Bernard Hopkins, who dominated the middleweight division for a decade between 1995 and 2005, is present this week for the Golovkin-Lemieux fight in his role as a promoter. But Hopkins is also an eternal student of the game, and when asked to break down the styles and the fighters, had some interesting things to say about both guys.
Lemieux, he says, has to "be himself, but better than himself," in order to pull the upset. "Can Lemieux take what he gives out? He's not a light puncher himself. On that note, we rarely have matches where two guys are bombs away and have power to make the other guy respect their power."
And when asked about how he might have battled Golovkin, Bernard was -- as always -- confident that he has the answer.
"I would disarm him. And then I would make him fight the fight that I want to fight. Guys like that, they are so dangerous. The first job at hand is to disarm your enemy, your opponent," Hopkins said. "You have to disarm them. There's no negotiating, there's no figuring out. When a guy has something in his hand that's trying to hurt you, you must disarm him. And now let's fight.
"It starts mental. Everything starts from the head down, not from the feet up. So from the head down, this is science I'm speaking, I would disarm you mentally. Once I disarmed you mentally, you won't even use those hands you got."
Hopkins, who turns 51 in January, is currently on course for a fight with WBO super middleweight titleholder Arthur Abraham, and spoke about that situation, too. Abraham is set to face Martin Murray on November 21 in Germany. If Abrahwm were to come up short
"i've got three other options, I can't mention any names. It's Abraham who I want. My thing is this, I'm willing to go in there, I want to do it early in the year. Win, lose, or draw, or controversy, it will be the last big event of my life and my career. That's what I want it to be, that's what I hope it to be," he said.