be intimidated myself. And so, you know, I don't do the traditional thing that people say that you should do when you fight southpaws. Far as keep my left foot outside of their right leg or foot so I can be on that angle of my right hand, left foot – my style I've been told by southpaws and one of them is John David Jackson and a few other guys I've fought one of them Robert Allen twice. I have an orthodox style that a southpaw is confused with me. Because they never see it coming – and they never see it coming and when you have a loosey goosey offense – because Joe's defense is his offence and his offence is his defense. I love a guy that punches because now I don't have to do too much work like a Winky Wright fight. I gotta get the turtle to stick his head out the shell. This case is great. This guy likes to fire. He has a high punch output. I love that. It's a great opportunity. The more he punches the greater the opportunity and that's what I like and that's why I say this is no comparison to fighting a Winky Wright, where you got to figure out the puzzle and try to trick him to punch. This situation where I got a guy that's what seven years younger, 36, that's going to throw 1,000 punches around, or so it's been reported. So I would love that. I just hope that he don't change his game all of a sudden, you know, maybe during the game of his boxing career. I just hope he throws these thousands of punches. I doubt it after a full fight like the two or three rounds – I doubt if he's going to throw these punches – but I just hope that he do that because that will leave a lot of great opportunities for Bernard Hopkins to really shine come April 19.

Chris Murray: Let me ask you this question that I know you've answered the question a thousand times before but, you now, I've seen fighters over the years in their 30s in their 40s. They get old in the ring and what have you no matter how good a shape that they're in and what have you. You know how do you mentally and physically fight, you know, I guess kind of prepare against that? It seems like father time is always lurking in that corner.

Bernard Hopkins: Well not with me. Father time is whether you're an athlete or not an athlete. Father time is always around. I think I'm just special.

Ashley Fox, Philadelphia Inquirer: How have you ratcheted up your training regimen since I saw you about three or so weeks ago?

Bernard Hopkins: Since you were out here about two or three weeks ago? Well obviously it got to the fine tuning. And of course we're still two weeks away. I will tell you the same sparring partners that were here didn't last so we got fresh ones in a week ago and they holding up as of now but we still have a few days left of really letting it all loose. But everything is fine. Everything is great. I'm up in the mountains in L.A. and getting, you know, once a week and just, you know, mentally and physically letting everything come in to play. And, you know, Mackey Shilstone and I was up 5:30 West Coast time this morning doing our regular routine. And, you know, I got, you know -3:00 excuse me – training and, you know, my vitamins, my food and, you know, everything is a military. When I say military everything is by the clock. And timing is everything. You know it's just like you're in the ring. Guy throw a punch you throw a punch, who gets there, who has the right timing gets the point, gets the victory. And that's what this fight is all about – timing, relaxing, then fight, then go, then go. And that's basically the difference between two weeks ago to now is that now we're in that fine tuning stage of this keeping everything where it's supposed to be until we land this plane down the runway.

Ashley Fox: And you're feeling pretty good?

Bernard Hopkins: I'm feeling great. I'm feeling like when April 19 comes that people really going to have to say to themselves we have to put Bernard Hopkins achievements and legacy in a special place where we can call for others who might, who might now, be in that category as time go on. And I'm not just saying fighters I'm saying athletes period in any sport. Like a Michael Jordan. You know like the Mohammad Ali of the world, like Sugar Ray Robinson. You know, these Joe Lewis, these guys you mention but there's so many great fighters that will never be in an elite group. They going to have to do that to Bernard Hopkins. Being as I respect people's personal pound for pound. I'm not bigger than boxing but I'm bigger than that right now and especially after this victory come April 19. And I don't want anybody to get that misunderstood. I respect people's opinion. Everybody has they own pound for pound list. It's not about that with me at this stage right now. Because what I'm ready to pull off April 19 with another undefeated fighter – remember I destroyed three known Hall of Famer undefeated fighters. Come April 19 people going to have to put me in a whole new different category. Maybe that Icon type thing. The Icon is really special to me. Legend already got that. Icon is – that's the climax, you can't get any higher than that.

Francis Walker: You're 43 and a lot of people based on your age their picking you to lose this fight so what else is new? At this stage of your career is it more difficult to prepare your body for a grueling training camp? I mean what's different about it?

Bernard Hopkins: Only that would be true only if I had a reckless living life. I think that, you know, what I've done in the 20s, what I've done in the 30s prepared me to be able to stand out amongst the norm. No I don't have no special magic, you know, and anybody just listening I'm letting, you know, from right now that I don't have no special water in the bottle. I don't have no special resume that I do. I just live right, treat my body right like any other person, sports or non-sports, want to do it. I just take care of my body. The worst damage a person – a fighter or even a person that's just everyday living – is shorten your life by your lifestyle. My lifestyle, yes and my talent, plays a role but I'm no fool. It's not just I'm that good. Some would want me to think that but I ain't a fool. It's all above that comes with being a guy that has longevity in what he do.

