He’s still relevant, as evidenced by the cluster of fans and reporters, and people wanting selfless with him at Gleason’s Gym on Wednesday afternoon. As evidenced that the first story I file from the Wednesday media workout session at Gleason’s is about him…Bernard Hopkins still has it.
There is still interest in him, that is clear; that hasn’t diminished with his loss to Russian masher Sergey Kovalev on Nov. 8. The soon to be 50 year old future no brainer Hall of Famer held court at the fabled gym, and made it clear that he’s not going to go out that way, losing every round to a young buck. He told me he realizes that he’s now motivating all people 40 and up, people who maybe didn’t reach their potential, and he’s not done doing that.
Hopkins said that he will make a decision over the next three weeks or so, and hinted that he’d make an “I’m not done” announcement at or around his birthday, Jan. 15. There will be a gala, with about 250 invites going out, and wouldn’t it be something, he said, for him to announce that he will fight on, and against another heavy-duty test.
The fighter said that he craves the big stage, the sternest tests, and admitted it would be hard to get up for a B grade guy, and he’s psyched up to prove em wrong again. Also, he allowed, maybe he won’t be able to do it. But he believes wholeheartedly that he will know in the gym that he cant’ get ‘er done and that will likely prevent a sad outing, in which the brutal truth is pummeled into him.
“I would like to see you fight again,” I told B-Hop straight up.
“I’m gonna say this, because I respect you,” he told me, and, detecting a raised eyebrow, said, “I do, I do.” (LOL, btw, I love listening and occasionally disagreeing with Hopkins and doing some mild sparring.)
“When I fight again…if it’s not for the right reasons, I won’t,” he stated, as many of the boxers on the Saturday Golden Boy show at Barclays Center worked out, and chatted with media. “Who I will fight makes a big, big difference in my decision-making, because I’m not gonna ever put myself in a position to be a circus act.”
“Or a steppingstone,” I offered.
“Exactly. Whatever decision I make berween now and the first of the year, it will be a fight that people will say, like they said with the Sergey fight, ‘He’s fighting him!?’ I want that, I need that.”
The name Gennady Golovkin came up once, then twice…And would Hopkins be the massive underdog, if that catchweight fight were to be made? Yes. Would that put him off? Not in the least, because he gets off on that sort of challenge. Do I think it prudent? Maybe not. Do I believe it his Hopkins’ right to go that route? I do. Would I bet against him? I said I never would after he beat Kelly Pavlik. Would HBO put that fight on? I suspect so. Would there be a single person to like Hopkins to beat Golovkin? Nobody not named Hopkins. And would he LOVE THAT? He would.