Bernard Hopkins appeared on the popular New York-based “The Breakfast Club” radio program on Thursday, chatting with our man Charlamagne.
He talks aging and how that affects a fighter, something which is in the news now, what with Manny Pacquiao being life and death with rugged but ragged Jeff Horn last week.
Hopkins stepped away, for good, we assume, after getting stopped by Joe Smith Jr; the Long Islander KO’d Bernard last December, and he returns to the Forum in Inglewood, CA on Saturday, July 15 live on HBO at 9:50 p.m. ET/PT, versus Sullivan Barrera.
Charlamagne Tha God of The Breakfast Club: “I’m a huge boxing fan. You fought in December against Joe Smith Jr. and he knocked you out the ring. Is that the moment you realized you might have stayed around a little too long?”
“No, I think, no,” answered Hopkins. “I just think that when that, in that square circle, things happen.. I say it was half and half, yeah, he did get a punch in, you know, and I tried to use the ropes to my advantage, which is used if you know how to use them to get out of the way or maybe slide out of the way. And unfortunately, you know, I went through the ropes, but I have no regrets. Everything I do is very calculated and very detailed, so I have no regrets.”
He continued: “The only thing that I can say that is, it’s not ironic, but it is a closing, it is a beginning and a closing, if you look at my record in 1988, I lost my first 4-round fight as a decision as a professional, in 1988. All the years, almost three decades in between, up to now, up to December of last year, I end with a loss. So, I mean, I think this way. Here I am starting off right out of penitentiary, lose my first fight, come back and annihilate it, like a whole twenty-eight years. Submitting my legacy, where, we talked about way after I’m gone, and then on the way out an L. So an L, a lot of success, and an L. What people should be thinking about is what the hell he gone do 52 and to the grave? He still represent because I think everybody hear me clear, I think I’m coming in here fresh, I think I look younger than 52, going on 53 in about eight more months.”
“In better shape than a lot of these young kids out here,” said Charlamagne.
The Golden Boy exec and HBO barked, “Why you only say kids? Men!”
“I couldn’t really look at Joe Smith Jr. as an L and I’m going to tell you why,” the DJ chat master said. “You 51. I know you’re Bernard Hopkins but at the end of the day, you’re 51 and Father Time is undefeated.”
Bernard Hopkins: “52.”
Hopkins had the last word. He always does…Except in the sphere of aging and combat. The rare animal is able to step away on a high note. The temptation, to make those outsized paydays, to hear the masses clap for you and shout your name, and to prove that you are as good as you were, is too strong a tug for most.