You know I mean Brett Favre went out on top in his 40s. It's not unusual but it is considered rare because people don't fight to live to physically be on top of their game less they embarrass themselves past 35. And that's understand that Joe Calzaghe is not 26 he's 36. And that is considered not a spring chicken in boxing but we live in different times now. When Ali and Joe Lewis and Ray Robinson and all those guys that come up – I mean they didn't have the high tech sneaks and the high tech equipment, the vitamins, the this and that. You know they didn't have the Mackey Shilstone's of the world at that particular time. To me they was the greater athletes.

And listen I'm proud of everything that I accomplished but when I go back and I look at basketball and I look at when they had Chuck Taylors on back in the 60s and the 70s and compare with the athletes can have today with the luxuries of high tech equipment, sneakers that can make them jump two to three more inches. I mean, you know, it's a no-brainer to me that, you know, why shouldn't we have the luxury of extending our career in 2008 in this era in the last 30 years where we have so much to take our careers. Even with the food. Even with the choice of lifestyle. Why shouldn't we have the leverage or if you follow it why shouldn't you have that luxury to be able to extend the impossible of most people thinking two or three or four more years into any career whether its football, basketball or boxing. I'm just a product of what you do in your 20s. Like mom always say or somebody that you respect always say what you do in your 20s, what you do in your 30s health wise reflects in your 40s and your 50s and your 60s and your 70s and your 80s. I am a poster boy of that.

Stefan Guerrero, BBC Wales: Joe's trainer Enzo Calzaghe has had two world title defeats in the past month with Enzo Maccarinelli and Gavin Reese. How do you think that's going to sort of affect the mindset within their camp?

Bernard Hopkins: I'm just thinking giving them a hint of what's to come. It's not a good year for him. I mean we all go through those clouds. You know I had my clouds and, you know, everybody go through those clouds. That's what makes you who you are. Then see how they bounce back the following year. It's not a good year for him.


Stefan Guerrero: Joe's also said that he's going to slow down on his punches. You talk about his loosey goosey style a little bit earlier on he says he's going to slow down and go for the power a bit more. Are you surprised by that?

Bernard Hopkins: I'm not surprised what he's going to do. Well it seems he keeps flipping and flopping. Nobody knows what anybody going to do until we get in that ring. You know my job is to change anything he does anything he wants to do my thing is to make him change it. And the only way we going to do that is you have physical contact. We'll all be champions if we can talk our way to a championship. But that's the great thing about boxing. I can't help – nobody can help me and nobody can help Joe so all he says is great. So I mean, you know, I take the opposite what he says because if he really meant what he was going to do he, you know, probably wouldn't tell me or you for you to tell me so I just think it's the way it is. I'm a long time profession in his career. I've heard it all. You know when you've been in the game for 20 something years with 20 defenses as a Middleweight – I mean there's nothing in the game I haven't heard. There's no style I haven't seen. So I mean what else do I expect, you know, I could continue to try to explain to people that I've been in the game since 1988. I've been champion before Joey became a pro. Look at the records. Look at the dates. So I heard all the game. I heard all the bullshit. So I don't mind hearing it again long as I stay in the game that's part of the game that's part of the promotion that's part of the hype. But as far as I'm concerned right now I did a lot of talking. I'm on the phone doing a conference call because that's the way business is supposed to be and I'm mature now where I know I have to promote because I am a promoter. I have a company that I ought to represent with respect so my thing is I'm on this phone basically because this is what – I have to do it. But basically I wouldn't want to talk to nobody until April 19 when the fight's over with and just say not that I told you so where are y'all going to put me in history? I've topped my last two fights at Light Heavyweight. That's what I would want to do to be honest with you. Rest up in the bed until 3:00 West Coast time and just pray to God that we could skip some days and get right to April 19. I'm going to prove that Joe is an ordinary Joe and the reason he didn't leave Europe is because he feared his worst nightmare. Coming to the United States and getting his ass whooped by Bernard Hopkins. That's what's going to be exposed so help me God.

Robert Morales, LA Daily News: Listen I was wondering of all the victories that you've had have you ever stopped to ask yourself or thought about which is your biggest victory in your mind in your heart? What victory that you have had has impressed you the most?

Bernard Hopkins: I will go back and I will say the victory that touched me the most – and you probably can remember this as you've been following me this long – I'm going to go back over ten years. I know you're probably shocked because that eliminates Tito and eliminates the Oscar fights. I'm going to go back and I'm going to mention this fight and if you remember this fight it was about will, it was about heart, and it was about willing to leave my country and go abroad. And prove that I'm championship quality. Segundo Mercado, Quito, Ecuador in 1995. They in the heat of battle in Peru at that particular time country to country and it was hostility. I got there less than 48 hours well documented didn't have time to acclimate to the climate. Other fighters like Simon Brown, Frankie Lyles, a few other guys was already there weeks before me. Looked at me like I had two heads. Why would I come in so late? I survived two knock downs – if you remember this fight – I come back I knocked him down and I got a draw in Ecuador fighting an Ecuadorian. So it might surprise everyone that listen to that little speech but its reality and the record shows and it's there. That was a fight that any knowledgeable person around the world that seen that fight promoter, fan or media had to think for one second that we got a guy that's going to rise up amongst boxing and be considered great. And here I am ten plus years ago. That fight there showed me and showed probably a lot of other people that I'm going to be around for a long time. And it came to pass. So that was the most important fight to me not actually a big fight but it was a fight that made – it built character for me.

