Feisty Hopkins Takes Jabs At Kovalev and Cleverly
Lest Karo Murat is thinking that Bernard Hopkins is looking past him, figuring him for an easy touch, and is looking for signs that the 48-year-old is getting soft, mentally or physically, well, I have some sad news for him.
As Hopkins, on Monday night, after the first Golden Boy/Fox show concluded, was being dragged from media, after busting on light heavyweights Nathan Cleverly and Sergey Kovalev for being "paper champions" ie front runners who cherry pick and target the easiest opposition to gain their titles and coast to a big money fight, he was offered some cheesecake. This occured after Danny Jacobs had finished off Giovanni Lorenzo, in NYC, at the Best Buy Theater. Hopkins had worked the telecast, with Dave Bontempo and Paul Malignaggi, and certaintly deserved a hit of cake for his trouble.
No, he said, I don't want any.
"I got a fight coming up," he said. "I got camp. I'm not gonna eat that."
Sorry Mr. Murat...
Later, Hopkins was heard to say he wished he was back in Philly, so he could wake up at 6 AM and do roadwork to prepare for his Oct. 26 test in AC, instead of getting up in NY, and doing a trek back to PA on Tuesday.
No, Hopkins is still Hopkins, spurning cake, still prone to go on a filibuster-y rant against powers that be that keep him down, and young punks who fear his wily ways, and seek to avoid clashes with him. Hopkins showed particular contempt for the Welshman Cleverly, who last year had tried to lure Hopkins to Wales to gain a crack at Cleverly's WBO crown. That crown changed hands Saturday, in Wales, as Cleverly was dropped and stopped by the new sweetheart to lovers of knockouts, Kovalev, a Russian badass. Hopkins had no love for him, either, accusing him of taking the easier route, against the quote unquote soft touch Cleverly, rather than doing what the IBF planned a few months back, meet IBF champ Hopkins, as their number one contender.
"I'm the most feared 48 year old in boxing history," Hopkins said as the theater was nearly, save for some media, Golden Boy personnel and workers breaking down the setup. He said Clevery was "exposed" by Kovalev, and even called Clev the "p" word when informed that Cleverly is contemplating retiring, at age 26. (“I have to ask myself whether I have the hunger to chase a world title again or if I am happy with what I have achieved," he told a Welsh paper.)
Hopkins was dismissive in most acidic fashion, declaring that Cleverly is no real warrior if he's tempted to hang them up after one defeat.
Hopkins lumped Cleverly in with Kelly Pavlik, who he beat in 2008. He sneered at Pavlik as well, noting he'd been to the Betty Ford clinic "three times." The super-vet did say he was happy that 175 is drawing some buzz, what with Adonis Stevenson, and now Kovalev, alerting fans that there are some fights to be made there.
Hopkins offered the theory that John David Jackson, who Hopkins beat in a middleweight title defense, and later worked in Hopkins;' corner, told Kovalev to blow off the IBF offer to fight Hopkins, for the softer touch Cleverly. He implied that Kovalev would continue to chase other options besides the wizened sage of the sweet science. Hopkins did several times applaud Kovalev's promoter, Kathy Duva of Main Events, for steering him wisely.
Oh, and what if Kovalev did seek that Hopkins challenge? What would go down?
If Kovalev came at him with his gun cocked, "I'm gonna take that gun from you, and then you're gonna run," the 48-year-old marvel stated. And there's no way under the sun I would argue otherwise, not after seeing him confound smart analysts so many times...
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