Bernard Hopkins 1-on-1 with Kevin Iole - Vergil Ortiz, Ryan Garcia and who's next for Canelo

Former two division world champion and current Golden Boy Promotions partner Bernard Hopkins talks to Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole about upcoming fights and likely opponents for Canelo Alvarez when he finally returns to action.

Video Transcript

KEVIN IOLE: Hey, folks. I am Kevin Iole from Yahoo Sports. And I appreciate you guys joining me. It is always a pleasure for me. One of my favorite people to interview in 30 years of covering professional boxing, one of the greatest fighters I ever saw, one of the best interviews I've ever done, my friend, the hall of famer Mr. Bernard Hopkins. B Hop, how are you, my friend?

BERNARD HOPKINS: I'm doing great, Kevin. I'm-- under the circumstances, you know, we've got to keep ducking and moving. And but the family's good. I hope yours is good. And everyone that's listening, hope they can enjoy what we've given them for, you know, in this time of difficulties that you and I-- and you've been in the game longer than me-- I've never seen anything like, or experienced anything like this, especially we're going to get to fighting with no fans in the building. But-- but-- but we're here. So we're here to fight another day. And that matters.

KEVIN IOLE: And that's-- that's the good part about this. Boxing is back on the zone July 24th. The really talented young fighter Vergil Ortiz will headline a card in Southern California against Samuel Vargas. So let's start right there. Vergil Ortiz, one of the top prospects at Golden Boy promotions where you are a partner, he is 15-0 with 15 knockouts, where is he in his development curve? Is he still on the way up? Or do you think he's now, you know, what he's going to be?

BERNARD HOPKINS: Oh, he's-- and I'm going to use the word flatline in a good way. He's right there. And now you take that half of-- where you at-- that level that's half, flatline, straight, and then it's going up. And because I use the-- I use the phrase flatline is because-- right-- we know he can fight, we know he's tough, we know he's a serious, serious, serious threat in that-- in that-- that time frame of his young career. But now, the next step up, because he has the platform now, for many circumstances, he's at this moment where we believe in him, he believes in himself-- himself, and others now are watching, but actually know who this guy is, they know who Ortiz is. They know that, you know, he has the goods.

But now, because of the pandemic, because everything is happening, a lot of prospects, right? Has been delayed. And you know what? A lot of suspects has also not been--

KEVIN IOLE: Both, right?

BERNARD HOPKINS: But not been, I guess, sanctioned by us in the world of boxing, and the fans. And their wins are losses. So now that we are getting slowly back into understanding that division, those names, and fights are starting to ease back in to '21 and '20 that's been really demolished, but we still are in this year leading with the Ortiz fight and hopefully other fights that has been working out now as they put things together.

This is his showcase. He has to make this moment his best moment, because he has the audience who, basically, not necessarily quarantined, but actually are staying close more to their homes, no matter where they live, east, west, south, or wherever they live, in the United States, in the world, they are really now are glued to the TV and looking for good content, and that is good fights, good prospects that's coming up. They want to see now what he can deliver. And I don't believe he's going to-- matter of fact, I know he's going to fulfill all the-- the talents that we see as a young fighter.

To me, he's a young fighter, Kevin, with an old soul, because the things that I see, and the poise that I see in this guy, I'm thinking, like, we see a lot of fighters come, we see a lot of fighters that prove who they was even before they became that. He has the mean street, but not a guy that walks around with a chip on his shoulder. He changes when that bell rings, when he get in that ring, and that's what people are going to see in a few weeks.

KEVIN IOLE: You know, the one thing, like, if you've been watching those top ring fights on ESPN, since they came back, you know--

BERNARD HOPKINS: I've been watching. I've been watching.

KEVIN IOLE: I think we see a higher level of upsets than we normally would see. And so that makes me wonder, like, if some guys are out there, and, you know, maybe working a little harder than others. And so that begs the question, have you and Oscar checked in on Vergil and sent the message, hey, look, look what's happening over here on Top Rank, guy lost his title, guys are, you know, losing fights-- one of their big favorites-- you can't let that happen to you. Have you had that conversation with him, or do you guys leave him alone?

BERNARD HOPKINS: No. Me and Oscar talk a lot amongst ourselves, right? In our team. But he has-- listen, he has a veteran coach, he has experienced people that's in his surroundings, his world, you will say. That's covered, because we see, the fans see the upsets. Don't think for one-- don't thing for one iota that he's not paying attention, and that he don't-- that he's out of that [? rulership ?] of what's going on, because when a prospect get beat, or a top fighter gets upset, not by somebody that you be, like, oh, that was a tough fight, I'm not surprised, when a prospect, or a top champion, or a fighter that's supposed to actually annihilate the other guy, and they win, and they don't get the win, and the upset happens, that-- that-- you promote it, the media promotes it, you don't want to be the victim of that upset. You don't want to be the victim of that upset.