Robert Morales: And of course you stopped him in the 7th Round four months later.

Bernard Hopkins: Four or five months later I stopped him in Landover, Maryland in the United States you're correct. Unlike Joe he wants a day in his career if he could but he was forced to come to the United States. Not doing me a favor, I did him a favor. Not only give him 50% of the money. I did him a favor. He had to come here by HBO's contract his third fight had to come here. I just happened to be the old Godfather waiting at door number one when everybody else that I helped eliminated and he couldn't do anything but fight Bernard Hopkins. If you read his book – which I did it's very interesting – he never thought that he would fight me again. And he mentioned that "I wish I would had been there to fight Bernard Hopkins but since he retired, blah, blah, blah." Because he thought that he was going to be able to have that quote and never have to deal with The Executioner. But I came out of retirement. And trust me a lot of people including business people in boxing said oh you know what. The worst nightmare is that Bernard Hopkins will come out of retirement and spoil more plans for what they got set up for other things. I'm messing up – but seriously that's what kept me alive in boxing because I know I'm messing up and I ain't going to get into details but I know that I'm messing up a lot of plans by still being in boxing. I'm beating the wrong people. It started with Tarver. Winky Wright, the two Jermain Taylor fights everybody knew what that was. He's eliminated now the same people that praise him they talking about it. A short time changes so much in this business. So I got the biggest boss to take to (me) and they don't even fear him because they don't believe in him but I got the biggest – I got the biggest boss hands around my shoulders and I'm just sitting here just, you know, having fun but I'm serious. And I can't wait until after April 19 when I look across that particular aisle that separated from the fans and it's just the aisle where they sit at with their computers and they typewriters. And they see that same look that I saw when I beat Tarver. I made it look easy but the most profound statement before that fight and I told most of the media that's listening to me now I said no only am I going to shock y'all and beat y'all but I'm going to do it easy. What do you mean? So I'm telling you now. Don't be surprised when I make this look easy and I make him look amateur. And that's what I'm going to do but it's going to be punishment first because that's in his blood he won't quit. Probably going to have to save him. His father's going to have to save his son because he loves his son. It ain't training fighters this is son and father. Then trainer and father. So remember I said this on the line so nobody going to say I'm making it up after the fact. I'm telling y'all now I'm putting y'all on notice and a lot of people on the phone now heard me say this before how many times was I wrong? And how many times was I right?

Chris Murray, Philadelphia Tribune: Bernard if you're victorious in this fight and everything who else is out there? I mean you've basically climbed every mountain in this sport in terms of fighters. Who else would be out there once you get past Joe Calzaghe?

Bernard Hopkins: When I get past Joe Calzaghe I will really, really will have to make a big, big announcement. Heavyweight division is not in my circle any more because Moscow was the guy that I wanted. Thought that that would be a perfect match for me and there's no other guys that's too big that holds the title. I ran out of opponents. And when you go look for a fight it's like being in the neighborhood you normally pick on the person that you shouldn't have picked on? I'm not going to be in that position because now I'm looking for a fight then having something to fight for. There's a big difference. And so, you know, whether I want to retire or not I think I'm force to retire because I ran out of opponents. When I mean run out of opponents I mean first of all I'm not going in there to dance with no guy 24, 25 years old. I don't pick on nobody unless they 35 and up. So, you know, there's no one in the game at a high level to be able to satisfy my cravings around. I've eliminated – I done ran out of really quality names to fight to be honest with you. And so, you know, is it a sad thing that I can retire on top? No. But, you know, it's a thing where I know that Bernard Hopkins is going to win this fight and I'm going to win this fight big. And then I'm going to go and do the things that the company needs my undivided 24 hours or whatever day it takes to sign more fighters to Golden Boy from Golden Boy East. And, you know, definitely spend time with my family and do things in the city as you know in Philadelphia, you know, we got a new mayor. We got things turning around in that city and I want to be a part of that. Maybe a political future for Bernard Hopkins. I have a lot on my table to not get bored to be honest with you. So I'm going to have to make that come in a second. Look I'm 43 years old so at the end of the day trust me I know I got a body and I've been told I got a body and Mackie tells it all the time, you know, Bernard they don't know you're 43. But I know you're body and I know this test and I know how you run and I know what numbers you get and I know how your heart rate drops down so calm after a hostile workout. You got a 28, 29 year old body but they think you're 43, and that helps. So I consider 43 to be a time where it's time to back up. It's time to do this. It's time to smell the roses. I just bought a house recently that there are many things that I want to accomplish with that. And enjoy that 17,000 square feet house on 5.5 acres. I'm going to enjoy that. I waited late in my career to really buy the biggest purchase, you know, I got property, rental property, I had a nice house, still got a nice house but I waited late to really buy something that I always wanted late in the game and I want to sit back and enjoy that. So I find something to, you know, to be able to take that void, you know, that middle spot of not being able to box anymore or to train anymore and every year you get older so, you know, it's not my choice no more. It's nothing I can do about it. It is what it is.

