Bernard Hopkins Inquest into Mayweather-Pacquiao

By Robert Ecksel on May 8, 2015
Bernard Hopkins Inquest into Mayweather-Pacquiao
“Pacquiao didn’t check that box that said ‘last summer I had an injury but it’s okay now.’”

“Let’s not get fooled, bamboozled and hoodwinked about the window dressing. I see this from afar, from experience. Game recognize game…”

HOUSTON, Texas—Thursday afternoon in the Picasso Room at Houston’s downtown Marriott, Bernard Hopkins held court. The man who calls himself The Alien may in some respects be out of this world, but in other respects he’s as earthbound as a tree.

Hopkins is in Texas to promote Saturday’s fight between Canelo Alvarez and James Kirkland. He said next to nothing at the formal press conference, one of the tricks in his Philly toolbox, while the autodidact bided his time.

There’s no Q&A when one interviews Bernard Hopkins. There is Q, if one can get a word in edgewise. And then there is A.

Surrounded by reporters, Hopkins expounded on The Fight. With a twinkle in his eye, with an ace up his sleeve, words flow from his lips like water flows from the mouth of the Schuylkill River.

“The fighter checked the box on the form saying he has no injuries,” said Hopkins. “We all do that when we fight. We all check the box before the fight, whether we’re injured or have been in the hospital or are on any kind of medication. They’ve got a box to make sure that you are right. This is standard by the commission. He checked the box saying he was fine. Don’t you understand? We got a process. It’s called due process. You have it in court, and you have it in the process of getting licensed and getting trainers and also documents need to be filed. You have to say and check off what’s right. When there’s a box that asks questions or asks if anything happened to you or any medication or anything that could somehow affect you as a fighter getting into that ring when the time comes, you gotta check that box. They’ve got a commission and body of people who look at that document. And if they see something that they’ve got to question you about, they question you about it.”

Hopkins smiled. He looked pleased. He looked sly.

“Obviously,” he continued, “Pacquiao didn’t check that box that said ‘last summer I had an injury but it’s okay now.’ At least you go on record. But he’s not intelligent enough to figure that out, and whoever’s behind him isn’t intelligent. Because at the end of the day, do you think the fans is not intelligent to say, Wait a minute. You’re on Instagram. You’re on HBO and Showtime. Do you mean to tell me you’re hitting the bags, you’re throwing a million punches, sparring—you even hurt Freddie Roach at one camp—you mean to tell me all of a sudden you had an injury?

“My thing is this. Whether he had an injury or not, I think it was a cheap way to go out, and it was disrespectful, not only to boxing, but it was disrespectful to the fans who had a chance to embrace boxing again. And now Golden Boy Promotions and any other promoters who think like us we gotta now clean up their shit, and that means putting on the best shows, putting on the best events, and not letting this stuff happen on our watch. I asked Kirkland. I asked Canelo. ‘Are y’all healthy?’ You got a chuckle out of it ‘cause it was kinda cute. But it was the right thing to say. Because of the suspicions the fans might be under, I tried to erase them by asking them right on the spot and then everybody know these two guys are warriors, they’re healthy, they’re ready to fight. If they’ve got a little bruise or a hangnail or something like that, they’re gonna clip it and get ready.”

I didn’t know Pacquiao had a hangnail. That explains everything.

“So my whole thing, man, is this: that everything is on the up and up when you come in that ring. And if your fighter’s not healthy, where he can’t perform the way he can, then don’t just put him in the ring when you know he’s hurt. This falls on everybody. Everybody look bad. ‘Cause that’s a weak excuse to say you lost. Take your loss as a man and step up, because the embarrassment comes when you make lame excuses that could be true and don’t have to be true—and you make people think they’re not paying attention. To me, that’s the disrespectful part. Let’s say you lost. Let’s say you lost to one of the smartest minds in boxing right now, and been that way for over 10 years. I woulda took that pill. Nobody woulda argued with it. What else is new? The man is undefeated. Get in line.”

Hopkins paused. Then he reached out and tugged my goatee.

“How the heck somebody going to sit up there and tell his old G, old wizard, right?—look at the gray—how the hell I’m’a tell him, ‘My arm was messed up, my shoulder’?”

Having gotten Hopkins’ attention, and the first of several approving pokes at my washboard abs, I asked about the May/Pac dream of resurrecting boxing, only to see it raised up and come crashing down.

“The hype for the fight was raised up. But boxing,” said Hopkins, “boxing was seen and bought on the big stage. Whether it was world news, whether it was this, it’s based on, actually, the amount of money it was bringing. See, we’re in a country where money brings attention. When you start talking about money, in this country, THAT’S when it became crazy. When you talk about fighter getting a hundred million dollars, right? Right? Especially a black one, right? Not a baseball player who’s light-skinned, right? I’m gonna give you science. Now you’re talking about a black player getting a hundred million dollars for 30-plus minutes of boxing, three times 12, and you become a big story, Doc.

