Bernard Hopkins is preparing to defend his IBF light heavyweight title on October 26 against Karo Murat, when the two headline a Showtime boxing card from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Hopkins, 48, broke his own record as the oldest man to win a world title in boxing history earlier this year, and though this matchup has not really grabbed a ton of headlines, the first ballot Hall of Famer is still fighting, and still expecting to perform at a high level.
Here's the full conference call where Hopkins and Murat discuss the fight, among other stuff:
Here's an excerpt of Bernard being Bernard:
Today, in the world of boxing, man, in the world we live in now, boxing is sort of a curse to be a slick boxer right now. You know what I mean? So I mean it's a curse. I don't if the MMA the UFC had anything to do with that, to influence that. But, you know, I'm from the sweet science, as you mentions all the time when I read articles, and the sweet science, you have to know what that means if you understand boxing. So I prepare to fight anyone.
I mean I had 20 mandatories in the middleweight division, and I'm not going to sit here on the phone to anybody who's listening and say all of them were the hall of fame fighters. They shoved it on the table. I'm not going to say down my throat, but I had a choice, fight them or move on or get a title fight.
So this is another situation, deja vu all over again, but I will not go in there knowing that this is the carrot that's hanging out there for anybody that likes titles, these young guys like titles, anybody that wants a unification, anybody that wants to do it. Now, you can have a title.
So it's back to déjà vu. Here's a title. Come get it. Here's the caviar. Here's the bait for the fish. So trust me, Karo Murat is not a guy I'm sleeping on and under estimating, and he's going to see that early. Can't nobody fight for me. Can't nobody fight for him.
They're going to call me, probably, which is not a popular name right now, they're going to call me a bully. After next Saturday they're going to say, "Oh, Bernard is-"So it's really not a win-win for me. It's really like, okay, it's a throwaway fight, but I'm not treating it like that, but I know others are. So I'm not going to gain more superstardom because of Karo Murat.
I mean, I'm no fool, but I might be called a bully. Okay, I've been called that in high school, elementary school, in the streets, in boxing when I was a middleweight. Hey, so it's cool. I mean I'm not saying that I accept it, but it's cool. You can do what you want to do, but at the end of the day the story becomes, "He beats Bernard Hopkins." That's the story. I beat him; what else is new? So I understand that.
So it's more than just Karo Murat. It's a lot of intangibles that surround this name and this fight, and I have the ability and the mindset to handle all that because that's what I do. And that's what I've been doing basically the majority of my career, handling difficult situations that will break the average man.