Lem Satterfield

Lem’s latest: Hopkins won’t fight Ward, eyes Bute

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THE RING light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins told RingTV.com last week that he will never fight WBA super middleweight titleholder Andre Ward,  who will face WBC 168-pound titleholder Carl Froch, for the vacant RING title in the finals of the Super Six World Boxing Classic at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., on Saturday.

Ward (24-0, 13 knockouts) has been mentioned as an intriguing potential opponent for the Hopkins should he get by Froch (28-1, 20 KOs), but the 27-year-old 2004 Olympic gold medalist,  who is trained by Virgil Hunter, has long considered Hopkins to be a mentor. Hopkins confirmed that notion.

“I would never fight Andre Ward. I would never fight him because, one of my favorite shows was Kung Fu,” said Hopkins. “And, the master never fought the student, and the student understood that he would never challenge the master.”

Hopkins shared a similar relationship with the late Vernon Forrest, a former welterweight champ and 154-pound beltholder.

“I’ve gone on record, like I did with Vernon Forrest, if anybody has known me for many years, you would understand. They once told me to fight Vernon Forrest, and they had $4.5 million on the table, and at that time, I was on my 14th defense as the middleweight champion. I said I can’t do that,” said Hopkins.

“It’s business, but I believe that when I fight an individual, things are going to be said during the promotion that you can’t recoup. I know how passionate that I get into my opponents’ soul, spirit and life, and knowing that everything that I do and say, I mean. So for that particular person, normally it doesn’t go past that night of fighting.”

HOPKINS EYES BUTE

Hopkins is still recovering from a left shoulder separation and finishing up his six-to-eight weeks of rehabilitation following his controversial HBO Pay Per View clash with Chad Dawson on Oct. 15.

Hopkins said he expects to return to full-time training in January and would like to be back in the ring in March perhaps for a fight opposite Lucian Bute (34-0, 24 KOs).

In December of last year, Hopkins rose from two knockdowns during his draw with RING No. 1-rated light heavyweight Jean Pascal in the latter’s native Canada before returning to Canada to dethrone Pascal as WBC beltholder by unanimous decision in May.

“My thing is that, right now, if it don’t make sense financially, there’s nothing to motivate me. So whatever makes sense business-wise, that’s where I’m going,” said Hopkins.

“And it looks like Bute because I’ve got a lot of fans in Canada after the two Pascal fights. I have a lot of fans in Canada. It shows that Canada respects boxing and they respect my talents there.”

Hopkins-Dawson was initially ruled to be a second-round TKO for Dawson after Hopkins was shoved to the canvas and deemed unfit to continue by referee Pat Russell.

Russell did not view Dawson’s shove as a foul, accidental or otherwise, although Hopkins maintained that he was fouled by the young challenger and thus the bout should have been ruled a no-contest.

In accordance with a vote wherein the majority of the WBC’s board members disagreed with the official call, the organization ruled the fight a “technical draw” and will continue to recognize Hopkins as its light heavyweight champ.

Golden Boy Promotions filed a protest with the California State Athletic Commission, which will review the fight and make a ruling on Tuesday. Hopkins said that he plans to attend.

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