He is a full-on marvel. Bernard Hopkins turned 48 years old, and during a time when he could be counting his money, and getting deeper into the promotional side of the sport, he's still in spartan mode. He’s earned the right to sleeping in, and a birthday dinner of a massive porterhouse, all the carbs he craves and dessert to top it off, but that’s not his way. The man who promised his mama that he wouldn't fight past 40 simply can't help himself, because his competitive urge is so immense. Yes, Father Time's fiercest foe is back again, looking to prove to himself that age is just a number, and that IBF light heavy champ Tavoris Cloud is just another notch on a belt full of them.
Hopkins was at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Monday, talking up his March 9 clash against the Florida-born Cloud, and as per usual, he already looked in fighting trim, and his trash talking was superior.
Hopkins sparred with Don King, and looked to get under Cloud's skin by heaping pressure on him. If you lose, he told Cloud, Don King, age 81, goes out of business. Staffers who have been with him for 30 years will be forced to look for work, Hopkins told Cloud. The 31 year old didn't appear to be overwhelmed by that thought, but who knows if that psy op stuff just might give B-Hop a tiny edge. One edge we can point out with certainty is Hopkins' willpower, which is stunning and omnipresent. Publicist Kelly Swanson arranged for the venerable institution Junior's to send over a birthday cheesecake, and one was wheeled in. Hopkins blew out the candles, carved out a big slice...and then handed it to Cloud. The message was clear--we are two months out and I'm in go mode. I'm near the light heavyweight limit. I'm eating, sleeping, living, and breathing this challenge. I don't have time for sugar. I only have eyes for making sure I prove the critics wrong, and spitting in the face of that fool, Father Time.
Here are some of the best quotes from the session. The scrap, by the way, is promoted by Golden Boy, and will be shown on HBO. By the way, please feel free to follow Woods on Twitter. https://twitter.com/Woodsy1069