If you put your gun down I'm going to blow your brains out
HAVING become the oldest fighter in history to win a major world title when outscoring local favourite Jean Pascal in Montreal in 2011, the record-breaking Bernard Hopkins exclusively reveals to Boxing News that he would like to revisit the scene of one of his greatest triumphs. “B-Hop” is targeting new WBC light-heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson but first the Philadelphian must retain his IBF belt against No. 1 contender Karo Murat on October 19, while Stevenson may have to get through both Hopkins victim Tavoris Cloud – on September 28 – then his own mandatory challenger Tony Bellew. Still, Hopkins believes a showdown with “Superman” Stevenson is the biggest fight out there for him.
“First of all he has a big following in Canada, more than Jean Pascal,” Hopkins explains. “He also beat a guy that got a win over me in Chad Dawson. My thing is, you got a guy that’s intelligent, promotable, has a personality, where I haven’t got to carry this show by myself. It’s a dream fight promotionally because you’ve got a guy who’s loved in Canada and I’ve made history in Canada.”
Hopkins is being somewhat forced into fighting Murat as “The Executioner” is loath to relinquish his title while all his major rivals are otherwise engaged – Steveson-Cloud, plus Nathan Cleverly meeting Sergey Kovalev and Carl Froch taking on George Groves. That said, he believes the resurgence in the light-heavyweight division will be accelerated next year.
“Hopefully they win, I win, then we’ve got a light-heavyweight tournament going into 2014,” Bernard states. “Some would say Bernard is smart, some would say I’m a thorn in their ass and some would say, ‘We got to deal with the old geezer again’. And they’re right about all three scenarios. I’m afraid that they’re trying to box me out, let me sit for two years and if I’m crazy enough to come back at 51 they might have a shot. This is the time I have to cash out.
“Froch, like a lot of guys, is waiting to see what I’m going to do or if I get beat so he ain’t got to deal with me no more. But I’m going to hold the IBF title hostage and give nothing away. I will follow the rules. Bring a big fight to me and I won’t fight Karo Murat. It’s about maximising dollars and cents. You can’t give up your guns when a guy says he’s going to put his gun down. If you put yours down I’m going to blow your brains out.”
For more from Hopkins, including his theory on British fighters avoiding him, pick up this week’s Boxing News, available to download on Wednesday