Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bernard Hopkins Prepares for Fight with Jean Pascal, Has Change of Heart for MMA

Matthew Kaplowitz a.k.a. "The Fight Nerd" recently interviewed former middleweight/light heavyweight boxing champion Bernard Hopkins. B-Hop is slated to challenge Jean Pascal for the IBO, WBC, and Ring Magazine light heavyweight titles on December 18th. In the interview, Hopkins discusses the challenges that age presents when preparing for a fight. He also expresses a new-found respect for mixed martial arts. Fans might recall his past rants about the sport:
"Everybody is different. I don't want to watch two grown men wrestling with panties on. I'm from the hood, we don't play that. To me, I'm not buying a ticket to watch two grown men with panties on, sweating, [with] nuts in their face. That's not me. To compare that to boxing is ludicrous. It's a porno. It's an entertainment porno. I'm not wrestling a guy with panties on and his nuts in my face, and they call that a sport..."

But Hopkins has shown a change of heart for MMA:
"I respect [MMA] because they're the only sport with their own identity. At first I wasn't a fan. I witnessed mixed martial arts in the last two or three weeks. I have a guy in my gym who trains, he's a professional, and I think those guys is professionals in they own way...They deserve to be respected like football, basketball, baseball, any other sport..."

Hopkins may not be a die hard fan, but his change in opinion holds heavy weight. The fact that he now shows regard for MMA sells a lot of stock for the sport.

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