Bernard Hopkins is the only guy that can walk into his own open media workout almost 45 minutes late and get a standing ovation. Hopkins as usual, was late because he was putting in work at Temple University running sprints and working on his endurance.
“Doing some 880s,” Hopkins said, maybe showing his age only when he measured the distance in yards instead of meters. “It was a good 40-minute run. A good blowout. If anybody knows 880s, you’ve got to be moving.”
The 49-year-old Hopkins apologized to the media, passed off some wisdom for all to use and then got to work without stretching or even warming up. He’s Bernard Hopkins, he’s always warm and he’s chasing history.
“If you don’t respect your job, it’s going to disrespect you and kill you.
“To be 49-years-old, approaching 50 and knocking on the door of being a senior citizen. It’s a profound statement of my dedication.
“It’s sweeter now to be here with everybody. Everything I do is history. If you had one more chance to see something that you loved before you never see it again…here I am. You’ll have a chance to see history. You can tell your grandkids about what you saw today at Danny Garcia’s gym.
“Taking the test without studying is like taking a fight without being in the gym. The gym is studying. The test is April 19. You can put the cart in front of the horse if you’re a fool and I think people would agree I’m no fool.
“The sweet science that has been missing in this sport. We hate violence, but we love it. People don’t look at the sweet science like I do in this ring. The game is to hit and not get hit.
“You can overthink or over study for a test. There’s a time and a place for everything. You have to look at some tape, but I can’t sit there every day watching and watching. Your mind starts playing tricks on you. You start seeing things you aren’t really seeing. I want some element of surprise, so I can check it right there.
On April 19, Hopkins will be in the ring in Washington D.C. taking on Beibut Shumenov in a light-heavyweight title unification fight, with Hopkins’ IBF title on the line against Shumenov’s WBA belt. Shumenov stands in the way of Hopkins making history.
For his part, the 30-year-old Shumenov calls Hopkins one of his idols.
“I’m not going to be surprised by his style. There’s nothing he can do that I haven’t seen. Can he say the same thing?
“Shumenov wants to make a name, like everyone else. What better place to make a name than against me?
“I’m from the old school but I’m stuck in the new era.”
Hopkins vs. Shumenov, a 12-round fight for the IBF, WBA and IBA Light Heavyweight World Championship, will take place Saturday, April 19 at the DC Armory in Washington, D.C. The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona, AT&T and Casamigos Tequila. In the 12-round co-features, Shawn Porter defends his IBF Welterweight World Title against Paulie Malignaggi and Peter Quillin puts his WBO Middleweight World Title on the line against Lukas Konecny. The live SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast will begin at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) immediately following ALL ACCESS: Mayweather vs. Maidana. The telecast will be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP). Preliminary bouts will air on SHOWTIME EXTREME® at 7 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).