Bernard Hopkins, who will turn 48 in January and lost his last fight to Chad Dawson, tells Bernard Fernandez of the Philadelphia Daily News that he's not retired yet, but will need a real reason to fight again, and is concerned that no one will want to face him:
"I always think there's another fight in me because I'm a fighter. But it would have to be for a very good reason. I won't fight again just for money. I've turned my back on dollars before.
"People ask me all the time if I'm done or not done. It might not be my decision to make. There are a lot of guys out there who are afraid of Bernard Hopkins, and they should be. I've upset too many plans. Jean Pascal hasn't fought in, like, a year-and-a-half. I ruined him. Kelly Pavlik hasn't been the same since he fought me. Other guys' managers and promoters know that."
Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 KO) says he's comfortable financially, and given his age and the fact that he's still totally intact mentally by not taking a lot of punishment over his Hall of Fame-bound career, the time to retire could be just right. There are fighters out there who say they want to face him -- Nathan Cleverly is one -- but there just might not be an offer that "The Executioner" feels is really worthy of another training camp, another round of media duties, and everything else that goes with making a fight happen.
I do still expect we'll see Bernard at least one more time. He's got a fight left on his HBO deal, and he's done very good ratings on the network for fights against Pascal and Dawson in his last two outings on HBO. If nothing else, I think it would be nice to see him take a farewell fight in Philly, even if that means it's not against a top name, but one gets the impression that Bernard doesn't much care for a big sendoff just for the sake of a big sendoff. It's not his style.
If he doesn't fight soon, though, then he's risking it being too late -- you know, finally. After it was supposed to be too late for the last decade.