“Being forty six and sexy with a body of a twenty five year old,” said Bernard Hopkins past Tuesday when I interviewed him at the Sands Gym in Los Angeles:”I think that’s really impressive.”
He is going to need to be more than sexy on Saturday when he defends WBC and Ring Magazine light heavyweight crown against young, fast and talented, Chad Dawson. Twelve rounds championship contest will be televised live from Staples Center in Los Angeles by HBO’s PPV.
“It’s a real good fight,” noted famed Coach, Freddie Roach who worked with Hopkins in the past:” You got one guy that has really, really great talent in Chad Dawson and great ability. But does he always use it to the best of his ability? No, he doesn’t seem to. Can Bernard get inside his head? Bernard is great at that and I think he can. I think he is going to get inside his head and I like Bernard to win the fight. But if Chad Dawson shows up, he can give Bernard a lot of trouble, because he is a very good fighter, but he is just not very consistent.”
Freddie Roach trained Hopkins for a spell while his long time trainer and confidant, Nazim Richardson was recovering from stroke. Back in the saddle, Nazim is confident in his student.
“It’s actually a peculiar situation,” said Richardson on Tuesday when I spoke wit him at Sands Gym in Los Angeles:” We have a fighter who’s done so much and so aware of the situation and what needs to be done that pretty much all you are doing is watching for mistakes and giving out reminders. We don’t have an athlete that has to worry about weight. We don’t have an athlete that has any bad habits, so we don’t have to baby sit him.”
“Believe it or not” museum unveiled a wax figure of Bernard Hopkins during a press conference on Wednesday in Los Angeles. I believe he deserves a real monument in Philadelphia right beside Rocky’s stature.
How does Hopkins continue to perform on this level at the age of forty six?
“This is genetics and life style,” explained Coach Richardson:” He is really phenomenal. Even working with him, he is a phenom.”
Despite all that, forty six year old legend is a slight underdog in the fight with Dawson. I asked Nazim to break down this match up.
“I am not a prophet,” said Richardson, who certainly looks like one:” So I don’t try to predict fights, but I feel comfortable we‘ll be victorious. And me knowing the history of this man, if Chad makes too many mistakes he may not get to the end of this fight.”
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