“But it’s America, ‘cause man, the lights will be put on him, and the lights put on him for certain reasons. Now it becomes talked amongst venues that didn’t really care or talk about boxing. I was a party to the media frenzy. Had a great time. Gave my input. I got a chance to know what the deal was. I knew it before then, but actually in the circle, when you hear a question about who will win, the money came up. Five hundred million. That excited people. It’s the biggest sport in history, and not just boxing. Let me remind you we can gross almost half a billion dollars, right? Five hundred million. That’s why boxing was raised up. It wasn’t because of the two names. No, no, no, no, no. That was one-third of it. It was because the generation, the high rollers, what was going to be sold, food, booze, Vegas—even the prostitutes made money. Let’s not get fooled, bamboozled and hoodwinked about the window dressing. I see this from afar, from experience. Game recognize game.”

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  1. Fred Ross 11:16am, 05/14/2015

    Alien Hopkins is under Mayweather payroll

  2. bikermike 02:40pm, 05/13/2015

    Look….to pro boxers….doing the show is THE PROFESSIONAL OBLIGATION…
    When Foreman got cut…and could not make the date…to fight ALI….Foreman could have milked his Title…but he went back and got beat by ALI…
    .....and when Norton accepted this challenge from some guy named Larry Holmes…..for more money than Holmes had ever seen in his entire life…up to then…..The fact that Holmes had ripped some of his bicep muscle…days before his match…..never made it to official statements…

    C’mon….you wanna fight….FIGHT

  3. bikermike 02:33pm, 05/13/2015

    Here’s Hopkins, along with folks like De la Hoya…..even mayweather has hsi own promotion firm..(didn’t leonard do a stint as promo/manager…and walked a lot of talent into the propellers).

    Now , as long time pro fighters…who ..especially Hopkins…..escaped the wrath of the present system…

    DId these guys wish to divert monies to the ‘gladiators’.....or did the just wish to bring their own ‘gladiators’

    Hopkins is at least up front about it…

  4. bikermike 05:18am, 05/12/2015

    I don’t believe there is any substance to pacman;s complaint about fighting injured…..and even it there was, the time to bring up that issue was before the fight.
    He and his team decided not to do that.  Hopkins is right, by saying this now is bad for Boxing, and bad for Pacquaio…...not to mention three hundred million dollars worth of (now former) Boxing fans

  5. Kid Blast 07:10am, 05/11/2015

    PT Barnum was right, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

    And so was H.L. Mensken when he said, “You’ll never lose money underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of plain people.”

  6. Kid Blast 11:55am, 05/09/2015

    Glen Tapia is beginning to sound very bad. Time to take inventory. That one shot he took from Mandingo thanks to Smoger may have had a dementive (my own word) effect.

  7. Lindy Lindell 09:38am, 05/09/2015

    Octavio, you have come up with the no-dah statement for our times:  “This is not the only boxing match i saw that a loser looks for reasons why he lost.”  You get the occasional, “He was a better man tonight,” but a losing boxer RARELY acknowledges that he lost is because the other guy was better.  I regret that I haven’t come up with a list to confront fighters with that I would pull out and say something like “Was that 19a or 19b that you are referring to?”

  8. Clarence George 08:33am, 05/09/2015

    By the way, Frankie Gomez should just go away.

  9. luvbrothel 07:45am, 05/09/2015

    Pacquiao and his entourage of fanatics are an embarrassment to boxing.  I hope he gets his ass sued off, and he will, regardless of what the fanatics ‘think’ (that’s a stretch).  And for those who still complain about Floyd, he’s the champ.  You have to go in there and take it from him.  If he’s making it look too easy, its because you’re fighter isn’t up to snuff.  End of story.  It doesn’t matter if you like Mayweather’s style or not.  Looking for lame excuses as to why you got your ass beat is just the lowest form of life on this planet.

  10. Clarence George 07:03am, 05/09/2015

    Irish:  Yes, Dawejko does have a similar build to Galento, but “Two Ton” wouldn’t have played patty-cake with the inadvisedly emaciated Mansour.

    KB:  Yeah, I was totally wrong about Silva, though I have high hopes for Diaz.  I’ve never had an egg cream with a cigar, but I’m game.

  11. Kid Blast 06:34am, 05/09/2015

    CG is very honest, especially when it come to admitting his own mistakes. That’s why I have become “endeared” to him. Someday, we just might share an egg cream and cigar.

    Silva will lose to the boring turtle.

