ATLANTIC CITY - Bernard Hopkins apologized if listeners had heard the story before, but the 48-year-old champion said it was pertinent to the point he was making.
When he walked out of Graterford Prison 26 years ago, Hopkins said, he promised himself "I'm not going back to nobody's jail cell." And he never did. It was then that Hopkins realized he could do anything he set his mind to. "I'm going through that wall. That's how I think, that's how I operate," said Hopkins, who retained his IBF light-heavyweight title with an impressive unanimous decision over Karo Murat on Saturday night at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall.
And the next wall for Hopkins could possibly be a date in May against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Hopkins said he would rather unify the light-heavyweight titles, just as he did in the 1990s as a middleweight champ, but knows it is unlikely due to disagreements between Golden Boy Promotions and HBO. Therefore, boxing's oldest-ever champ has set his sights on Mayweather and potentially the biggest payday of his career. His promoter cannot force Mayweather to fight him, Hopkins said, but he wanted to make sure Mayweather knew that he was available. If Hopkins gets his wish, the pair would meet at 160 pounds.
"There were a lot of guys that were undefeated [when I fought them] - they weren't Floyd Mayweather, but they were damn good fighters and they had an 'O,' " Hopkins said. "And after they ran into Bernard Hopkins, that 'O' was missing. So I don't think too many people will count me out."
Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said he has a plan, but it "would be pretty stupid for negotiating" if he revealed that plan. He said he will talk to Mayweather soon and the final decision is up to Mayweather.
"Bernard is approaching 50 years old and Floyd Mayweather is approaching 50 and 0," said Schaefer. "That 50 number sort of gets my promotional juices going. We'll see."
Before Hopkins (54-6-2) sat down at the post-fight news conference, he put his arm around North Philadelphia's Gabriel Rosado and whispered in his ear. A pair of designer sunglasses covered the dozen stitches Rosado needed in the dressing room after a cut near his left eye stopped his WBO middleweight title bout with Peter Quillin early in the 10th round. You fought hard, Hopkins told him.
Hopkins watched the fight backstage as he prepared for his own bout and thought Rosado's cut eye was a misfortune. He told him he'll look for him to get on another Golden Boy card. Rosado hopes to receive a rematch against Quillin and was extremely upset with the judge's scorecards.
At the time of the stoppage, the judges had Rosado down: Waleska Rolden had it 89-81, Ronald McNair 87-83, and Kason Cheeks 90-80. Rosado appeared to be in control of the fight, but he would have had to knock Quillin out to earn a win. Russell Peltz, Rosado's adviser, said he would like to re-watch the fight with judges and have them explain how they scored it so heavily against his fighter.