BY SYL PETERKIN – PHOTOS BY ELIZABETH AMADEO
On October 20, 2010, Planet Hollywood in Midtown Manhattan held the press conference for the upcoming bout of Bernard Hopkins challenging Jean Pascal for the WBC light heavyweight title and his newly awarded IBO and Ring Magazine light heavyweight titles. This fight will be aired on Showtime on December 18 in Quebec, and Team Fight Nerd was there to cover the very interesting press conference!
Oscar De La Hoya (Golden Boy Promotions) spoke of Bernard Hopkins as a well oiled machine. A man who is dedicated to boxing and Jean Pacal as a young lion. Hopkins as described by De La Hoya is the personification of the movement toward experienced, better conditioned athletes. Jean Pascal recently defeated Chad Dawson former champ in an 11-round technical decision to claim the WBC light heavyweight belt as well as the linear belt.
Bernard Hopkins is again being trained by Naazim Richardson. Naazim said at the press conference, “everytime you step into the ring you take out one of two things. You take experience or you take punishment.” These are very wise words to upcoming individuals who are entering into the world of combat sports. Hopkins has been described as being a throwback fighter, a fighter who you could put in any era and would excel in that era.
Hopkins who at 45, spoke about boxing since he was nine years old and pro-boxing for 23 years. Supreme in his confidence, he had many witty anecdotes. Having great confidence, he gave Jean Pascal credit for agreeing to fight him. That was about all the credit he gave him. Bernard spoke about how he hopes that Pascal doesn’t become a Jermaine Taylor or Kelly Pavlik who became damaged fighters after each fought Hopkins. Bernard also spoke highly of the Ring Magazine belt where the title is what earned by the fighter and there are no sanctioning fees.
Pascal, speaking in a deep french accent, brought a little comedy to his speech. He spoke of his boxing pedigree and how he he is the champ and deservedly so. Pascal stated as to how he was disrespected by Hopkins, but told the audience he will not go to that level since his mother told him “do not disrespect your elders.” His reply to Hopkins statement that he would be taken to school was “I like school, I finished high school and college. I will get my Masters degree soon!” An impressive quality, a scholar warrior. Jean Pascal, who is Haitian by descent, and a member of the francophone (french language speaking nations), has the “hometown” advantage fighting in french speaking Quebec Canada (noted arguably as the oldest city in North America).
The fight might not be so clean as Hopkins is a well known crafty veteran and Pascal desires that Hopkins fight him “straight up” and “man to man”, but we will see how that turns out on December 18th on Showtime. In the undercard, and also in attendance, was Brooklyn’s own former IBF light welterweight champion, Paulie Malignaggi (who has fought many elite fighters including Miguel Cotto, Juan Diaz, Amir Khan, and Ricky Hatton).