So his team is very, very, very aware that they got the spotlight, they got the date, you know, the date wasn't-- wasn't tied in earlier on for him, but now he fills that position now that people are looking, like, who's this-- who's this prospect for those who don't know? And now they get a chance to say, oh, wait a minute, now-- now-- now he has the stage, and this is his opportunity.

KEVIN IOLE: Right.

BERNARD HOPKINS: He won't blow this one. I guarantee you. Me and you going to be talking, doing a follow-up interview, right? Right? Hopefully like this, so I could see your handsome face with no hair. And we're going to be talking--

KEVIN IOLE: Oh, you're talking about me? Oh, I thought it was somebody else.

BERNARD HOPKINS: Yeah, well, you don't have any hair, so [INAUDIBLE] more hair, I might say different. But let me tell you, I'm predicting we're going to be back on this conversation sooner than later, of course, after the fight's over, saying, Bernard, it didn't last long, but and this-- you know, it's not like you fought a pushover. I'm expecting and I'm going out on a limb, saying, I'm expecting a super, super excited energy fight, but at the end he wins with a devastating knockout that we all know he has the power.

KEVIN IOLE: Vargas is a guy that, you know, I think he's a good fight at this stage of-- you know, 15 fights, a young kid, Vargas is an experienced guy that's been around, that's fought some top people. And those tiny guys, you know, I remember a young Bernard Hopkins, where tough to knock out, right? You know, and, you know, you were fighting some of those guys. Those are tough guys to knock out. So if you say that, and you believe that, and I know you don't say too much that you don't mean, that is pretty high praise of Vergil, because, you know, Vargas is not going to be an easy guy just to walk through.

BERNARD HOPKINS: Because he wants to-- look, Vergil wants to be in a spotlight. He knows that he's been handed this by work-- hard work. And now his opportunity came, like-- and I'm going to use the word out of nowhere. Like, he now got to step up to the plate, because they all asked for it, we all ask for it, oh, when I'm going to get the spotlight? When-- everybody's talking. He been put in a position of where he's at now based on what? Based on opportunity. Now he will deliver, and he's going to deliver big.

His personality gives me the confidence to speak the way I speak, because to me his personality, Kevin, his personality backs up his ability. His personality backs up his ability. And let me tell you, it's going to take a hell of a fighter in his stage, at this level that he's on right now. And he's going to get better and better every fight, that we're going to match him up where he's learning, right? And winning, but not getting fight-- not being handed fights to make him look something that he's not. He has the talent. We have no problem with him fighting on the level in a notch up-- hold up-- in a notch up where he's at right now, which he's taken that step now.

And let me tell you, those veteran-- the person-- the fighter that he's fighting, when I became one of those guys, where, you know, the guy's young, but you've got to, you know, you've got to watch out for the guy that's been there and done that.

KEVIN IOLE: Right.

BERNARD HOPKINS: You know, I'm not putting him on the level as Bernard Hopkins, but they've got to make their own bed on that. You never underestimate those guys that had that experience and still got in a fight in that dog in them. And that's-- that's just-- that's the risk, that's the risk that as a promoter we're taking. And, of course, they're taking a bigger risk, because he's in the ring--

KEVIN IOLE: He's in the ring doing it.

BERNARD HOPKINS: And he has his managers and advisors and things like that. So you can't walk in there like the guy's going to lay down for him.

KEVIN IOLE: I think, if your career-- if I would apply a parallel-- you know, I think obviously you fought Roy Jones in '93, then you came back-- I think the fight that I would say is a parallel would be Joe Lipsey, right? A tough guy that a lot of people really respected as one of the toughest guys in the business.

BERNARD HOPKINS: The Hammer. The Hammer.

KEVIN IOLE: Yeah, I mean, just trauma-- and if I'm not mistaken, he never fought again after that fight, right?

BERNARD HOPKINS: He never fought again. He was on a-- matter of fact, he was on a daytime afternoon fight in Las Vegas, Mike Tyson--

KEVIN IOLE: Tyson and Bruce Seldon, right?

BERNARD HOPKINS: Tyson with Bruce Seldon that night.

KEVIN IOLE: Yeah.

