By Bill Emes
WBC light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (52-5-2, 32KOs) is angry with the critics, who once again have placed a lot of the focus on his age. The 47-year-old boxer will defend his title against mandatory challenger Chad Dawson (30-1, 17KOs) in a rematch on Saturday night at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Dawson is a big betting favorite and most experts have picked him to win. Hopkins feels the experts, and the oddsmakers, are focusing on his age and not his ability.
"A lot of people are looking at the number and not looking at the substance," Hopkins said.
"It's the number. Will people or won't people say, if the numbers were the same - what chance would give Chad Dawson? If the numbers were three years over or three years under? Over and under in gambling. A lot of people are betting with the number, because of how they feel. The average 47-year-old doesn't feel like Bernard Hopkins."
Hopkins also feels that a lot of the critics are taking him for granted. Win or lose, Hopkins already stated that Saturday night might be his final moment in the ring as a professional fighter.
He wants the critics to reflect back when he's gone, because Hopkins feels there are no throwbacks among the vast assortment of fighters in the current era of boxing.
"I know for a fact that you will never see another Jackie Robinson, you will never see another Michael Jordan, you will never see another Muhammad Ali, you will never see some of the people who came that we took for granted. We look at age as a death sentence but you have to understand what you wrote about me five years ago, what you wrote about me ten years, what you wrote about me eight years. '[You said] the man is a workhorse. He lives right. He sleeps, he drinks boxing.' When you take all of the things that you said an diagnose it, you sit back for a minute and say 'I said that then but man he's 47 now and all of that goes out the window.' To me, that means that you said what you felt was politically right to say at the time and you didn't really believe it. Now I've given you the evidence, through time," Hopkins said.
"If you say I'm a throwback then what do throwback fighters do? Jersey Joe Walcott won a title when he was forty-something. I'm the modern day them. I live in a time where everything is so microwaveable that there is no time to cook, season, chop and marinate no more. Well I'm the last of a f***ing dying breed. And when you want to write something, you write that. I'm the last of a f***ing dying breed, because all of this other stuff that you're looking at is all substance, its all bullsh*t, its all TV promoted, its all smoke and mirrors. When you get past the mirrors, what do you see? [You see] bullsh*t! I'm the last of what I said. I'm the last of a dying breed."