Former middleweight and light heavyweight world champion Bernard Hopkins appeared last night on Jim Rome's Showtime program to discuss some boxing news, including the fallout from Pacquiao vs Marquez IV, as well as the sport's return to network TV airwaves this coming Saturday.
Hopkins, who is scheduled to headline on March 9 on Showtime at age 48, believes that Manny Pacquiao will never be the same following what he called a "devastating knockout" at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez this past Saturday, saying he doesn't believe Manny will ever recover fully in the ring.
Here are some excerpts from the interview:
ROME: Is that the type of punch that ends careers?
HOPKINS: Absolutely. That's the type of punch that takes more than one fight out of you. It takes a couple of fights out of you. It's one of those types of knockouts that you can recover from in life, but I don't think you can recover fully in the sport. That was a devastating knockout that has a long-term effect.... I know when you see a guy get knocked out and hit in that way, they are considered damaged goods and they live up to that title.
ROME: So it sounds like you would advise him to retire.
HOPKINS: I would advise him to grab his wife and kids and take a long vacation. Take a long year off. Regroup physically, mentally, spiritually and then you make the decision there. Truthfully it was such a devastating knockout that I don't think he will ever be the Pacquiao that he was.
ROME: Boxing returns to CBS after 15 years on Saturday night. You won the last fight on CBS back in 1997. What kind of boost do you think the network presence will give the sport?
HOPKINS: To me that's what we've been missing. Corporate America ran from boxing for many reasons. But now they're coming back. I'm so glad that not only Golden Boy, but other promoters have good relationships with these networks. This is something great. I remember growing up and watching boxing on "Wide World of Sports."
The episode will replay multiple times this week, and will also be available shortly on Showtime on Demand.