By Michael Marley of The Examiner, special to BoxingScene.com
Infuriated Bernard Hopkins, age 45, feels his own promoter is trying to push him into a boxing grave after his victory over Roy Jones, Jr.
Bernard Hopkins is mad as hell and he said he’s not going to take it anymore.
I just spent a complete hour on the phone with the 45-year-old Hall of Fame fighter from Philadelphia and he made it crystal clear that he will not be rushed off boxing’s big stage despite what he feels are internal (Golden Boy) and external forces working against his continued ring career.
“These motherf***ers want me out,” Hopkins said Thursday afternoon. “They are trying to stop me from working. They all want me out of the way, it’s their agenda against me.
“I will fight the system like I always have. I will fight the system and I love it. They all want to push me out of the way, to throw me in the same (professional) grave that Roy Jones is in now. Are we playing some games here? You know how the game works and so do I.”
Bernard Hopkins stuck his tongue out at Roy Jones. Now he's sticking it out at the boxing establishment, including his own promoter, Oscar de la Hoya's Golden Boy firm.
Hopkins, who had some blurry moments but still managed to post a wide unanimous decision and avenge a loss from 17 years ago to the 38-year-old Jones Saturday night in Las Vegas, repeatedly remarked on his unhappiness on how Oscar de la Hoya’s promotional company handled his career after a huge upset victory over Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik.
BHOP, never once to mince words or soft-soap any situation, also threw down the gauntlet to any interested promoter, even despite his VP status at Golden Boy.
“I am the George Foreman of this era because I still have my skills. Sure, I’ve got big name value. But (Evander) Holyfield has that but nothing else, people are concerned about him (his health).
“Put it out there, Mike: I am looking for any and all legitimate offers. I have not been under contract to Golden Boy since before the Pavlik fight. Shane Mosley (fighting Floyd Mayweather on May 1 under the GBP banner) is not under contract to Golden Boy, either.
BHop also revealed to Michael Marley that Golden Boy does not have his fellow "vice president" Sugar Shane Mosley under contract, either
“So let’s put it on the table right now. I beat the Great White Hope, Pavlik, and Shane beat (Antonio) Margarito, two fights they did not think we would win but we did win them. So, after that great victory, I sat idle for 15 months and Shane sat idle for more than a year also?
“Let’s put it out there: We’re both top fighters, both African Americans and we sat idle after those kinds of victories?
“When I beat Pavlik, that was so great a victory it should’ve given everybody an erection. But nothing happened. You tell me why I sat for so long then...”
Hopkins, who revealed that he fell off his stool in the dressing room while untying his shoelaces after the victory over the diminished Jones, said he was not happy with GBP CEO Richard Schaefer’s postfight remarks on his future.
“What’s the agenda? That’s what I am asking. No one said, ‘Hey, you know Bernard got hurt by an illegal punch, by a rabbit punch to the back of the head, that it made me see spots in the ring, that I saw THREE Roy Jones coming at me.' That was not discussed.
“What he (Schaefer) should have done is to take the podium and say I want to discuss things with Bernard Hopkins’ team which means only me because I am my own team. I can understand Richard’s personal concerns but you don’t talk like that (retirement) without talking to me. You don’t do that because it’s not professional.”
Hopkins said he did not hear such doom and gloom in the wake of Oscar’s beatdown by Manny Pacquiao.
“Manny put the blueprint on retirement for Oscar and I didn’t hear that kind of talk from Richard or anyone else. I see a different agenda when it comes to me and to my career.”
As the conversation -- or, more accurately, the BHOP rant -- continued, I asked him if he was really infuriated at how a cloud was put over his victory.
“Yeah, I am upset because it (retirement) is my decision,” Hopkins said. “You can say that I am pissed because I am pissed. I lost a whole year of my career after beating Pavlik.”
Rumor has it, and tradewinds blowing out of Pensacola indicate, that Jones will pack it in. Should he, I asked his rival?
“I don’t think Roy should fight anymore, I really don’t. But that’s his decision to make.”
As for Hopkins, he’s still breathing fire and ready to fight onward.
Dial 1-800-BHOPWON’TQUIT. Operators are standing by.