  12. Kid Blast 06:30am, 05/09/2015

    gambit, beat counter punch

  13. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 05:56am, 05/09/2015

    Clarence George-Joey Dawejko is built like Two Ton Tony but that’s about it, I guess. “Well, I tried. When do we eat?”.....beautiful! Tony did his eating and drinking before the fight, so that wasn’t a real problem for him, I guess.

  14. Jack Healy 05:01am, 05/09/2015

    Would It Be Possible To Get A Sign Picture Of Oscar Dela Hoya And Benard Hopkins They Are Two Of My All Time Favorites Also Paulie Mallanagi
      Thank You

  15. octavio 03:55am, 05/09/2015

    You know i have been watching boxing for more than 20 years. This is not the only boxing match that i saw that a looser looks for reasons why he lost.  A lot of boxers including bob hopkins made some excuses after loosing a fight. Its a fact that manny is not 100 % condition during the fight. Just because he told the public that one of the reasons why he lost was because of his injury, made him guilty of the failure of the boxing match to live to the high expectation of the public? we all know that floyd jr did not do anything to make the fight more interesting in spite of the fact that he has the advantage. I hope the public should understand that it took two boxers to have an entertaining match. It’s not only manny who was on top of the ring. If floyd is really the tbe,he should have ko manny,but he failed.

  16. Clarence George 03:13am, 05/09/2015

    You may be right, Irish, but I don’t see it myself.  Silva has lost fight after fight over the past two years and is well on his way to becoming Mexico’s answer to Gabor Balogh.  The faith I once had in him was misplaced, and that’s putting it mildly.  What he might have going for him is his opponent’s state of mind.  Clottey was supposed to take on Alvarez back in December and he’s now going up against a, let’s face it, nobody on the Alvarez-Kirkland undercard.  He can’t be happy about that.  And it’s a pretty weird turn of events, isn’t it?  Another guy fighting tonight is Joseph Diaz, who’s terrific but has to start picking up the level of competition.

    Was switching back and forth between the fights last night, and I was underwhelmed.  Despite his win, Sean Monaghan was one-dimensional and plodding.  Amir Mansour was unexpectedly boring against Joey Dawejko, whose attitude after landing one good punch seemed to be, “Well, I tried.  When do we eat?”  And Glen Tapia, who never impressed me much, should retire before becoming the poster boy for DP.

    Roller derby tonight, me auld warrior.  Bronx Gridlock vs. Brooklyn Bombshells (no Manhattan Mayhem this evening).  Lovely ladies (well, some of them) “ready to unleash their ferocious appetite for kickin’ ass on wheels.”  Perhaps there’ll be a boxing connection?  If so, I’ll write it up.

  17. Sal 10:20pm, 05/08/2015

    B-Hops the alien who doesn’t like to see a true alien on top of boxing like filipino Pacquiao must have forgot that not too long ago his own partner golden boy Oscar dela Hoya said he lost to pacquiao because he was drained and dehydrated even though he’d quit on his stool. Shane Mosley could not believed he lost to Pacquiao and suspected Pac was on PED why he’d lost to him. Did he ever criticized Marquez who said he got cheated 3 times by Nevada judges who were favoring Pacquiao?. Most Pacquiao’s opponents had made excuses but nobody criticized them. B-Hops is one racist hypocrite who always made a case against Pacquiao that he never fought real black boxers from the ghetto. Racism in american boxing is one of the causes why it’s dying because of people like him , Al Haymon and his minions who try to hi-jacked the sport to build a monopoly that would only lead to it’s own demise.

  18. gambit 09:39pm, 05/08/2015

    “My thing is this. Whether he had an injury or not, I think it was a cheap way to go out, and it was disrespectful” Look who’s talking! like the way you fake your injury against Chad Dawson? right Bernard?

  19. Crash Stitches 08:47pm, 05/08/2015

    It did pump a lot of money into boxing, but I’ve heard so so so many people since then say “that’s why Dana White is getting stacks, this Mayweather dance class garbage. Boxing is dead.” The public feels duped. In boxing, it’s the hype and letdown. In MMA, it;s the injuries and juice scandals. The public was primed for a war too early, I keep telling people to hold their breath til Kirkland vs Alvarez if they want a knock-down drag-out. Floyd has never fought like that, so why do you feel duped? “Oh, cuz they sold the piss out of it, the two biggest names in combat sports colliding in a clash for all time.”

    It was always just gonna be a big prom. Canelo/Kirkland will be the fight people wished May/Pac was.

  20. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 07:36pm, 05/08/2015

    Clarence George- I’ve got Jorge Silva to beat Joshua Clottey on the undercard…..what say you?

  21. Koolz 07:15pm, 05/08/2015

    The Great Big Fizzle!!!!

  22. Kid Blast 06:21pm, 05/08/2015

    bamboozled and hoodwinked—love it-Malcolm X

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