The Alien Meets the Press

By Robert Ecksel on October 18, 2013
The Alien Meets the Press
“Never underestimate your opponent. Never underestimate the next general.” (AP)

He failed to address his intergalactic rebranding during yesterday’s conference call. He did, however, talk about Bernard Hopkins…

It’s easier to change one’s ring moniker than it is to change one’s essence. If you don’t believe me, just ask Bernard Hopkins.

The IBF light heavyweight champion recently changed his longtime nom de guerre from The Executioner—which along with the oversimplified X and the hip-hop tinged B-Hop are the nicknames by which he was best known—to the mysterious, otherworldly The Alien.

Presumably James Cameron wasn’t consulted. Neither was Klaatu, the turbocharged creature from outer space in The Day the Earth Stood Still. Hopkins failed to address his intergalactic rebranding during yesterday’s teleconference call (to the chagrin of sci-fi fans the world over). He did, however, talk about Bernard Hopkins

“It’s good to be back home in Atlantic City where my first fight was at in 1988,” he said. “I’ve been there a few times, but to come there again at this stage is pretty exciting. It’s pretty exciting in a lot of ways. This never gets old for me. That’s been a love that’s still there and the energy is still there because this never gets old for me. You can’t do it all your life, but it never gets old. And when it gets old it gets kind of through the motions. When that happens there can’t be nothing positive come out of that.”

Not everyone is thrilled that Hopkins is fighting Karo Murat, but he was only too happy to explain.

“I know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. In this case, there’s what I consider a superfight at the end of this title, whether it’s my division or some other division. But I know one thing, before you get to the Tootsie Roll you’ve got to do a lot of licking. That’s not in a disrespectful way, but it’s in a way of knowing that you got to get through the prize before you get down into that box of the Cracker Jacks and you get the prize.”

You might ask yourself what Tootsie Rolls and Cracker Jacks have to do with boxing, but if you do, you don’t know Bernard Hopkins.

Hopkins is many things. He is legendary. He is megalomaniacal. He’s the fight game’s Harry Houdini. But Hopkins, say what you will, has stood the test of time, just as time as stood the test of him.

“I’m in the second era of somebody else’s era,” The Alien said. “I’m in the Broner and the Danny Garcias and the other fighters I could mention era. I extended the era of my era to this era, and I just have to just go ahead and just go in there with that youthful thinking…I don’t think nobody really, really, if they look at, are surprised that I’m really here. I guess they’d be surprised why I’m still doing it because I shouldn’t mentally and physically be motivated to do it anymore, but that’s not necessarily true when it comes to me because I’m ready, I’m ready and I’ll always be ready.”

Murat spoke disparagingly of Hopkins’ “gray beard” and “gray hair.”

“When he said gray, he’s talking old. No question, I have gray. No question, when my hair grows I’m a gray beard and gray everything, but the gray is wisdom. Obviously he’s not paying attention to the guys that I’ve fought that are ten years younger than him, or at least eight or nine years younger than him. When you’re young, you try to find excuses why a 48-year-old guy shouldn’t beat you, and when you get in the ring, and you realize you in the ring with me, and you see that it isn’t as easy as you might see, that’s the ultimate shock and surprise. Always, always catch a person that’s not prepared off guard.

“The unknown is not actually knowing or not knowing what you see. He’s seeing what he thinks he’s seeing, but it’s a whole new different story, and this is an experienced guy talking to you. When you get in that ring, you realize that you’re not faster than me. You realize that you’re not an all-around fighter better than me. You realize that there are stages in life like there are stages in boxing.

“When you get in that ring and you come with a checkerboard, and you’re trying to beat me, and I got a chessboard, playing chess, then you in a situation where you’re like, ‘Oh my God, he really is an alien.’ He’ll start admiring my work.”

Someone asked Hopkins the most important lesson he learned in boxing.

“Never take anyone for granted or lightly. Always look at your opponent as the enemy who’s trying to take your spot, who’s trying to take everything you work for or try to enhance his career off of your legacy…Never underestimate your opponent. Never underestimate your enemy. Never underestimate the next general.”

Inevitably, Hopkins was asked about possibly coming down in weight to fight pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather.

“I had no conversations,” Hopkins said, “but it was a conversation said to me. They didn’t act like they were joking, and we’re talking powerful people. So I’m sitting back saying, ‘Okay, hey, you know,’ because no one else is going to beat Floyd Mayweather in their 20s and even in their early 30s. Not this checkerboard man colony, young fighters who can be great later, but right now they just don’t have the degrees to do it. So that’s the only reason I threw my hat in there.

“So my thing is it will be at 160 pounds. I look at Henry Armstrong and look at all them other guys, even De La Hoya, who’s not a big middleweight, who came up to challenge Bernard Hopkins at 160 because I cleaned everybody out for the only belt that I didn’t have, which was a WBO belt. So this happened in history before. You hear people say, ‘The guy’s too big. The guy’s too small.’ But it’s been done by historic great fighters before so that’s what I’m saying. I live in a different era than my era. It’s kind of a little strange to me, but I understand. I don’t accept, but I understand.”

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Bernard Hopkins vs. Karo Murat & Peter Quillin vs. Gabriel Rosado - SHOWTIME Boxing

Day the Earth Stood Still, The - 1951 - Movie Trailer

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  1. Ted 07:41pm, 10/20/2013

    I have several Hopkins fight films on hand so that when we catch some Taliban (or whomever is our enemy de jour) we can torture them.

