BERNARD HOPKINS, WBC & Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight World Champion
“Being 46 and sexy with the body of a 25-year-old? I think that is pretty impressive.
“I can predict I will win this fight. How I win will come out this Saturday night.
Photo by Gene Blevins/Hogan Photos
“I want the best Chad Dawson on Saturday night.
“He has to come out in character and not be the Dawson that he has been for many of his fights. The name doesn’t match the last three or four outcomes. When you have the name ‘Bad’ and you’re not Michael Jackson, you have to be able to own that. They call me ‘The Executioner’ for a reason.
“I have no problem putting the title on the line. This is what I do.
“I don’t know if Dawson is hungry. He says he is.
“The past is the past and tomorrow is unknown. On Saturday night, I want to put another page in the history book of my career.
“If I am still going to compete and be the best in the division, and part of the conversation of the best in boxing, then this fight is the next step.
“Every now and then an athlete comes along and does something different than those before him or her. It takes guts to be different.
“I don’t go into camp needing to lose 20-30 pounds. I don’t need to get into physical shape. I am a health and wellness guy. This is part of my lifestyle. It is automatic to me to be ready to fight. My engine is always running.
“It takes me a round or two until I know exactly what I have to do in a fight. You can’t overstudy a test, so your natural instincts have to be your guide. The great athletes always adjust. I don’t care what sport it is, only an elite athlete can do that.
“You have to be strong. It’s easy for me to look at adversity and temptation and not even have an urge. It isn’t a struggle. That isn’t me. That is part of my longevity.
“The difference in this fight is that I am fighting Chad Dawson who has plenty of credentials. He believes he is the guy to beat me. I have to win to prove him wrong. The problem is whether or not he means what he believes.
“I am a pretty good dancer, but if my dance partner steps on my feet, it will make me look bad. If Dawson is ready to dance, then it will be a good fight. It could be the ‘Fight of the Year.’
“I am knocking on the door of being the oldest ‘Fighter of the Year’ ever. I have a chance to seal that deal this Saturday night on pay-per-view.
“I always have a motivation. Something to push me to win and that motivation is to become the oldest ‘Fighter of the Year.’ It puts pressure on the writers, 90 percent of whom are 40 and up. I want to put a bug in their ear that I am trying to make history on that front.
“I never operate well when I am the favorite in a fight. I like being the underdog. I think that is the reason a lot of people want to watch. I am not surprised I am the underdog.
“This is a new movement in my career. Am I the underdog because of my age or because of my resume? It must be my age, because I know can’t be the resume.
“I am 12-1 against southpaws, arguably 13-0 with the Calzaghe fight. I am a right handed fighter which is death to a southpaw.
“I am fighting someone taller than me for the first time in almost 10 years.
“I might have little in my favor, but I will win on Saturday night.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, President of Golden Boy Promotions
“As every fight goes by, I think Hopkins gets better and better and is demonstrating to everyone that he is going to be around a long time.
“Bernard Hopkins has faced them all. He has fought every style, every adversity. Everything they put in front of him, he leaps over. He is our bionic man.
“You have to look up to Hopkins and what he is doing at his age.
“The beauty about Hopkins is that fighters usually have one, maybe two styles. He has a plan C, D and E.
“Hopkins is able to adapt to any style. He is a chameleon in the ring and that is dangerous for any opponent.
“It doesn’t surprise me that Hopkins wants to fight the best. He is the best that I faced in my career.”