by David P. Greisman
In the days before Bernard Hopkins was to step in with fellow light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev, Hopkins took aim at Kovalev’s trainer, John David Jackson, a retired two-division beltholder whom Hopkins stopped way back in 1997.
“How can a teacher teach a student and the teacher flunked the test too?” Hopkins asked.
Jackson responded to BoxingScene.com the day before the bout, saying Hopkins’ words didn’t bother him — and actually showed that it was Jackson who was bothering Hopkins.
“I didn’t mind that, because that let me know that all the things I’ve been saying about him have gotten inside his head,” Jackson said on the day before the bout. “You’re worrying more about me than you are about this guy you’re fighting. You better worry about him and not worry about me. When the bell rings, I go down the steps. I got no problem with you. You got a problem with him. It let me know that all the things I’ve been saying have gotten inside his head and have been messing with him now.”
One reason Hopkins may be taking aim at Jackson is because Kovalev, who knows some English but doesn’t speak it as his first language, may not understand all of Hopkins’ taunts.
“He could care less,” Jackson said. “I could care less. I’m not fighting him. Those days are gone. I can’t get that revenge for this kid. So I’m cool with that.”
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]