Golden Boy partner Bernard Hopkins apparently isn’t too interested in sugarcoating his words toward his fighters—even one that is regarded as a cash cow.
The Hall of Fame fighter popped up in the headlines this week when comments he previously made about Ryan Garcia, Golden Boy’s top client, prompted Garcia to castigate his promotional company for perceived lack of support. It was the latest sign of how far relations have deteriorated between the fighter and the promoter. Garcia has been feuding with Golden Boy—especially founder Oscar De La Hoya—for much of the past year; the two are currently in litigation over his contract.
The latest brouhaha occurred as Garcia is set to return to the ring against Oscar Duarte this Saturday at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
In an interview published on Wednesday, Hopkins seemed to take aim at Garcia by suggesting that his bluster could backfire once he gets in the ring.
“There’s one thing about this sport that I love and that’s why I talk so passionately about it, and some take it wrong and I don’t care,” Hopkins told FightHubTV. “I’m not apologetic, I stand on what I say: Boxing will call your bluff. I’mma say it again … boxing will call your bluff. One thing about this sport, like no other sport, if you say who you are, or who you think you are, either way, it will call your bluff. And one thing about this, it won’t be a secret, it won’t be in the dark. It will be in the light.”
When asked to respond directly to Garcia’s claims, Hopkins stated he would not engage with Garcia nor try to coddle him.
“Not treating him like a champion?” Hopkins said. “Is he a champion? He got a world [title] belt? Listen, we’re not in the business—and Oscar will repeat in his own way—we’re not in business of kissing fighter’s ass, telling them something that they’re not. Now I will promote a fight, but I will not promote a lie. I’mma say it again. I will promote a fight, but I will not promote a lie. Take that to the bank and make sure you get interest later on off that quote.
“I feel like I’m not gonna let the media or anybody else turn this into ‘you said this, I said that.’ I spoke on it now because I want the world and the people to understand, whether they agree or disagree, they gotta go back to the videos.”
“My thing is the young fighters today that are really about it … really about their work and standing on what they say,” Hopkins said. “One thing about my experience … can no generation come after me and think they can con me and think they can bluff me and think they can say something that I don’t say because mostly the OGs … we been there, done it and seen it, so we understand what's there and not there. So you cannot do that to those who know. I would say that I just want [Garcia] to be the greatness that he thinks he is or that he is, and we support him.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.