Hopkins Talks Tough At Wright Press Conference
By Clive Bernath: Former middleweight legend Bernard ’The Executioner’ Hopkins aims to solve the ’Puzzle’ that is Ronald ’Winky’ Wright’ when the pair meet in a light-heavyweight clash at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas,Nevada on July 21.
Speaking at the official press conference to announce the fight in Las Vegas last weekend Hopkins, 47-4-1-(32), said: “I’m back and my record speaks for itself. I was champion for over ten years, had 20 defenses and a win over a man they said was the best light heavyweight in the world, Antonio Tarver. Winky Wright is a good fighter, but I’m a great fighter, and I’ll prove that once again on July 21st.”
“I’m glad that Bernard stepped up to the plate to fight me when no one else wanted to take the challenge and I respect him for that,” said Wright. “But that will all go out the window when we step into the ring on July 21st. I’m younger, faster, stronger and better than Hopkins and he knows it.”
Wright, 51-3-1-(25), has not been beaten since dropping a majority 12 round decision to Fernando Vargas in December 1999 and is widely regarded as the best defensive boxer in the world today 42 year-old Hopkins has promised that ’come July 21 ’the puzzle will be solved’
“Winky Wright is a helluva fighter,” said Hopkins. “ He has not been beaten in nearly a decade and is one of the best defensive boxers in the world today but come July 21 I will solve that puzzle.
“He(Winky) is also one of the most safety first boxers you can get, hell he plays so safe that when he goes out in his car he puts his seat belt on twice,”continued Hopkins.
“But you know we are all in a rush sometime. You know you rush out to the shops , you go to meet the wife or girlfriend and you forget to put your belt on. Then all of a sudden you run that red light and bang, you get hit buddy(Hopkins looks over at Wright), thats it, you getting hit.”
Hopkins also beefed up an otherwise civilized press conference by informing his 35 year-old southpaw rival to expect a hostile experience when their press tour gets underway.
“ Don’t you forget man we definitely ain’t friends,” insisted Hopkins. “I respect your record, man but thats all. You trying to stop me in my plans and my future so this is personal man, this tour ain’t gonna be no fun for you.
“You have not been in with a guy like me, man. You gonna get whupped by a 42 year-old man.
“Winky, listen?,” continued Hopkins, “No one is gonna understand man that you gonna get beat by an old man and he ain’t even got a cane.” ’It ain’t gonna happen,man, trust me?, replied Wright.
“Nobody wants to be known by getting their ass kicked by a senior citizen, you know what I can do and I got this thing about beating up on Florida boys(both Wright and Hopkins’ previous opponent Antonio Tarver are from Florida).”
“You know I never blow up between fights, I’m a gym rate,” said Hopkins. “I stay focused all the time. But the bottom line is that I cannot go and tell my wife my daughter or my friends that a guy called ’Winky Stinky’ beat me. I just can’t get beat by a guy called ’Winky’, you know what I’m saying?
“I have been taking this fight seriously for a long time. I ain’t taking this fight for no pay check. This is gonna be a technical fight to a point then your gonna see something special. Your only as good as your last fight. His(Wright’s) fight with Quartey(Ike) was great but my fight but my fight with Tarver(Antonio) was even greater.”
The Hopkins vs Wright - Coming to Fight” promotion is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Winky Promotions, and will be televised by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9pm ET / 6pm PT.
May 8, 2007