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Hopkins Eyes Rematch With Jones

Francis Walker
Ladies and gentlemen, on Saturday, May 13, live from Conseco Field House in
Indianapolis, Indiana, Undisputed World Light-Heavyweight Champion, Roy Jones Jr., defends his championship against WBA No. 1 contender, Richard Hall. However, the co-feature will pit IBF middleweight champ, Bernard "The
Executioner" Hopkins, making his 11th defense, against Syd Vanderpool.

Approaching his mid thirties, Hopkins, a native of Philadelphia, PA, is in
search of two things - his first million-dollar payday and a rematch with

In their first encounter on May 22, 1993, Jones defeated Hopkins to win the
vacant IBF 160-pound crown. Since then Hopkins, who in his third attempt on
December 17, 1994, won the IBF title from Segundo Mercado, has defeated some of the best including: Robert Allen, Antwun Echols, John David Jackson, Joe Lipsey, Andrew Council, Steve Frank, among others.

Hopkins has made such dramatic improvements in his overall boxing ability
since his first fight with Jones, he is actually considering a move down to
154 pounds to challenge Felix Trinidad or Fernando Vargas.

During a special interview with "The Executioner," Hopkins speaks of his
desire to fight Jones in a rematch. In addition to his philosophies as to
what fighting with heart and soul is all about.

Francis Walker: What's different about the Roy Jones, Jr. in 1993 as opposed
to the Roy Jones, Jr. now?

Bernard Hopkins: Nothing! That's not saying in a way where he hadn't done
anything. He hasn't had the competition to take him anywhere else. If it is
not broke, why fix it? Now if you asking me 'what have you done? How you have learned?' I think my actions show that I am not the same guy that I was back in 1993. He's the same and I've made some adjustments the night after I
fought him. What was that adjustment? Never to lose again!

FW: Even at 175, as opposed to 160, Roy Jones is so quick and so fast. There
were times when it took you a while to get started since you are a slow

Hopkins: That's part of what you learned, what you're going to do next time.
That's part of what you did then compared to what you'll do next time.

FW: Having assessed Jones' last several performances against David Telesco,
Reggie Johnson, Richard Frazier, and Lou Del Valle, is there anything you can
bring to the table against Roy,  contrary to the opposition in his last several fights?

Hopkins: Speed, power, and heart. Telesco put forth a gallant performance,
but you talk about the last three, four guys Jones has fought. You can't put
those guys on my level. Bernard Hopkins-Otis Grant? You think Otis Grant and
Bernard Hopkins are the same style type fighters? It's too different! I'm
much faster, I think I'm much faster than any other middleweight that's under
me. I'm faster than David Reid is, so have speed, power, and the same quick
reflexes and moves. The Echols fight showed everyone that [Hopkins] can fight
a little bit like Roy his damn self.

I show skills baby! I know how to back-up and give you fakes and fake you
out. Roy knows what the media don't know. You know what he knows? That I will imitate and do the same things that he wanted to.  That's what the fight was about. They thought that I was going to stay there and be the typical Philadelphia fighter - throw a hook, throw a right hand. Roy dancing around, making me look like I'm being out gunned and out-muscled. But then when I showed my boxing skills, it became a boring fight. It became a technical fight. He saw something he wasn't told that I could do.

FW: How do you fight Roy?

Hopkins: In an alley!

FW: You fight Roy in an alley?

Hopkins: In an alley, not on the football field. Fight him in a phone booth
and when I want to get out of that phone booth, it would be on my terms not

To beat Roy Jones is the will of minds. Not actually the will of speed, nor
the will of power. It's the will of minds. Roy beats people by having their
minds thinking that he is so fast that 'if I commit myself, I'm going to pay.'

FW: What about you're proposal to drop down to 154? Is that still open?
Hopkins: That's always an option. If someone comes up, or someone comes down I'm covering all bases. You should be judged by your performance. You should be judged by the work you do. If you were a lousy reporter, you would be fired! Performance, performance, performance! If a lot of people would be
judged by their performance, a lot of other people would not have their jobs

Judge me by my performance not by what I say!

I had my chance with Roy in '93 and look what happened. If a guy can win on
their first try, then fine. But if a guy can suck it up and show that true
championship desire to come in and do what he has to do, then I have a lot of
credit for a guy that gets his ass kicked to come back. If a guy is 30-0,
like Joe Lipsey, gets knocked out by me and retires. I have respect for guys
that do good. Look at Roy Jones after his first fight with Montell Griffin.
He came on vicious, man. True champions come back, true champions kick definite ass. True champions take challenges. Ray Robinson went up to light
heavyweight; fought in 120-degree weather, man. True champions take risks.


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