By Ryan Burton
BoxingScene.com caught up with future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins this past Saturday shortly after Danny Garcia's unanimous decision victory over Lucas Matthysse at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Garcia was a 3-1 underdog going into the fight but Hopkins wasn't surprised by his fellow Philadelphian's performance.
Hopkins said that with all due respect to Floyd Mayweather's masterful performance against Canelo Alvarez, the real fight of the night was Garcia-Matthysse. He was especially impressed by the way that Garcia dominated the late rounds.
"I felt like that was me (in the ring). I can't imagine anyone trying to downplay that masterful performance that Danny Garcia displayed and you know what, he took some hits. It is not like it was a one sided fight or that Lucas Matthysse showed up and wasn't energized. He was pressing to win that fight, especially after his eye got closed.
"Floyd did his thing. It was a shutout fight. So that is why I say that Garcia-Matthysse was the talk of this fight (card). It lived up to being a competitive fight. Matthysse was in the fight and won a lot of rounds but Garcia came in with a plan and took over the fight," Hopkins explained.
Hopkins was talking to Garcia inside the ring just before the fight began. He said that he told the 25-year-old to be cautious of Matthysse's power.
"Right in the ring I told him to fight smart and take away his best weapon and use it against him and we saw that. He (Matthysse) didn't have it but he never gave up. That is the champion in Matthysse. (I told Danny) this is your night and your chance and I said take away his best weapon and see if he has another weapon you don't know about but Matthysse didn't have a plan B," Hopkins revealed.
The 48-year-old Hopkins admitted that if he didn't know Garcia as well as he does he would have been in agreement with the many insiders who predicted that Matthysse would walk away with the victory. He said that Garcia is the type of fighter who rises to the occasion and proved that he can defeat a big puncher.
"Most of the media was saying this was Danny's demise and nothing personal towards Danny, I would think that if I didn't know Danny and I wasn't Bernard Hopkins, I'd of said wow he's a big puncher. There is always risk versus big punchers but when you fight with the quality of a young veteran like Danny Garcia you can't count him out no matter who he is fighting in that weight class. I don't care if they can punch and do anything else. Just look for Danny to be elevated and to be better than he was in the last fight. That is scary because he took this guys best shots and he neutralized him to where he won the last four rounds, not easily but he won them," Hopkins stated.
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