Never let it be said that old age (in boxing years) has softened the rivalry between Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr., because no matter how the public feels about the fight -- and the feelings have been made clear here and elsewhere -- the two fighters appear to be taking it seriously.
For Bernard, this is a chance to settle the score. For Roy, it's a chance to prove again he's Hopkins' superior in the ring.
The two went face-to-face with a debate-style presser on Thursday in Los Angeles. Here are some key quotes from Golden Boy's press release.
"This is 2010. That was 1993. That's 17 years I've been waiting for this fight. It's personal to me and it's important to me that I get this man in the ring and that I send him on his way to the Hall of Fame. I want to make sure that the last person he remembers is 'The Executioner.'"
"You listen to Roy Jones and he says something I agree with. You hate to say it, but we are rivals, and you hate to say it, but it took us 17 years to get here. A lot of other things have happened in our lives in the time it took to get here, but now that it's here, his worst nightmare has come to pass. Me."
"This means a lot to me. This means that Roy Jones Jr. is going to have to fight me off him. When you have that mindset, you are going to have to take risks too. Roy Jones Jr. is going to have to fight to not get knocked out or fight to knock me out. That has been the motivation for 17 years."
"I'd be a fool to think that Roy Jones Jr. is going to train to fight Bernard Hopkins, me, by laying on the beach getting a suntan. I know that that Roy Jones Jr. has something to prove to the world and I know that Roy Jones Jr. is going to come to salvage his career and change the opinion people have of him right now. I never underestimate my opponents, it's not in my character."
"This is going to be devastating because that's the way I want him to remember Bernard Hopkins for the rest of his life. Any time he looks at boxing, he's going to see that I took him to the point that he doesn't even like boxing anymore. He won't even let his kids go to fight anymore. The entire Jones family will leave boxing for good after April 3."
Roy Jones Jr.
"The fight is a rivalry because as the man just said, we are two legendary future Hall of Famers. We've always had a debate about whose career has been the most impressive and April 3 will be the deciding factor."
"The fight is important because, I hate to say it, but first he is my rival, and I must defeat my rival. Secondly, this is the perfect opportunity and perfect timing. The fans wanted it, and since they couldn't give them the other fight they wanted we're going to give them something else."
"What I have planned is simple. I will fight to get you off me, or I will fight to knock you out, whichever one comes first. Whichever comes first, that's what I'll be doing. I'll knock you out to get you off me, or go after you and knock you out. It doesn't matter."
"The day 'The Executioner' will leave the boxing ring is going to be April 3rd."
"The man's so jealous of me that he doesn't even want to see my kids watch the fight. He doesn't want to see any resemblance of me near a boxing ring because it reminds him of that 17-year nightmare he's had to face."
"This is probably going to be win and go home for me, because after I win, they're going to say I'm beating up old men and I shouldn't fight anymore."
Oscar de la Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions
"These are two legends that we all must respect. It's not one of the best relationships, but now after 17 years we've been able to make the fight. The fact that this rivalry is still there shows how much they wanted this fight."
John Wirt, CEO of Square Ring Promotions
"There's so much passion and emotion in this fight. These guys really just plain don't like each other and you know that's what a fight is all about. A lot of it's sport but a lot of it's just that these two guys don't like each other."
Naazim Richardson, Hopkins' Trainer
"Bernard Hopkins is one of the most well prepared athletes I've seen in my entire life, but I know that Roy Jones Jr. is going to show up and be the best Roy Jones you've seen in a while."
Alton Merkerson, Jones' Trainer
"Both of these gentlemen are very well rounded athletes and this is going to be a very interesting fight. Don't have any doubt in your mind about whether these men are going to be ready. They are both going to be ready and train hard. On April 3rd it's going to be a fight."