There’s no question that the rematch between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana, that takes place on September 13, will be the highest grossing fight of the year. On the other hand, the most anticipated fight of the year is Bernard Hopkins vs. Sergey Kovalev.
This is the type of fight that fans call for but don’t always get. Everyone wants to see the best fight the best and that’s what we’re going to get on November 8 when Hopkins and Kovalev attempt to unify the light heavyweight division.
“The creditability comes in when you have one champion in each division and that’s important,” Hopkins claimed. He went on to explain, “The most credible thing you can do in boxing when it comes to titles is doing what Kovalev and I are doing right now, to unify the titles in every division and the best man wins in those divisions and the credibility to boxing gets restored.”
Why did Hopkins take this fight when he could have fought WBC Champion Adonis Stevenson instead, who many feel is an easier fight, for more money? The answer was simple. ”When you look at a situation to be the best, sometimes the sacrifice has to be greater than the money. Although I don’t mind the finer things in life, I just have control on how much I need and how much I think that I want.”
“That’s the difference between me and anybody else, not only in sports but I think in the world. I’m not saying that I’m the only one that thinks like that, but I must satisfy what I am motivated to do and always go after the best.”
Most boxers don’t always take that approach. They tend to take the lowest risk fights they can for the most amount of money possible and as a result we don’t always get competitive, meaningful match-ups. In that regard, boxing is so much different than other sports and Hopkins sees this as a problem.
“In the NBA they have they have a regular season, they have a playoff season, and then they have a championship game. Football, they have a regular season, playoff season, and they have a championship game. Hockey, soccer, why are we still living and thinking, with new people, like the 1920’s?”
“We don’t get the respect that other sports giants in this country get. Why is that? Why is boxing not looked upon like the NBA, NFL, or the NHL? We are called the red light district.”
Hopkins not only talks the talk but on November 8 he is aiming to walk the walk. “If you’re the best, I’m the best, or I’m claiming I’m the best, or you’re claiming you’re the best, then the only way we’re going to find this thing out is if we both go to the well and we both get water together and we find out who gets the most barrels after an hour of fighting. These are the things that separate me from those who want to be great and those whose destiny is to be great.”