Chris Murray: Would you say that if you were to lose this fight by decision or whatever?

Bernard Hopkins: It's the same no matter what. You know lose, win or draw. I can win a fight and know in my heart that, you know, I'm done. It's a desire and a will to prove that I can do it and to prove to others that you're wrong again. People might say well Bernard, you know, you be 100 years old trying to prove people wrong but people's going to think the way they want to think and have they opinions to do that and that's it. But, you know, they got to stop with me, you know, because no matter what you do in life there's going to be somebody saying that you, you know, yeah but you could have did this, yeah but you could have did that so you can't satisfy everybody. So you know win, lose or draw and I never like to add all those in there – my thing is win – but if things don't go my way it's the same one way or the other because I've ran out of opponents. I have nothing to be ashamed of I have everything to be grateful for. And I've done what most fighters and most people couldn't imagine doing. I done surpassed most people's expectations on what Bernard Hopkins personal life will wind up being. And definitely my athletic – definitely in my professional life. And they will have to find a place to put Bernard Hopkins in history. And I don't say that to be bragging I don't say that to be cocky. I think that when it's all said and done with the stamp of approval of Bernard Hopkins winning impressively undefeated southpaw fighter that they made up to be great is going to be a profound statement. This fight here surpasses Tarver fight because Tarver had flaws. He had a loss before. Tarver – Tarver it was unique because it was history because Ray Robinson couldn't pull off what I pulled off. That's the unique thing about it but this one – this one is a little bit more spicy. This one is a little bit more spicy. It's another undefeated fighter like a Felix Trinidad. It's another undefeated fighter like a guy I fought named Blaine Johnson and nobody even talks about when he's 30 and 0 and I knocked him out. You know you don't even hear that. That means to me some media don't even talk about that fight. But I say that at the end of the day my worst critics will have to pay homage to my legacy.

Ramon Aranda, 411mania.com: Now, you know, you're in another fight that obviously a lot of writers are picking you to lose which seems kind of like the norm now days I think but besides proving the doubters wrong, I mean what else motivates you right now at this point in your career for this fight especially after accomplishing so much already?

Bernard Hopkins: I made two – that is 99.9% of it to be honest with you. Absolutely because, you know, if I didn't have that I don't think I'd even be on the phone talking about a press conference because there probably wouldn't be no fight. I mean this is what kept me – they've been my biggest supporter in taking my body through, you know, aching pains. I wake up with a cramp here and a pain there and this and that. To be honest I don't camouflage that. You know I just deal with it. I'm a professional. So when, you know, and I don't, you know, I usually when I was ignorant or I was emotional which is the worst thing you can be in anything – whether its business table whether it's in the ring – is that I used to try to convince people who didn't agree with me why I'm not old and why I'm not, you know, going to lose a fight even when I was in my 20s and 30s. And I really, really it took me a little while but I really realized late in the game that it's their opinion but how can I now make the most respected person in boxing analysts or, you know, judge or reporter wrong? And at the end of the day found out I was wrong. There's a lot of them that will come up to you and say Bernard hey man I picked you to lose man and you shocked me man and you won. And I respect those who do, but then you get some that don't even come to the damn press conference after the fight. Or they come but they stand in the back if you'd have lost they'd have been up front. So to me those –the ones that have – they separate their jobs from having a personal agenda. You know whether or not I like this guy it ain't about liking a fighter. It's about writing a story for the fans where your credibility comes into play. And so I know I got these persons out there and I see them and I smile and shake their hands and they know who they are. But you know what they help me to be honest with you so why would I fight with them? They're entitled to their opinions we live in America. I'm entitled to my opinion. I'm entitled to say what I feel like I need to say because that's just the way I feel. Everybody might not agree with it but that's the way I feel. Hey we don't live in a third world country where they take you out the house and hang you by a tree. So if we want the luxury when it benefits us then we have to accept myself – and I have to accept that when people don't agree with me I don't have to get upset. How can I prove to them? Go in there and prove them wrong. That is my motivation. Listen I'm 43 years old getting up 5:30 in the morning West Coast time. I mean why would I put my body is the question I think that probably maybe somebody want to ask but I'm going to take it away from them. The answer is at 43 years old I've done well with my money I made great investments; I'm still a coupon clipping guy. I've still got a Costco in my wallet – Costco card. Why would I put my body 5:30 in the morning when I could be sitting somewhere drinking a virgin strawberry daiquiri in Miami in one of my properties and here I'm in with this manic guy named Mackie Shilstone who's getting me up at 5:30 in the morning and he's 57 and he's running 880s with me. And anybody knows what 880s means. You feel like your heart is coming out of your chest. And I'm sparring with three or five spar partners who are 15 years younger than me maybe younger with careers and records who's throwing – Joe throw 1000 punches around – say they're throwing close to that but its four different spar partners so you put 100 punches around for four guys add that up. That's almost 400. And I don't get out the ring they get in the ring. They bring one guy in one guy out I stay in the ring. So people that's listening to this understand this is in me. This ain't about buying another car another house. This ain't about actually a payday. This should tell people that how that they mind might be clouded by some other things that I've said or that they've seen that they did that they disliked. They should just understand he put all that stuff to the side. This man is 43 years old and I know how it is to take that much dedication to prepare for any fight. But it got to be just as difficult and to do that at this stage in my career. And you know what? That's because it's in me and I'm in this to win it. I'm not in this for the emotions of it. I'm in it to prove that with me and inspire others that 43, 42 anything in your 40s and up is not a death sentence if you take care of yourself before you become 40. Especially if your 40 then start taking care of yourself now. And I'm the poster boy for that.

