Los Angeles Grammy Museum hosted a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, February 1oth, to promote a long over due showdown dubbed “ The Rivals” , a rematch seventeen years in the making, between Roy Jones Jr. and Bernard Hopkins. They will settle the score once and for all on April 3rd, 2010 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The event will be televised live on Pay-Per View. The press conference was set up as a debate with Michael Buffer and Big Boy from Power 106 (hip hop radio station) as moderators asking questions with limited amount of time for answers. Whether this was a brilliant marketing ploy or a feeble attempt to keep order, or just a ploy to limit media questions, it turned out to resemble a verbal boxing match and entertained every one in attendance. If the fight on April 3rd is half as intense as the verbal duel was fans are in for a treat.
“Sixty percent to the winner that knocks the other guy out,” said Hopkins explaining financial incentives that were included in the contract for both combatants:” Sixty percent to me when I knock Roy Jones out, sixty percent to me if Roy Jones doesn’t get off the stool or the referee stops it or his corner stops it. You know the towel. Fifty percent if it goes twelve rounds. Are we clear?”
“Title of the fight is rivalry, “said Bernard Hopkins: “But to me this is personal. It’s important to me that before my career winds down that I get this man back in the ring, come April 3rd, to send him on his way to the hall of fame with the last person on his mind that he could remember in his whole career, is the Executioner.”
“I started out beating him, “said Jones Junior about his Hall of Fame career: “And I am going to end it beating him. I hate to say it by he is my rival and I must defeat my rival. It’s a perfect opportunity, perfect timing. It is something fans have been asking for, for the last twelve years.”
“We are not going in there to fight,” said Hopkins:” Were going in there to break systematically and destroy the guy’s career. From my mouth is that Roy Jones Junior is going to have to fight to not get knocked out or to fight to knock me out. That is the motivation for seventeen years.”
“I know that Roy Jones Junior has something to prove to the world,” continued Hopkins:” And I know that Roy is going to try to salvage his career and the opinion that people have about him. I know how it feels to be an underdog. I know how it feels to be in the position when you have to prove the people wrong. I am looking for the best, rejuvenated Roy Jones Jr. and that keeps me honest. I never in my whole life underestimated any of my opponents. He has a lot to prove. I have a lot to prove.”
“Quite naturally, if you can’t beat somebody, you want to wait to see them at their weakest point before you try them again. I ain’t got nothing to prove to nobody, “said Jones: “I am still me. The one thing I do know is the day the Executioner will leave the boxing ring is going to be April 3rd. You got to remember that I am multi-dimensional, I bring a whole lot to the ring every time and whatever I am going to need to pull out of the bag that night, that’s what I’ll do.”
“I’ve gotten better with time, my resume shows that” said B- Hop: “The question is did Roy Jones over the years get better. That’s what I will expose come April 3rd. I will expose it early, and then I am going to knock him out and send him home. I am going to prove why Roy Jones Jr. had you all wait this long. I am going to prove why Roy Jones Jr. for 17 years fore played his way all the way up to now and you know what happens after fore play: he gets …. That’s what’s going to happen April 3rd. Tune in.”
“His execution day is coming,” continued Hopkins:” This fight will not be shown after Pay Per View is seen. It won’t be shown, like you say I am not paying for it, I am going to try to watch it next week. So if you don’t watch it, you don’t know who is going to buy it later on down the line, the license fee to show it five years from now. You better watch it, April 3rd.”
“It will probably be picked up by the Discovery channel,” replied quick witted Roy: “because they have never seen such thing as Big Head, they have seen Big Foot before, but not Big Head (his nickname for Hopkins).
The significance of this fight was quite different for Roy and Bernard, but they both predicted emphatic victories.
“Fist time I spanked him for myself,” said Jones:” This time I will spank him for you all.”
“It’s furthering my legacy,” said Hopkins:” We have full circle now, and that is one of the only chapters that haven’t been closed until we get there. Redemption, it’s a powerful word. I am cool after that. Roy Jones Jr. is going to get knocked out, come April 3rd.”
Bernard Hopkins comes into the fight as a heavy betting favorite. Las Vegas bookmakers have him over four to one favorite to win the fight. When asked how he felt about that, Hopkins stated: “I am black. I was born underdog and I am going to be underdog till I die.If I am not the underdog I make myself one. That has been my biggest motivation. I live on the edge. That’s me. What do I have to loose?”