For The Title of Respect
It's rare in the modern boxing world when two legendary fighters who are as evenly matched as Bernard Hopkins and Winky Wright get in the ring together. As Hopkins and Wright inch toward the close of their careers, a positive legacy is all a boxer has besides his battle scars. With 98 wins and 57 knockouts between both boxers, it's certain neither man will be holding back. However, as evidence of their comments below show, it would be hard to find two fighters with more mutual respect for each other.
WINKY WRIGHT ON BERNARD HOPKINS
First of all it's likeâ€¦I'm gonna be out their fighting a legend in this sport. No question. But I want to make it clear that I'm a force to be wrecking with. I take nothing for granted, if you know Bernard and you know the fight game, you know Bernard fights hard and comes to win. I can't take anything away from him, he looked sharp against (Antonio) Tarver. He's definitely a great fighter, you can't take nothing away from him. He's cagey, he does a lot of dirty things that makes the fight harder. If he didn't do so many tricky things it would be a lot easier to fight him. But, you know, he's a technician. He's coming to fight, I mean, we're coming to fight. It's just that I'm coming to win. I feel this is going to be a much better fight than we have had this year. Ricky Hatton was explosive, but you could see it took a lot out of him. Definitely the Floyd Mayweather fight did not live up to the hype. It was great for the sport to get a lot of people back and interested in it and viewing it. This fight right here is going to be a fight. Here, it's like, you've got two fighters that know how to win, two fighters that have been winning their whole career. That's what you're going to get in this fight. Someone is going to have to give and someone is going to have to receive. Neither of us has ever been knocked out and I know I'm not trying to get knocked out, so he might be trying to get knocked out. Don't miss it. I'll tell you. I respect him as a fighter, but besides that, I'm coming to whip his ass. I would tell people not to miss this fight because it's going to be a throwback. You're going to see two fighters that know how to win. Two guys are going to come in an fight. It's not going to be ultimate fighting, we ain't going to wrestle and slam eachother, but we're going to be fighting, boxing each other. If you're a fight fan that knows what it's like to see two technicians battle each other and leave one man standing, then you better catch this fight. That's what you're going to see July 21.
BERNARD HOPKINS ON WINKY WRIGHT
Even if I was fighting Donald Duck, I mean, this is Bernard Hopkins. I came out of brief retirement, with the legacy I have, but for someone to suggest this fight isn't good on paper is crazy. I mean, you've got 98 wins combined together. We've been in the game over ten years. I can speak for myself and say, we dominated a division. For some to say this fight isn't worth watching just shows a lack of education about our records, our careers and our resume. It's also plain straight-up hating. I will use the example of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, same thing with this fight, it's like; why wouldn't you watch those two go against each other. Even today, to this day, a one on one game between the two of them would be worth watching. They are future legends, they are Hall of Famers, they did spectacular things in their careers and they are names that are worth watching. No one questioned when Tommy Hearns and Ray Leonard fought for the third or fourth time way past their prime. The whole thing is that there are two guys who never ducked anybody. My thing is, just on our names and what our performances have been, there is no one going in there to get bosses around. Knowing our reputations of not going in there to waltz around, we're just two counter punchers that punch. Ali was a great counter puncher. Counter-punchers have to wait for the other guy to make a mistake. In this fight, the mistake will happen, but it has to happen quickly and swiftly because both of the guys in this fight want to win. One has to do more than the other is used to doing to win. It's unbelievable how I have to take these guys to school.