BERNARD HOPKINS: And I remember, Kevin-- glad you said that, because it was just like almost a pandemic there, because it's like four people in the stadium, right? Right? You know how you fight 3:30 in the afternoon?

KEVIN IOLE: And I was there when it was empty.

BERNARD HOPKINS: Well, you was one-- you was one of the three in a 20,000 arena, along with the judges. But-- one of the five then. But that's a perfect example. It shows that your memory is still there. It haven't left you. By 4:30, maybe 4 o'clock, we got to head to the stadium. And then I was like the second or the first fight out.

KEVIN IOLE: Yeah.

BERNARD HOPKINS: And the sun is still out. But I was just so glad to have the opportunity, Kevin, to be on a Mike Tyson's card. I mean, come on, man. We're talking, like, we're talking Mike Tyson's-- Bruce Shelton, and all the great things that happened after that. So-- but that was my chance. And fighting Joe Lipsey is in the same situation that's going to happen with Victor. I mean, this is the same threat--

KEVIN IOLE: Vergil.

BERNARD HOPKINS: Type of guy. And-- and no one knew me, no one-- they knew that, OK, this would be a good match, but if I had to say it, Joe Lipsey was the favorite across the books for me to overcome.

KEVIN IOLE: You know what happened that night, too, Tyson wins by first round knockout, but you remember the tragedy that happened that night, that was the night Tupac died.

BERNARD HOPKINS: Tupac, yep. Tupac had an altercation, and a vest-- and all the way in the front-- because we seen people running around.

KEVIN IOLE: I saw that there, yeah. I actually was shown up by that.

BERNARD HOPKINS: I'll never forget, he had a silk-- I mean, everybody in the world has seen the video-- he had on like a silk, gold colored shirt. That's what they was wearing. They came back out now, matter of fact, far as those print shirts. You remember those print shirts in the '80s? So, you know, like the John Travolta, you know, the shirts with the--

KEVIN IOLE: I used to wear those, believe it or not.

BERNARD HOPKINS: With the animal-- with the animal print, the decals on-- so I remember that, and that was-- you're right-- it was Tupac had got killed that night. I was there.

KEVIN IOLE: I want to-- I want to ask you about another one of Golden Boys really promising young prospects, a little different situation than Vergil Ortiz, which is Ryan Garcia. You know, when Ryan Garcia first came to prominence, I was not sold on him as a fighter. You know, I knew he was a great-- and a good looking kid, and a smart guy, and a good marketer, but I wasn't sold on him as a fighter. Somebody made the decision to send him to Eddy Reynoso.

And now I'm sold on him. I think he's a guy that I think has a lot of ability. And I think he's going to beat some really good guys in a crowded, crowded division. But the question is, you know, is he blowing his opportunity, or do you think he-- you know, you're a guy that fought with promoters through your career for what he was worth-- he's fighting and saying he's not being paid what he's worth-- how do you assess what Ryan is doing right now? And do you feel like, you know, he's making the right call by holding out and saying, I'm not taking this, or should he be back in there and throwing punches?

BERNARD HOPKINS: I think, to put pressure on the promoter, because I felt-- I feel like what Ryan has done, and what he's saying, and what he means, and what he believes, I am a supporter of that. I am supportive of any fighter, whether he [INAUDIBLE] or not, who's legitimately-- right?-- standing up for what they believe that they are-- not only worth, because-- and also, who they are fighting. This particular time that we are in-- see, this ain't your fault, my fault, this ain't Ryan fault. This ain't Golden Boy fault, or any other promoter, or any other fighter. We're not the only company just letting fighters know that having no-- having to adjust not having an audience, or even some cases, if you don't have them locked in contractually, sponsors, and other revenue, and other resources--

KEVIN IOLE: Right.

BERNARD HOPKINS: To be other support, not only what you should get, what your contract says, but in the same token, no one had, no one knew this was coming, no one planned for this. So once the business starts being put out in the media, and you know there are two sides, there are the-- I call them the news sniffers, right? Whenever it gets out, and then you have this being said, you have that being said, everything that comes in the middle is not really heard by both sides, because now, the third party, which has their own agenda, whether reporter, fans, Instagram, and then, of course, you know, Ryan, you mentioned it, he has, whether you like him or not, fans, he has a huge following.

Now, they put their $0.10, not $0.02, $0.10 in it, and it becomes all muddy and murky and all that. Ryan Garcia haven't blew his opportunity. I think he delayed what could have been his night, what could have been his glorified sparring session based on where we at in the world with sports, also in life, and to be able to do what you do in the ring or in social media for nothing.