Ramon Aranda: Now with the same token do you think that if it would have been the opposite way say you would have been pumped up as the face of boxing, you know, being the guy that everybody always picks to win. Do you think if your career would have went that route that you would have probably had a shorter career or gotten bored earlier with it at all?

Bernard Hopkins: Probably so. Because when you are that particular poster boy and you're that particular guy that they want you to win whether its TV whether its – and I say TV based on what revenue you bring, what excitement you bring, what ratings you bring – all that counts. Then you got the promotion of the promoter, they got the promotion of who they write about. See the prime example is Jermain Taylor and I wish I had another name to mention. I do have another name. He's from Philadelphia. And right now he's damn near homeless. His name is David Reeves who won a gold medal. See the worst thing can happen to some athletes especially boxers. They will give you this false security and give you something that you really ain't ready for right now. A title. Jermain wasn't really ready for that title and he made a few dollars and I hope he's done well by it. But it's nothing like experience and there's nothing like taking you through those curves to understand that this is going to make you keep the title when you get there. This is going – but this microwave mentality – yes I said microwave not oven microwave society or business where they don't care about longevity. They care about the dollar. They care about let's get this title by any means necessary well the man got to defend it. Now here I am at 43 this guy is supposed to have beat me where my career and where his career at? See I just have patience I just prove them wrong and I stay and challenge them. Behind a plate they're going to have to put me and they might not follow it. I'm still cool with that. But there's going to be a place other than pound for pound because right now its surpassed that right now. Everything I do or everything I did to surpass oh Bernard do you think if you beat this fighter you should take this fighter? Somebody asked me the other day from the media. I'm not going to put them on blast but I say why would I shortchange myself like that? Don't disrespect the pound for pound. Everybody got their own limits. Everybody got their own pound list. I said its past that baby. I said you thinking like that, that's short minded thinking. I've surpassed that. Come April 19 Bernard going to show again that all these years that I've been in the game, 40 something years old. Y'all got something special amongst us so just enjoy it while I'm here. Enjoy April 19 because it could be the last great fight you see from Bernard Hopkins for some and the Executioner for others.

Bernard Fernandez, Philadelphia Daily News: You know when you were talking about this being possibly your last fight because you still got gas in the tank but, you know, where else is there to go? I don't know – I know you're an Eagles fan and follow the NFL but this sounded a lot like a couple weeks ago with Brett Favre. Came within one game of going to the Superbowl He had a great year at 38 and just said, you know, I think this is it, you know, he obviously could have played another year maybe another couple years. But now that I'm throwing this out I mean do you kind of like liken your situation of where you are now to where Brett Favre was when he decided maybe it's time to step away?

Bernard Hopkins: It's slightly different in a way because with Brett Favre I think it's a situation where, you know, football and boxing is obviously different but there are some similarities there. I think more with me than with Brett Favre is that, you know, even though they came so close – I think three out from being in the Superbowl but maybe four – with me it's just that there's no other person that they can bring to me that's realistic. I ain't talking about a Heavyweight. There's no one on the bottom from 60 there's no one at 70 that can bring what I need to be motivated for this fight. Other than the Joe Calzaghe's. Because I mean I have to be honest with myself there's no (unintelligible). And Bernard, if I start getting in the ring strictly based on money then I won't hire a guy like Mackey to go do something at (the) store. I won't go spend extra money bringing (Freddie) in got (John Nazeen) got John David Jackson. Hey I got a payroll that's pretty hefty with these guys. I didn't do that to lose. If I am coming somewhere to lose, wouldn't I save as much as I can? So my thing Bernard, is that if it was people that are in the game that can bring a reason for me to do it, other than money, I would do what Foreman had done. Stay around until about 45 or 46 and I said it before and I'll say it now. If I wanted to I could fight another three or four more years. I know Bernard that people will say "Well why would you do that?" Because A) I can and second) tell me and show me other than looking at my age. Am I embarrassing myself? No. Am I winning? Yes. So you tell me "well you should quit because you're 45." You should quit because you're 43. So I should die? I should just roll over and get a fat stomach go to Miami and sit on the beach because I'm 43? This is 2008, 43 in the 70s is not the 43 now. And so the reason that I came to this Bernard, is I just ran out of people to beat. I just ran out of people to beat. I ran out of people that could bring that thing that's in me that I can say I'm going to prove someone wrong again. If that's not there Bernard a big part of my motivation, a big part of my psyche, a big part of the way I get up, the way I hike through the pain in the morning, the way I fight – I don't fight running – but I have got to get up at 5:30 crack of dawn. If I don't have that Bernard, I won't be Bernard. I won't be me. I train like I fight and I fight like train. And if one thing is missing out of my 20 plus year career I'm doomed. I'm literally doomed.

