By Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur
“I want to fight the King.” - Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins
Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KOs) is a lot of things, but liar, he is not. The Philly-bred warrior has prided himself on being the truth incarnate and speaks on it in its various forms. Most recently, the nearly 50-year-old phenom has rechristened himself “The Alien,” completely dumping his old moniker “The Executioner.” But, as a warrior down for any challenge, B-Hop is resolute in calling Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. to the gladiator circle as the OG is set to fight Karo Murat (25-1-1, 15 knockouts) on Saturday live from Atlantic City. The bout – televised on Showtime – will likely be another notch Bernard’s belt, which is already chock full of holes. KnockoutNation.com got with “The Alien” and broke down why a pugilist dance with Floyd Mayweather is great for the sport, but also why it may not happen. Deeper, he discusses the “cold war” in boxing, which stops bigger fights and why he’s no longer an executioner.
Knockout Nation: You’ve been wearing this alien mask. What does that represent to you?
Bernard Hopkins: This represents to me, that I’ve been diagnosed and told, by some very educated people, by doctors of the world, that through running all the tests and all the things they do with 48-year-old people, that mine [body] is 20 years younger, and that I’m an alien. And as they said, thee alien. But, I don’t believe in aliens. I believe in spirits., but “what are you talking about?” I talked to a few people and I tell them I’m going to drop “The Executioner” name. And they say “Why?” And I say, “I can’t say I’m something that I’m not.” But, I didn’t know [I was an alien] or I would have had my name as “The Alien” when I first started. I’m of the world, but I’m not from the world.
Knockout Nation: Speaking of aliens, your boy Floyd Mayweather is getting older, but he’s still at the top of his game too. You mentioned…
Bernard Hopkins: Nah, nah…unless he admit it…these aliens got rules. They’re not allowed to say who’s alien. I can give you a hint, there’s a few aliens in boxing. There’s only a few aliens in boxing, but there’s aliens everywhere. We’ll look at that as two aliens fighting each other.
Knockout Nation: Do you still want to fight Floyd?
Bernard Hopkins: I want to fight anybody that’s the best. Everybody wants to fight Floyd Mayweather, but I want to fight him for other reasons. Some want to fight him to see if they can compete and some want to fight him thinking they can win. But, its not whether or not I want to fight him, but its who’s he gonna fight that people will pay to see? You gotta understand, I’m a promoter so I’m trying to help a situation to sell something for people who ain’t buying.
Knockout Nation: Right.
Bernard Hopkins: You ever heard that saying: “You’re too good for your own good?”
Knockout Nation: Yep.
“You think they care about the sport? They care about the dollars.”
Bernard Hopkins: Who do you think honestly – take the old man (himself) out of the question – who do you think in their 20′s can beat Floyd Mayweather.
Knockout Nation: (Silence)
Bernard Hopkins: You can’t bring a checker board to a chess game. Its not there, buddy. And aliens know each other too. You take a 48-year-old and you take a 37-year old, that’s 80 years of experience and its Leonard and Hagler all over again. (Bernard then goes at length into a conversation he had with bosses and boxing, including the head of CBS, about fighting Floyd at 160 in May of 2014) Don’t say anything to me if you ain’t serious. Especially when it comes to (fighting Floyd), because I take challenges.
Knockout Nation: Right.
Bernard Hopkins: At the end of the day, you gotta give this man $30 something million and if they numbers don’t add up, somebody gotta go in their pockets and give it to him.
Knockout Nation: What about Adonis Stevenson (Haitian-born, Canadian-reared WBC Light Heavy Weight Champ)? What about fighting him?
Bernard Hopkins: My first choice is to unify the title. But, I’m a reality guy, not a dreamer. I’m with Showtime and those guys are with HBO. Its a cold war going on (between HBO and Showtime).
Knockout Nation: But…
Bernard Hopkins: Hold on, let me finish. You asked a legit question, but let me show you how I’m on my game. So, I gotta find in-house people on my side so why not go for the biggest money maker and the biggest opportunity. No one can ever accuse me of fighting just to get a pay day. You’d be a fool and a hater to think that. I’m going there to win and I’ve proven people wrong when I take big challenges. ..with Antonio Tarver, (I jumped) up two weight classes. I’m asking Floyd Mayweather (to) jump up two weight classes. (To Floyd) You’re great. You’re undefeated. You’re undefeated. Nobody from the media is holding him to the fire. Only thing they are saying is, “Why are you letting this fighter come down to your weight?” Canelo, came down to 150. Let him come up two weight classes. When you’re that good, weight doesn’t matter. I was going to go up to heavy weight and fight David Haye, remember that? But David Haye lost.
Knockout Nation: I remember that.
“I’ll stroke your ego. Whatever you want, “you all that.” Sign the contract. You the king. Kiss his a**, wipe his nose.”
Bernard Hopkins: Why everybody treating these people like prima donnas, man? Hold him to the fire!
Knockout Nation: Do you think you can straight up beat Floyd?
Bernard Hopkins: Listen, I think I can beat anybody I sign on to fight with. That’s just my nature. I’m going to look really, really, really, credible this Saturday. It ain’t about who I’m fighting. Its about a guy that’s about to turn 49 in January, who’s fighting like that. (Back to Floyd) My job is to use you guys (the media) to say, “What a minute.” At first I didn’t look at (a potential fight with Floyd) as seriously as I am now, but outta all these guys… (Floyd) has a (boxing) IQ. This guy’s got energy. He has youth. And they both not spring chickens. And if he can make the weight and is healthy, and he’s gonna put all-access camera on him every step of the way? To make a movie or a theme out of it? To me, its sparked. Then the question – not on my side, on the other side – is “Why not, why not, why now?”
(Bernard continues with some of the the undefeated fighters he’s beaten.]
Why would (Floyd) take that risk when he can make $30 million with these guys playing checkers?
Knockout Nation: But is that good for the sport?
Bernard Hopkins: You think they care about the sport? They care about the dollars.
Knockout Nation: And on top of that, is the cold war between the networks killing the sport?
Bernard Hopkins: It ain’t helping me. If Golden Boy’s not doing business with HBO, then how I’ma eat? If I had Adonis Stevenson to fight now, to hell with Floyd Mayweather. I’m not going to sit around and not capitalize on my situation, and my brand and my opportunity to feed my family, because they are in a cold war.
Now, I gotta see who’s on my side, like s**t, and everybody’s saying hello to the king (Floyd). I want to fight the king. You the king. I’ll stroke your ego. Whatever you want, “you all that.” Sign the contract. You the king. Kiss his a**, wipe his nose, you sexy, you all that – fine. Just say you’ll fight and lets have a press conference. Act like I’m not there.
Chuck "Jigsaw" Creekmur
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