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Bernard Hopkins: I am an alien

By Arvin Nundloll
Photos: Thomas Casulli

IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins (53-6, 32 KO’s) faces European contender Karo Murat (24-1, 14 KO’s) on July 13, 2013, at the Barclays Center in New York. Hopkins took time out to speak to Fightnews and discuss his upcoming bout.

On the recent publicity of him being the underdog and other contenders circling him:

“Ya’ll will write me off. The industry for good or bad has a choice. When you lose to a guy that the States doesn’t know, what does that do to my marketability? You have the right to hang my head if I don’t take care of this guy (Murat). It’s the way I win that can be a loss.”

“There’s a list of people out there, not ten, not eight, five maybe. But right now on July 13 all those five names is him (Karo Murat). I might scare three of them away after this, who knows? I might scare three of the five that I’ve got in my head.”

“Enjoy me while I’m here and winning respectfully because who would take a chance when you’re 50 or older to do this?”

On Karo Murat as an opponent:

“He (Murat) has nothing to lose. The burden is on me. I’m the DA and he’s the defense counsel. I have to show and raise the high burden.”

“This won’t be an off day for me. I’m not taking him lightly because I know what’s on the table.”

“For the first five rounds or less, however long it lasts, you will see a jab that’s like the guys working (a jackhammer) in the streets.”

“He eats jabs. He doesn’t move his head. He’s not a mobile guy. I will be working on that beak. Then he stops breathing because your mouth opens. We all gotta breathe through our nose.”

“The first thing I’m going for is the nose. It’s not like I’m giving up a damn secret because what are you going to do, fix it between now and then?”

“He’s well rounded, not a bad puncher either but he’s well rounded and he’s younger. The energy and aggression is going to be there. The burden is going to be on me because of my age and that’s a good thing for what I’m trying to accomplish.”

On training and still performing in the ring at his age:

“I’m training when I get back. I’m training in the morning, I’m training in the afternoon. I’m a 9:30 guy, trying to watch the news at 10.”

“This year there is the possible chance that you’ll see a 48 year old athlete at the top of his game fight three times a year, who does that?”

On his new alias and why he is dropping the “Executioner:”

“The executioner mask, was born years ago as you know. The big question over the years, Kelly (Swanson) has been doing over on the publicist side, David (Itskowitch) has been doing it on the promotion side, Espinoza has been seeing it but doesn’t really believe it. I just found out a month ago, the doctor will be here a week before the fight and will explain to you in more detail.”

“I must confess that I am not human. I am an alien. I realize that Pluto is no more planet now so I’m from Mars. I fully retired the executioner. You will not hear Bernard Hopkins mention the executioner. I will be representing what I’ve been told that I am. I’m off this world, I’m in this world but not off this world. There’s no aging process in this new world.”

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Tickets are still available and are priced at $200, $100, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges and can be purchased at www.barclayscenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations or by calling 800-745-3000.




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