AS TOLD TO MICHAEL WOODS
So I'm fighting on Saturday night against Epifanio Mendoza. I'm in shape and ready but I was supposed to fight Adrian Diaconu, who's like 5-9. I don't know if Mendoza(28-4, 24 KOs) is more difficult, but I was training for a shorter fighter. I'm going to do the same thing I was going to, use the jab and my legs. I did hear he's a big puncher, but most of his fights have been at junior middleweight and middleweight. Let's see if he carries his power to 168 pounds. Most times it's hard to carry it up.
You guys may have heard I've switched trainers, to Eddie Mustafa Muhammad from Floyd Mayweather Sr. I was with Dan Birmingham before, and John Scully, and before that Shawn Rasor. It's hard to find a trainer that fits my style. Eddie's the perfect pick for me, he was the former light heavyweight champion of the world. We get along great. Floyd Sr., we didn't get along at all. If you didn't do it his way, it wasn't gonna work. I knew it wasn't a good match with Floyd Senior after the Adamek fight, but I tried to give it one more go round. Eddie's the perfect match.
People may wonder, at 24-0, with 16 KOs, am I the best young American boxer out there. I don't know, I can't answer, I think I'm one of the best. We'll see next year. Next year, I'll make the pound for pound list.
It was a little frustrating finding the opponent for this fight. It was maybe going to be Antonio Tarver but I think he's past his prime, so he's scared of me. He talks like he wants to fight me, then his actions show that he doesn't. Hopefully we can make that fight happen, but I don't think Tarver will ever fight me. I heard that he wants like $5 million. He's overpricing himself.
I definitely do think I'm the best light heavyweight out there. These guys that say they're the best, Tarver, and Hopkins, they should step up. Hopkins acts like I don't exist. When he's asked about me he ignores the question. It show's they're scared. If I don't get the big fights, then I'll just keep knocking down the guys they put in front of me.
Hey, while I'm at it, I'd like to give a shoutout to Grant, for my trunks, and my strength and conditioning coach, Axel. Also, my sparring partner, AK-47.
One thing you guys don't have to worry about is me running around, partying too much. I got married in August, to Crystal. She's 31, I'm 25. I met her at a club six years ago. We've got two kids together. I'm a family guy now. I live in New Haven, Connecticut.
Living in Connecticut, I think I was underrated coming up. I had my first 16 fights in Connecticut. The scene there dried after Marlon Starling, and I kind of brought it back to life. It's good for Connecticut to have a world champion again. Now I join the greats like Willie Pep and guys like that.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV