Black Sports Online was present for an intimate brunch press conference for the upcoming Hopkins vs Murat fight to take place July 13, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Hopkins was his normal exuberant self–chock full of long stories and full of a confidence from within. The meeting with the 48-year-old boxing legend gave us a revealing look into the mind of the man who everyone loves to overlook.
From the announcement of his change in nicknames from ‘the executioner’ to ‘the alien’, and all the way to recounting an encounter with Adrien Broner; Hopkins did anything but hold back.
The topic that seemed to mean the most to him though, was one of his legacy and what exactly he continues to fight for. No doubt Hopkins could’ve hung up his gloves long ago, but there’s a reason why that’s not so simple. While other athletes seem content playing for the superficial things in life while putting legacy and integrity on the shelf, Hopkins has proven to be a diamond in the rough.
Above all, Hopkins sees the long term goal ahead, and just as a reminder to himself he keeps a photo of his mug shot from the mid 1980’s as his mobile phone screensaver to keep his head focused on the big picture in this life.
Hopkins posed the question of why is it the media doesn’t give him his just due, and then answered by speaking about his integrity, discipline and appreciation for the sport that saved him. Hopkins has never been as focused as he is now, at the ripe old age of 48 he is in every respect an alien–‘I am not of this world’.
As the days move closer and closer to the July 13 date, Hopkins realizes all too much that it is he and not Murat who has everything on the line–win or lose. He sees no reason to resort to crass name calling to show up his opponent, for at this stage in his career he feels he’s earned the right for it to be the other way around.
His legacy is what fuels him, and an opportunity to make history just by stepping out onto the ring. We are all baring witness to a rarity in sports, where players resort to selling out for short term goals instead of mastering their craft. Hopkins stressed that he wants to be the spokesman for the 40 and up crowd, to be an inspiration for those in similar foot steps as him.
His rants may be long but they are not without truth, heart and understanding–a vast knowledge of not only the sport of boxing but of the inner workings of the world around us. Hopkins marches to the beat of his own drum and chooses to prove himself in the ring, all while dazzling the media with his truth sermons and life tales.
This bout with Murat is more than just a fight for Bernard Hopkins, it’s a statement. It’s a testament to how far he feels he’s come over the course of a long and illustrious career where he was overlooked and doubted. While Hopkins isn’t holding any sour grapes on being snubbed for his accomplishments, he is however looking to further his history and supersede his own exceptions.
One of the things Hopkins said was how he feels he’s going to be more appreciated once his career is over than he is now. Sadly, he will mostly be proven right as he’s on pace to do the nearly impossible and there’s no flashing bulbs and headlines declaring his dominance. Instead there remains doubters and naysayers, the same ones who’ve hounded Hopkins his entire career and the same ones he hopes to eventually silence.