Bernard Hopkins: “I’m Inspired By Outdoing Myself”
You just mentioned Mayweather Vs. Ortiz. What were your thoughts on the fight?
Well, when the fight was just getting warmed up, maybe Ortiz knew that. I seen it getting warmed up too and if one guy is getting hit more than the other, why wouldn’t a guy take his head and use it as a missile [referring to Ortiz’s leaping headbutt on Mayweather, before Mayweather registered a controversial fourth-round knockout in their September 17th fight]? There’s a lot of ways to want to get out of something, man.
At 46, you’re more than a force to be reckoned with and arguably the best in the sport. Similarly, in hip-hop we have a Jay-Z, still spanking younger rappers. What do you make of that?
I laugh and smile at that, man. He’s doing the same thing in his business. Think about it, I was sitting on the shelf for 16 months. I came out because a young buck called me out. There’s no difference to a young buck calling Jay out, saying whatever, whatever and then Jay comes out and says something to slay him. So, when I see Chad Dawson call Bernard Hopkins out, I get off my rocking chair, the same way Jay gets in the studio. From experience, I’m going to turn you around, spank that bottom, give you a baby bottle and put you to bed.
You’ve been doing that for all these years, sonning younger opponents—Felix ‘Tito’ Trinidad, Kelly Pavlik, Jean Pascal and the list goes on. At 46, how many more fights do you want to have?
Man, asking me that and that’s a legitimate question, but asking me that is just like asking a woman who just had a baby whether she’d have another baby. That’s not the right time! I got a big order come October 15. You could win and not be motivated to go forward. I like to evaluate win, lose or draw what I did that night without having any type of reserved feel of denial of what’s real and what’s not. If you’re a rapper and you come out on stage and say a few things that don’t move the crowd, you got a problem. No different than a boxer. If you come out and those mechanics and that mind and body ain’t working together on the night of, you got a problem, brother.
There’s been so much talk about Manny Pacquiao once again moving up in weight class, the way he’s done throughout his career, especially if the Mayweather fight never happens. Would you fight Pacman?
If he comes up to 170, I’ll come down. It all evens out. I’m old as dirt. I come down to 170, he comes up to 170, it all evens up. Yeah, yeah, he’s not 170 pounds naturally, but guess what? The age evens out the weight. He’s younger! I’ll fight him or anybody else at 170 that the world wants to see…after I beat Chad Dawson.