Bernard Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev got the HBO 24/7 treatment, and both men gave fight fans a deeper look into their beings on Saturday night, after we saw another demolition job by the Kazahk wrecking ball Gennady Golovkin.
Kovalev is another wrecking ball sort, while Hopkins is a medical marvel and physical freak, still fighting at world class level just ahead of his 50th birthday.
We heard Hopkins filibustering, talking about how he started peaking late and is a freak of nature. We saw Hopkins in clips from his lengthy career, including from his last outing, against Beibut Shumenov.
Hopkins, we see, gets tested by a doc, who does a brain scan on the freak o nature. He wears a lime green alien mask on while a nurse checks him out. The fighter said he was off the charts on reflex tests, and his trainer Naazim Richardson calls him “a rare breed.”
The doc says his health is that of a “20 year old.” Kovalev says he doesn’t care. He says Alien sounds like the Russian word for deer, and he says the old man will end up like roadkill. The Russian says that “dreams comes true in America,” but we hear that the hitter hated the politics in the Russian amateurs, and was fighting deep on undercards early on as a pro. His manager Egis Klimas recalls that everyone turned down signing the kid. He thought about quitting boxing, but then in 2012, Kathy Duva gave him a look. Duva says that Klimas said he would be the best at 175.
Kovalev fought Blake Caparello his last time out, and Hopkins watched from ringside. The Russian said a win will bring him to a true promised land. We shall see, Hopkins says. Hopkins, we next see, likes pool workouts. “It’s therapy for me,” he says. He says that he has now learned to save energy, not do endless workouts anymore.
Hopkins eats at a cafe regularly, and he doesn’t eat crap in between bouts, but instead stays trim and sharp.
Mrs. Kovalev is of child, we see, and will have a boy. The fighter goes with her for a checkup, but must leave for camp shortly. They will all live in the US, not Russia, where he grew up, and washed cars, sold papers, and gave the dough to his mum. He told his mom he didn’t steal the money. “For my boy, it will be very different,” he says.
He laughs when seeing the baby’s testes on an ultrasound pic.
The missus is sad he won’t see the baby born but she says she understands the gravity of the fight.
Hopkins next talks about Joe Frazier, who he sees as a real Rocky. He helped get a Frazier statue erected, out of respect. We hear about the Hopkins-Richardson tandem, and it is based on mutual respect, they both agree.
Hopkins tells a kid some smart stuff after sparring, telling him to use the lead arm and shoulder as a turtle shell.
Over in Big Bear, CA., Kovalev runs, and says he likes the fresh air and altitude. “I have the focus here for two, three workouts a day,” he says. “I’m going to do everything to get my next victory.”
From 2006-2010, John David Jackson helped in Hopkins’ corner but now he works with Sergey. He says he tells Sergey HE MUST set the pace. “Let’s knock this emeffer out and get this over with,” he tells Kovalev.
The Russian sees Hopkins as being an ace still, and he sees it as a stiff test. JDJ says he was starving as a youth and coming up, so now he’s hungry, because he wants to stay on this sort of stage.
Hopkins says he doesn’t fear anybody, and when you don’t fear anyone, they fear you, because they sense your lack thereof.
We wrap up with a comparison: one has desire, the other astounding discipline. What wins out Nov. 8, in Atlantic City?
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