Bernard Fernandez: I almost feel like you ought wear a number 4 Packer's jersey into the ring.

Bernard Hopkins: Yes, the Packers, for Brett huh? The Iron Man I call him. They call him the Iron Man.

Bernard Fernandez: Yes he played the game with, you know, a…

Bernard Hopkins: Finesse.

Bernard Fernandez: and joy that you've brought to boxing, you know.

Bernard Hopkins: Bernard and anybody that's listening, when you see it is perks in being a veteran that survived the scraps and the bumps and the wear and tear that boxing can bring on you. But also it is rewards in it. See because guys like myself and Brett Favre and other older athletes that came before me – the Jerry Rick and guys like that – we know how to finesse our wins. We know how to finesse our wins because everything ain't all – when you're young you're running through the door – when you're older you twist the doorknob then open then walk through. You get smarter. You get more finesse. You get more technical about anything you do because you know that you can't step on a minefield. And that's the difference between young and (life) and being older. The choices you make, the way you do things, they way you take care of your body it changes compared to when you was 20 and 30 and now I'm 40. I just wanted to put that out there and next question.

Garrett Davies, Daily Telegraph (London): Since we sat in that press room when Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather told me you were going to be the modern day Paul Revere. I'm so delighted we're nearly there now because the British sure are coming. You say that your worst critic will pay homage to your legacy like Joe Calzaghe who is a Super Middleweight Champion for ten years you were a Middleweight World Champion for ten years. Do you agree that this is as much a defining fight for you as it is for him?

Bernard Hopkins: I will hope so. I will hope so for him because that spells that you are going to have a great article to write and American writers are going to have a great article to write. When you have that atmosphere out there of two sides then the rope got to snap in the middle because there's going to be pushing from one side to another. And to me that's a great thing to have. And there's also a great thing to have when you're going up against an opponent that he also has a personality where he can talk and I don't have to carry the whole promotional quotes and sound bites. So to me he's already doing the right thing. He's already doing what he's supposed to do. He has his legacy to prove and bring to the people's attention that maybe don't know over here in the United States like they know mine. By the same token you've got to understand that the old poppy Hopkins he called me or Mary Poppins, she was a very, very powerful lady if you know the story about Mary Poppins. And if anybody knows the story about Mary Poppins other than the disrespect of him calling me a woman but he called me Poppy so he can't be calling me a female. But if you know the history of Mary Poppins which was one of my favorite bedtime stories when I was small she was a powerful lady. She had magical powers with that umbrella. Come April 19 I'm going to be glad that I was called Mary Poppins. Because the history of Mary Poppins is nothing to laugh about.

Ashley Fox, Philadelphia Inquirer: I just want to be clear. Are you saying that this is going to be your last fight?

Bernard Hopkins: Easily could be yes. Nothing else to – nobody else to fight to bring this type of energy and motivation out of me. There's no one out there. I've cleaned out my closet. There's nothing in here. There's no motivation to fight anybody else unless it's just for money and I never, never went in there based and predicated on money. My track record shows it. My business decisions showed it when I left millions on the table, when I got crucified for it and wound up (throwing) bigger deals later on down the line but no. I would not go in the ring based and predicated on 100% motivation is money.I have to have a reason to be able to say why I'm doing this. Because that gets me through the training. The training is something that I need to get through on a proper way to prepare to win. And if I don't have that which was in my 99% ace in the hole for my 20 plus career. I would never, never appreciate that and never disrespect that. Then I'm doomed. I put myself in the line of danger even further.

Ashley Fox: But you said …

Bernard Hopkins: I'll say it will be because there's no one else there on the horizon and, you know, to put the cart in front of the horse and start looking for other things then you looking for the wrong things. And right now Joe Calzaghe is the only guy on the planet that's over 35 years old – that's important – and that's part of my demands. And no one out there beyond him that I can see that's worth doing this – taking my body through what I have to do being away from my family for six or seven weeks. You know as you get older every year you get to thinking differently than last year. At least I do. I don't know maybe some people think different I don't know. But, you know, you can only go to the well so many times and get water. You go there one time there ain't no water there because you already took it out. I'm going to the well April 19 because there's a bucket left.

Andreas Hale, Fightnews.com: Considering all the factors coming into this fight the age, the title experience, the championship fights, the British versus America thing going on here. Is there another fight that you recall that you had more to prove in your career?

Bernard Hopkins: Yes.

Andreas Hale: Which one would it be? Is this that fight or is there another one?

Bernard Hopkins: No there's another one. The Trinidad fight.

Andreas Hale: The Trinidad fight?

Bernard Hopkins: Yes.

Andreas Hale: It was bigger why?

