Lem Satterfield

Exclusive Q&A: Hopkins wants to go out “guns blazing” in 2012

RingTV.com: So it has to be something that truly motivate you, is that accurate?

BH: Well, it has to be something significant. That’s accurate. Because there are going to be people who will analyze everything that I do from now until I leave the game. I’m always motivated by what people think that I can’t do. That’s always a motivation. It’s that way for most of the great athletes.

It was that way for Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. For me, it’s 2012, when that clock turns to another chapter, it’s a clear turning of the page. The seven pushups that I did between rounds of the second Jean Pascal fight, and becoming the oldest man to win a championship — that was last year.

It’s not forgotten, but it’s history. If this is the chapter when everything comes to an end, like it was for Brett Favre or Michael Jordan, when he tried to play baseball. What I’m saying is that this year is going to be very significant for Bernard Hopkins.  I don’t care who is in the mix, but it’s got to bring me that type of feeling.

At least, it has to for me to be able to give the fans and everybody what they want. I want them to say, “Man, not only did he go out, but he went out guns blazing.” Not just a charity fight. I want to go out knowing that I’m fighting one of the top threats. If he has something his waist that’s meaningful to me, then let’s go.

RingTV.com: What are your thoughts on a fight with Bute?

BH: I would fight him in my hometown, which is Canada. [Laughs.] I would love to fight Bute.

RingTV.com: What about IBF titleholder Tavoris Cloud?

BH: No, because Cloud doesn’t bring enough to the table, and I don’t want to deal with [Cloud’s promoter] Don King.

RingTV.com: So no Cloud?

BH: Nope.

RingTV.com: Who else?

BH: I got two names that I’ve been scouting, and I’ve got tapes of them. I would like to unify the titles. I would like to fight the WBA guy [Shumenov]. That seems like somebody who likes to fight. He’s strong. The WBO guy from England [Cleverly,] he’s been calling me out on certain websites.

That happened about two weeks ago. Not sure if you ran across that. So, there are some names out there. I’m not saying that they’re superstar names, but they’re on the cusp of trying to be in a position of being stars. I’m their door to that place.

What I’m selling now to them is that I’m the door to that elite guy who is sitting up there trying to become a star. You have to beat a start to become one, so I’m sitting right at that door. You want to get your name out there, win or lose, fight me. Depending on how you lose, it’s still worth the risk.

You can be in a win-win situation, but you’ve got to bring your “A” game to the table. If you lose to Bernard Hopkins, for a young fighter, that’s no embarassment to any fighter. I am the key to stardom.

RingTV.com: So what of the WBC’s mandate to fight the rematch with Dawson?

BH: Chad Dawson? Absolutely. Under the right circumstances. The worst circumstances are that I would have to be forced to fulfill the obligations of the WBC. I would like to see if his side and my side can find an interest from someone who wants to put money up for the fight.

But from what I’ve been hearing, I doubt it. So if we can’t agree, whether it’s my side or Chad’s side, Gary Shaw or whoever, then we would end up fighting for a dollar in the ring. But I’m in the business to make money. I know that Chad is in the business to make money.

So I assume that Chad wants to make more than the four or five hundred thousand that he made for the last fight.To me, that’s a no-brainer. Sometimes, though, you can’t tell these young guys nothing. This is business. I don’t think that television has too much interest in it based on the last fight.

My whole thing is that it’s a hard sell to sell a guy that don’t even do well at home in Connecticut. If there is an interest out there, and there is someone who is interested in putting a big check behind this fight, then we can do it.

The last thing that I heard, though, I don’t think that anyone is kicking the door down to see Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson fight again. They want to see Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. So that’s a problem.

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