  2. Ted 07:34pm, 10/20/2013

    I have just rented the DVD of “The Day the Earth Stood Still”

  3. The Thrsher 06:33pm, 10/20/2013

    Glen, who the hell is calling YOU a fan boy? I sure as hell didn’t.

  4. Clarence George 05:24pm, 10/20/2013

    No shame, Glenn, but I just don’t see it.  He’s not among my top five, or even top 10.  Top 15?  Yeah, I guess so.

  5. Mike Schmidt 04:13pm, 10/20/2013

    Boring style- yep-Dirty fighter-yep- ducked nobody- Pascal, Chad, Calzaghe, Jones, Taylor, Pavlik, were all number one guys and Cloud, as lousy as he looked, at the time was an undefeated top four guy in the division- Personally, at 160 I think Monzon would have smacked him real real real good.

  6. GlennR 01:27pm, 10/20/2013

    Yep Clarence, i think respect (and the nice paydays) are what he’s after.
    Give him his due, he advocates clean living, his discipline is second to none and he’s a master technician who wasnt blessed with lightning reflexes, strength etc
    Abel’s entitled to his opinion, like us all, and id agree thats up there.
    Top 5 though, any shame in that?

    Fanboy Thresher? What is it it with supporting someone that you become a rabid fanboy? Mate, im the same age as him and still box 3-4 times a week against much younger guys… its hard, so i admire what he is doing, so fanboy me all you like.

    Picks his opponents? Who?
    Name me a LHW he’s avoided since his move up, i cant think of any.
    And whats wrong with losing to Chad? Mega talent with not so mega mental strength.
    Calzaghe, Tarver, Pascal, Dawson, Cloud… are we missing someone?

  7. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 01:18pm, 10/20/2013

    Ruslan provided more excitement in one fight than this “alien” has in his entire career…he has always fought like someone who is breaking up a fight or more than that as one who is trying to prevent a fight from breaking out. He is the anti-fighter whose goal has always been to nullify his opponents in the ugliest way possible.

  8. The Thresher 09:10am, 10/20/2013

    Better than Monzon? Sure he is Abel and so much more exciting. Hopkins finds ways to win but also picks his opponents very cleverly. I’d like to see him in there with Stevenson. Cloud was a walkover as Stevenson proved.

    And even No- Longer- Bad- Chad beat him. So now we have Murat who, while game, will not be able to cope with butts, clinches, back-of-the -head shots, low blows, and taunting-like head games. Hopkins will do this kind of garbage until he is 50 and then people will oooo and aahhhhh and say he is the best of them all.

    He is a jerk, but dumb like a fox and he is writing his own script while his fan boys slurp it up.

  9. Clarence George 03:14am, 10/20/2013

    He’s certainly worthy of respect, Glenn, but overrated by some.  I was stunned when Abel Sanchez said recently that he considers him second only to Sugar Ray Robinson among middleweights.  That’s just ridiculous.

  10. GlennR 02:53am, 10/20/2013

    Im a fan, but i think ive mentioned that before Clarence.
    Exciting or not, he’s amazing for a 48 year old

  11. Rick 01:05am, 10/20/2013

    Most of what dude says makes absolutely no sense to me.

  12. Ted 08:28pm, 10/19/2013

    I also think Hopkins is a jerk.

  13. Clarence George 02:13pm, 10/19/2013

    Another in too long a line of unexciting fighters, Glenn.  If Ted is hinting that Hopkins, like Kenny G, is technically excellent but boring…I agree.

    By the way, “The Day the Earth Stood Still” is good, but a bit too cerebral for my liking.  I much prefer “The Day the Earth Caught Fire,” with the lovely Janet Munro.

  14. Ted 12:40pm, 10/19/2013

    I’ll watch it with you CG. Then we can watch a rerun of Ishe Smith fights while listening to Kenny G

  15. GlennR 12:02pm, 10/19/2013

    Awwww, come on Clarence…..... whats there not to love about Bernard?

  16. Matt McGrain 10:30am, 10/19/2013

    I love this guy.

  17. Mike Schmidt 05:12am, 10/19/2013

    Ha ha fantastic Irish but lets not give Hopkins any ideas—he may flying saucer with them.

  18. NYIrish 04:46am, 10/19/2013

    They should stage this one in Roswell New Mexico under a full moon.

  19. Mike Schmidt 12:26am, 10/19/2013

    “Danger Will Robinson, Danger Will Robinson, Danger, Danger, Danger…or Murat you “are now entering the twilight zone.” Fearless Editor NOBODY DOES IT BETTER—ONCE AGAIN GREAT JOB AND LOVE THE ALIEN—JUST IN TIME FOR HALLOWEEN. It is nice as well to see you have recovered from your wild ride in the City of Neon Fantasy—all that gaming, all those hookers, wild nights, eye yieee yieee!!!! LOL LOL Great job—of course “The Alien” fancies himself a waxer of philosophy so allows one to fill in a bunch of blanks—but he is no Mongoose in the department. Email me your phone number Chief—I left my planner at the office.

  20. Clarence George 05:30pm, 10/18/2013

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’d much rather watch “The Day the Earth Stood Still” than Hopkins-Murat.

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