Bernard Hopkins: It's because he was better known worldwide. Trinidad was undefeated, known as a dangerous left hook. I think I was a 5 to 1 or 6 to 1 underdog. No one in the media game that I can remember – at least I ain't going to say any one – I'd say about 80% of the media had me losing. First it was around at press conferences some falls before then. It's 9/11, 20,000 people under one roof in New York City of all places. It was tense a moment, but also it was a moment of standing out amongst, you know, any possible thing that I can dream of accomplishing on the most important fight, the most important year of my legacy. Had to be one of the saddest days of America. So while people are rejoicing some are stunned still. So it was a thing that I had to fight through adversity. I had to fight through was humanly was normal for anybody to have a letdown. I rose. I rised up. I rised up at the worst scenario case. So when you have this type of education and you have this type of experience and you have this type of trials and tribulations that make you a man. Let's not even talk about penitentiary. Let's not even talk about upbringing. Let's not talk about that. I'm going to let you beat me? When it gets to those points and you see five rounds or six rounds or you get hit with a good shot or something happen that's not in your favor. And you look across the ring and you look across at everybody and you say did I go through all this to let this happen? That' the reason you fight man. Everybody don't have that because everybody didn't live that fortunately and unfortunately I had the best of both worlds. And come April 19 Joe is going to witness something that he didn't witness with Joe (unintelligible). He didn't witness with any other guy that he's fought that he thinks that makes him great. Compared to my resume. It's going to be totally different and when it becomes different to him the fights over. When it becomes different to him the fight is going to be over that night.
thehype
Cortez ain't gonna matter.

laugh.gif
The CEO
lol...I don't think he will either....I think he'll be ON Hopkins...but not enough to show that he's outright against him (out of protection for his firm, but fair, reputation)....he was already under the magnifying glass in Castillo-Hatton and Mayweather-Hatton...and he got some flack for those....I personally thought he did a shitty job in the Castillo fight, and an excellent job in the Mayweather one...lol....but anyway...alot of eyes will be on him for this one....searching for that revenge or make-up bias.

So I can totally understand Cortez making Method feel uneasy....this fight is HUGE to him.....Hopkins is already the underdog due to his age and selective offense...and Cortez is the absolute worst ref for Hopkins to have at this point in time....
Method
Meet me in Vegas for the fight, CEO. We'll tear it up.

QUOTE
You know me I don't get a chance to get in the ring and to share my talents on another landscape of this nature but that's the only difference. I mean I've been around the best southpaws and trained with the best southpaws before I even became champion in Philadelphia. One of them is one of my assistants here in camp. His name is John David Jackson and you know I consider the best southpaws in my era. So again and, you know, this statement just analyzing with I've always looked at when I go up against any title defense or any challenge in my whole career. I look at this guy compared to that guy and analyze well is this guy slicker as a southpaw than Joe was or this guy hit harder than Joe or does Joe hit harder than this guy. And that it's different here but nobody's the same but it – I don't see anything that I could say wow I should be intimidated myself. And so, you know, I don't do the traditional thing that people say that you should do when you fight southpaws. Far as keep my left foot outside of their right leg or foot so I can be on that angle of my right hand, left foot – my style I've been told by southpaws and one of them is John David Jackson and a few other guys I've fought one of them Robert Allen twice. I have an orthodox style that a southpaw is confused with me. Because they never see it coming – and they never see it coming and when you have a loosey goosey offense – because Joe's defense is his offence and his offence is his defense. I love a guy that punches because now I don't have to do too much work like a Winky Wright fight. I gotta get the turtle to stick his head out the shell. This case is great. This guy likes to fire. He has a high punch output. I love that. It's a great opportunity. The more he punches the greater the opportunity and that's what I like and that's why I say this is no comparison to fighting a Winky Wright, where you got to figure out the puzzle and try to trick him to punch. This situation where I got a guy that's what seven years younger, 36, that's going to throw 1,000 punches around, or so it's been reported. So I would love that. I just hope that he don't change his game all of a sudden, you know, maybe during the game of his boxing career. I just hope he throws these thousands of punches. I doubt it after a full fight like the two or three rounds – I doubt if he's going to throw these punches – but I just hope that he do that because that will leave a lot of great opportunities for Bernard Hopkins to really shine come April 19.


