Sunday, October 20, 2013

No Holds Barred: Bernard Hopkins on Black Fighters, and Why It's Good to Duck

(Alien Photo Credit: Brendan Montenegro/

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman previews the October 26 fight between the IBF light heavyweight champion and boxing legend, Bernard Hopkins, and challenger Karo Murat.

The 48-year-old Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KOs), from Philadelphia, will be facing the 30-year-old Murat (25-1-1, 15 KOs), born in Iraq and fighting out of Germany, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This fight will headline a card which will be shown live in the U.S. on Showtime.

Both Hopkins and Murat were on a media conference call Thursday, and we have excerpts from that.

Despite his age advantage, Murat is a huge underdog. He has never fought for a major world title or in the U.S., and has never faced any opponent on the level of Hopkins. Still, he said on this conference call that Hopkins has been reduced to throwing one punch at a time and then clinching, and that he is confident he can win.

Hopkins - who has shed his long-standing nickname of "The Executioner" and is now calling himself "The Alien" because he is doing things a human of his age should not be able to do - not only dismissed such claims, but emphasized how he combines offense and defense. Such boxing skills, he said, are no longer seen as important or even marketable, especially by many TV executives. Boxing has changed today to where it "has sort of gotten to a barbaric" place. All-time greats like Sugar Ray Robinson and Sugar Ray Leonard, and in particular many Black fighters, he said, "would be boring today" and accused of not being able to sell tickets and pay-per-view buys. The TV executives believe, "if they duck, don't buy it." He attributed his longevity in boxing to his combination of offense and defense, proving "why it's good to duck."

He added, "I got two rules: I hit you, and I got to make you not hit me. What's wrong with that?"

But, he said, "The customers will drink anything you give them, if it's promoted right."

We play from this conference call our questions for Karo Murat, and the commentary by Bernard Hopkins on "why it's good to duck."

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