Bernard Hopkins: Jones, Toney were more talented than me, I took care of myself

Bernard Hopkins talks about performance-enhancing drug use, the way boxing is covered in the media, and how he's lasted so long in a demanding sport.

Bernard Hopkins

"If I'm planning on building the brand of Bernard Hopkins on the positive side and send a message to the young kids, and even the older kids and the older people, that you can do things without cheating, you can do things without taking a shortcut.

"There's a fighter that fought our friend Gabe, Gabe Rosado, Gabe from Philadelphia. Who fought on the undercard of the Mayweather fight. And Rosado is a guy that I've used in camp for championship fights that I've had at least seven times. He's considered my protege. He trains with Danny Davis in the gym with the weights as we speak today. So, when you see guys fight their heart out, and I know I'm jumping another horse, but I'm coming back to what the real sitdown is. When you see guys that put their heart out and train hard and wanna change things for their family and themselves, and you see somebody else that's in the same business you're in, that's gotta do something, right?

"Everybody knows what they're taking. We're grown men. When somebody gives you something and says, 'Take this,' and you don't question it, you should take full responsibility. No grown man should be able to say that the only reason I had this in my system is somebody gave me something to eat. Well if somebody can give you something, that you don't know what you're taking, then somebody can poison you. Somebody can kill you. Are you a fuckin' idiot?!

"So when I hear this stuff, man, it makes me fuckin' mad, because when you see a guy that's doing it the right way, and you see these people sitting around, and they nonchalant it, until it backfires, until you show you're looking like you're supposed to be 48 years old, or 50. But when you do something the right way, this country got a problem, really, with right. What's promoted is always wrong and negativity. The guy that's doing right gets no coverage! But the guy that's skullduggery, subterfuge, and deceit, that's the news! That's the country we live in! I can't change it, I'm just bold enough to speak about it.

"So we are hypocrites, including me. If this sells more than this, why are we talking about positivity when we really don't mean that? What we mean is, what sells? What sells is subterfuge and deceit. Look it up! So here I am, a year and a half from being 50 the time July 13 comes, and I'm still taking names and whooping ass. And you're telling me that's not a story? Because I'm in this secret world of boxing? Like the secret world in the world? If you do the finger signs and the Masons and all that? So we live in our own secret world when the bullshit comes.

"But let somebody else, Italian do what I did. Let somebody else Jewish do what I did. Let somebody else who's Catholic do what I did. Let somebody else that's in any other sport did and do what Bernard Hopkins do, I couldn't walk the street unless I had 30 bodyguards. Why? Because the demand for him would be so strong. ... It's about what people read and people see. The media has a big, big voice in everything that goes on in this world, including sports.

"Because most people will take the glass of polluted water or clear water and they would drink it just because someone of status says it's the right thing to drink. And I'm saying this, when you have a situation where you have a guy or team that's doing something very unusual, you will see coverage that's justified. You will see when the Miami Heat was almost ready to break a record, why was that shoved down your throat in a good way every fuckin' day? Why was it important for the NBA to keep showing all the time that LeBron James and the dream team was ready to get 30-something wins? Why in their sport did they think that was so significant and so great? Because they got sense, not agendas. Only to promote what's ready to happen, and it's called history.

"Only in this sport will you look like a freak because you're 48 years old and you're winning and you're winning titles. Only in this sport when you're doing something as long as anybody expects you to do it, it's how long you gonna do it? When you gonna quit? When you gonna retire? Wait a minute! Don't y'all understand that y'all are witnessing something that y'all might not see in your damn lifetime again?!

"But I sit back and I humble myself. (laughter) And I say to myself, OK, forgive those who don't know. That's what gets me through. No, seriously! Maybe you don't know. Forgive those who don't understand, because if they think this can happen, maybe it can, maybe it will, maybe it wouldn't. If they think this is something in our lifetime -- I'm saying my lifetime, too, now. That this is gonna be something we're gonna be covering over and over again, so you know, it's no big deal. 'We know somebody's gonna get 20 defenses and stay in one weight class for 10-plus years. Aw, that's gonna happen. We know somebody's gonna fight 'til they're 48 years old.'

"Maybe Floyd is the closest one that can do that now, and he's undefeated. He's 35, 36. So maybe he even said he won't, but maybe he'll stay another 10. Don't you understand how many years you gotta stay in the game just to break this record? That's 12 more years. That's a long time, buddy, in this game of boxing. But nevertheless, it's no big deal. It's no big deal. But when I look at things like Dan and Bernard and everybody here, and this conversation had nothing to do with pointing at anybody in boxing. This is broad.

"I'm gonna use Lance Armstrong for a minute, and I've been using him a lot, even for the last fight. Because I'll piss in any bottle. I'll give my stool if they need that, my spit. I will let them follow me around and let them see what I eat. ... Lance Armstrong pulled the ultimate betrayal and the biggest con in sports history that I know of. He beat Pete Rose out, he was just gambling. There's a guy that we all know by admission who had the greatest empires of Nike and all the brands fooled. Right? Here's B-Hop. Bernard Hopkins. The Executioner. With a story behind himself. No means, I ain't perfect, but in this game of boxing, the way I live, I am super-perfect. Super-perfect when it comes to taking care of this body and taking care of myself.

"I wouldn't be here this long, y'all. You think I'm that good? I'm not that talented. Roy Jones was talented 10 times more than me. Most of the fighters in my era, including James Toney, those guys was more talented than me all around the board, and I'm not being nonchalant about my talent. But something that I understood from day one: You keep your body clean, your mind clean, you don't get caught up in this bullshit that goes with success, you will be alright. I live by them codes, man.

"That's why it's hard for these young fighters to beat a Bernard Hopkins (mentally), and even physically, because I took care of my temple."

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