QUOTE
he wants a day in his career if he could but he was forced to come to the United States. Not doing me a favor, I did him a favor. Not only give him 50% of the money. I did him a favor. He had to come here by HBO's contract his third fight had to come here. I just happened to be the old Godfather waiting at door number one when everybody else that I helped eliminated and he couldn't do anything but fight Bernard Hopkins. If you read his book – which I did it's very interesting – he never thought that he would fight me again. And he mentioned that "I wish I would had been there to fight Bernard Hopkins but since he retired, blah, blah, blah." Because he thought that he was going to be able to have that quote and never have to deal with The Executioner. But I came out of retirement. And trust me a lot of people including business people in boxing said oh you know what. The worst nightmare is that Bernard Hopkins will come out of retirement and spoil more plans for what they got set up for other things. I'm messing up – but seriously that's what kept me alive in boxing because I know I'm messing up and I ain't going to get into details but I know that I'm messing up a lot of plans by still being in boxing. I'm beating the wrong people. It started with Tarver. Winky Wright, the two Jermain Taylor fights everybody knew what that was. He's eliminated now the same people that praise him they talking about it. A short time changes so much in this business. So I got the biggest boss to take to (me) and they don't even fear him because they don't believe in him but I got the biggest – I got the biggest boss hands around my shoulders and I'm just sitting here just, you know, having fun but I'm serious. And I can't wait until after April 19 when I look across that particular aisle that separated from the fans and it's just the aisle where they sit at with their computers and they typewriters. And they see that same look that I saw when I beat Tarver. I made it look easy but the most profound statement before that fight and I told most of the media that's listening to me now I said no only am I going to shock y'all and beat y'all but I'm going to do it easy. What do you mean? So I'm telling you now. Don't be surprised when I make this look easy and I make him look amateur. And that's what I'm going to do but it's going to be punishment first because that's in his blood he won't quit. Probably going to have to save him. His father's going to have to save his son because he loves his son. It ain't training fighters this is son and father. Then trainer and father. So remember I said this on the line so nobody going to say I'm making it up after the fact. I'm telling y'all now I'm putting y'all on notice


I fucking love it. This man knows his shit. I love the fact that he read Joe's book. LOL. There was a big excerpt in Joe's book about the Charles Brewer fight and how difficult it was for him and how Charles had him hurt with the big jailhouse right.

Im glad I locked in @ +235. If it gets that wide again (hopefully Joe runs his mouth, or perhaps when all the Europeans come flooding over. But I suspect, which was my whole reasoning for laying $ down so early, is that, as the fight gets closer, and Bernard begins talking more and more, and industry folk catch him in the gym and hear him talk, that the spread is gonna narrow down.
The CEO
Damnit, Meth....I'm obligated on the weekend of the 19th....but win or lose, I know you'll tear it up enough for everybody here...this is YOUR Mayweather-Hatton...

I remember the Brewer fight well...as I was rooting for the upset big time that night...Brewer had his flaws, but he was Philly to the core...making him one of my favorite fighters to watch at the time.

Let's hope Hopkins does what he does best...with like 20, 30% more activity...and he can win this fucking thing.
Mean Mister Mustard
Hopkins is the Napoleon of boxing, he covers all his bases.

If you want a preview of the Hopkins-Calzaghe fight watch Calzaghe's fight with Bika. He was in there against a strong tought fighter who knew how to be dirty and it made Calzaghe uneasy. If you look at the fight you can see that both guys were clinching equally and Bika would get the better of the in-fighting by slamming Calzaghe with right uppercuts.

If Calzaghe fights like Paquiao did against Marquez, in and out, I think he has a shot. Inside figthing against Hopkins will leave him with a busted face.

Oh, interesting observation. I was re-watching Campbell-Diaz and wondered what would happen if Hopkins decided to fight Calzaghe like that. You know, fighting in close but not a lot of clinching, going to the body and slipping shots on the inside. Would Calzaghe be able to hurt him? Would Hopkins have the stamina to go toe to toe with Calzaghe for 12 rounds? I think Calzaghe has more pop than advertised and he is even talking about tightening up his punches more for this fight so maybe this is something that he has planned.
MarzB
Quick note about these conference calls.

I'm never amazed by how the promoters who send these out don't have some look them over to scrub or edit. "David Reeves", "John Naseem", come on.

I recall reading one with Hasim Rahman and he mentioned Chris Byrd's name but it appeared as "Frisberg",lol.

That said, I was hoping Hop was going to name drop his sparring partners. What I'm very curious of is if he's working with smaller guys who can replicate the high volume output of Calazaghe or is he workign with just athletic Super Middle type of guys. My guess is the former.

'Nard comes into to his fights ALWAYS well prepared and what he's mentioned doesn't surprise me one bit.

I can't wait till the "Countdown" of this
BoxingStill#1
[quote name='Mean Mister Mustard' date='Apr 5 2008, 09:28 PM' post='385211']
Hopkins is the Napoleon of boxing, he covers all his bases.

Oh, interesting observation. I was re-watching Campbell-Diaz and wondered what would happen if Hopkins decided to fight Calzaghe like that. You know, fighting in close but not a lot of clinching, going to the body and slipping shots on the inside. Would Calzaghe be able to hurt him? Would Hopkins have the stamina to go toe to toe with Calzaghe for 12 rounds?

Too bad Calzaghe doesnt ever have a plan B or C......Bernard has the entire alphabet.........
WolfishPromistah
And there 'Nard go again -- carryin' on ye ol' tradition!

Damn, that dude can TALK! -- WTF? -- LoL!

Great interview. Thanks, Meth.
Method
QUOTE
I'm never amazed by how the promoters who send these out don't have some look them over to scrub or edit. "David Reeves", "John Naseem", come on.


Totally agree. And when he talked about KO'ing (technically TKO'ing) another fighter who was 30-0, these fools wrote down Blaine Johnson instead of GLEN Johnson.
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