Bernard Hopkins on Fighting 'Known Hos'

Before his next match, the boxer has choice words about Floyd Mayweather and fighting at 46.

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Bernard Hopkins

Bernard Hopkins is living proof that age is just a number. Known as "the Executioner," he became the oldest fighter to win a major world championship when he defeated Jean Pascal in May for the WBC light heavyweight title.

Don't let all the brash trash-talking that he does fool you. Hopkins has been cashing in on the dozens of checks his mouth has written during his 20-plus years as a professional boxer.

Chad "Bad" Dawson is the latest 20-something with hopes of retiring the 46-year-old Hopkins once and for all on Oct. 15 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. A victory over Dawson would make Hopkins the favorite to win "Fighter of the Year" honors for the first time since 2001.  

The Root spoke to Hopkins prior to his HBO pay-per-view fight about his thoughts on the much-discussed ending of the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Victor Ortiz, his controversial comments about NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb and training at 46.

The Root: Does training camp get harder or easier at your age? 

Bernard Hopkins: Believe it or not, I'm still having fun. I'm having more fun now, and it has a lot do with the fact that I'm 46 and I'm being reminded of it [by] regular people on the streets. Everywhere I go, people are telling me their age and what I should or shouldn't be doing.

I'm having fun explaining health awareness. What I've always preached and [what] most of [the media] have always written about me is, 'Say what you want about Bernard Hopkins, but he's always in shape.'

TR: If you were in Floyd Mayweather's shoes, would you have done the same thing against Victor Ortiz during their fight last month?

BH: Yes. I think Floyd was pretty nice. I like Victor Ortiz, and [we're both part of] Golden Boy Promotions. But I call an ace an ace and a spade a spade. What I saw was an out-and-out foul with the head [from Ortiz] ... I hear more about what Floyd did that ended the fight than what was curated for the actions to be done.

When you're in that ring, you protect yourself at all times. If you know that you're messing with a known ho, if you don't protect yourself at all times, the consequences could be critical. When you're in that ring, you're at war. And I don't think this generation understands that when we are in that ring, I don't want to be your friend. I don't like you, your family, nobody. This is war.

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