Boxing is what I do, but it's not who I am. I always try to make that one of my openings in any conversation when people say, "Tell me about you." I've always liked nice things. There was one time in my life when I went the wrong way getting those things, and I paid a price for it. I've been out of the penitentiary for 23 and a half years, half of my life, and have turned it around as a boxer and a businessman. [Ed.'s note: Hopkins was released from prison in 1988, having served four and a half years for armed robbery.]
When do you think you made the transition? When I realized I was fighting for a purse that I believe was a million dollars and I only got $85,000.
What fight was that? It was Roy Jones Jr., the first fight, RFK Stadium, 1993. And I remember that not only did that fight have me thinking about how that happened, I had no clue how the business worked. I realized that having knowledge of what you do, whether it's boxing or in life, whether it's your value as a woman, whether it's your value as a man, once you know your value, it's hard to be unappreciated.
This pretty much did it for me. Sadly, this is a painful reality for professional fighters...God forbid if you aren't one of the popular fighters. Its crazy that some fighters have to find a steady job outside of boxing because they make little to no money at all in the sport.
Even if you're delusionally considered the "best fighter in the world"...you can still have tumbleweed bouncing in your head like the rest of 'em, when it comes to knowing how money you actually
You know...when your promoter does this fucked up kind of squint, smirks, shakes his head, pats you on the back, and tells you how much you're supposed to make, but you never see all of it...and you're too much of a care-free nice guy to speak up about it?
It happens to the best of them!