Lem Satterfield

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


RingTV.com caught up to RING light heavyweight champ Bernard Hopkins in advance of his 47th birthday, on January 15.

Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 knockouts) expressed his thoughts on a potential rematch with Chad Dawson, whose promoter, Gary Shaw, successfully argued for the return bout with Hopkins at last month’s WBC’s convention in Las Vegas.

If a lucrative bout can’t be made with Dawson, Hopkins has listed other possible candidates, including THE RING’s No. 1-rated super middleweight Lucian Bute (30-0, 24 KOs), or light heavyweights Nathan Cleverly (23-0, 11 KOs), of the United Kingdom, and Beibut Shumenov (12-1, 8 KOs).

Cleverly, 24, is the holder of the WBO belt, while Shumenov, 28 , a native of Kazakhstan who lives in Las Vegas, has the WBA title.

Hopkins told RingTV.com that he expects to return to full-time training this month and would like to be back in the ring in March following the final stages of recovery from a left shoulder separation.

The injury occurred during his controversial clash with Dawson on Oct. 15, which was initially ruled to be a second-round TKO victory for Dawson after Hopkins was shoved to the canvas and deemed unfit to continue by referee Pat Russell.

Last month, however, the California State Athletic Commission officially ruled Hopkins-Dawson a no-contest. The CSAC’s move came in the wake of the WBC’s already having restored Hopkins as titleholder following a majority vote of board members who disagreed with Russell’s call and ruled the fight a “technical draw.”

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.

In victory over Pascal, Hopkins, became the oldest man to win a major title in boxing. Before facing Hopkins, Pascal had vanquished Dawson in defense of his WBC belt by 11th-round technical decision in August of last year.

RingTV.com: What would you want if you could reward yourself with a late Christmas gift?

Bernard Hopkins: My thing would be something that’s historic, and that’s not only defending the title a few times — not nine, not five, not even four.  But right now, my Christmas gift would be to unifity the light heavyweight  championship and leave a mark.

I want to surpass what Michael Spinks or any of the other light heavyweights achieved, such as the great Bob Foster or any of the others have done in their eras. My thing is to do meaningful fights, but to get rewarded with it all the way around the board. That’s something that I think that I deserve.

I don’t want my next fight to be just a fight. It has to be historic. If I fight just a fight, then I would probably lose. That’s a deep thing to say. But it has to be something that people can look at and say, “Man, he’s taken on all of the ones who say that they’re the best.”

I want at least one or two more fights. Then, I want to exit out of this game. I would feel as if I shut the door of history-making to the max with all of the things that I’ve done all the way up until now.

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