KEVIN IOLE: Right.

BERNARD HOPKINS: I would love to be in the position, if I had a choice before it happened, to go and fight a fight, then go in the gym and get punched, or to be in the gym for long extents of time knowing that the mental-- the mental of fighting somebody that's trying to get you, pertaining to sparring, with [? head ?] [? gears, ?] hitting the bag, hitting the speed bag, hitting the pads, that's preparation. I will take the opportunity to be seen.

And think about this, then, again, this is my veteran advance that others, either are not telling him outside. And a lot of times there's those who, outside of yourself, Ryan, who will give advice from a business-- they say, from a business experience, but not understanding that every time a young athlete and a prospect and now, a true future world champion and possibly a great champion as he build his record through fights, through fans, and through sell-out arenas, when you lose that opportunity, which he has, at this moment to seize the world while they're mostly in their house, in their house looking for content, looking for sports, looking for something to escape, and you have an opportunity to say, you know what? I know I'm worth X, Y, Z, I know what my contract says, or I know what this says, but you know what? I understand that we are in this together.

KEVIN IOLE: Right.

BERNARD HOPKINS: Kevin, you doing your interviews from home. I'm here in Philly doing it at my apartment. If you had a choice, you would want to be where you do a lot more work, or where you want to be--

KEVIN IOLE: I'd be sitting right next to you talking to you.

BERNARD HOPKINS: Exactly. So I just think this-- let me tell you something, I love Ryan's attitude when he gets ready for a fight. I love his marketing. Everything he's done, I am a huge fan of his. Still, I just believe that the advice that some will think, that they've given, could be right for them, and might not mean no harm to the fighter, or maybe might think they're doing the right thing, but the fighter must learn and grow up quick in this game called business. I didn't say boxing.

KEVIN IOLE: Right.

BERNARD HOPKINS: When you learn the business of boxing, one thing's for sure, Kevin, out of sight out of mind. And they have short memories in this game.

KEVIN IOLE: Oh, yeah.

BERNARD HOPKINS: You and I both know, I've been on both ends. I've been on-- I've been on both-- hold up, man--

KEVIN IOLE: I've been with you on those.

BERNARD HOPKINS: Listen, listen, Kev, I don't want to come across here like a hypocrite, right? Because everybody know I stood up for anything that I believed in that even imminence at the end, I feel that, you know what? I can compromise on certain things. And there's been many things that I had to do that on.

KEVIN IOLE: Right.

BERNARD HOPKINS: This is one of those situations, Kevin. Where now that Ryan, I think, the longer he stays out--

KEVIN IOLE: The tougher it is?

BERNARD HOPKINS: You don't want to be an Instagram champion. You don't want to be an Instagram future hall of famer. All these things got to take place. See, an Instagram future hall of famer is a victory on Instagram, whether it's 1 million, 2 million followers, but to be that twice, to be that in the ring, to establish that as time goes on, and then do that when you promote your ups and downs of what happened in that ring is key. Out of sight, out of mind. You've got to remember that [INAUDIBLE].

KEVIN IOLE: Let me ask you this. Here's the thing that people question. I preface this question by saying I used to question him, but now I'm a believer. But obviously he hasn't done it at the highest level yet, and the lightweight division is loaded with great fighters, you know, Lomachenko, Lopez, Gervonta Davis, Devin Haney--

BERNARD HOPKINS: That's who I want to see him fight right away. '21, I want to see that fight.

KEVIN IOLE: Yeah, it's going to be something.

BERNARD HOPKINS: And let me tell you something, Kevin-- sorry to cut you off-- but I was really excited to say that because that's one of the reasons of the connection that I wanted Ryan to be this month fighting on that card, you know why? Because now '21, right? It's being established in 2020 right now.

KEVIN IOLE: Right.

BERNARD HOPKINS: Right? You don't wait to '21, you establish, or you're a year behind.

KEVIN IOLE: Right.

BERNARD HOPKINS: So Ryan getting those cobwebs off. I don't care how young he is. Getting those-- that mental, that in the ring, that head gear off, that threat that if you don't be careful or be on point, that you could suffer a loss, you could suffer something that you know that you shouldn't have gotten hit with that cut your eye or whatever.

This is the momentum that we already lost in this year. A lot of fighters would be glad to get on the card. Don't you know how many fighters that would love to have one or two fights before this year off starting from January, 2020?

KEVIN IOLE: Right.

BERNARD HOPKINS: So chopping at the bit, I expect Ryan to be responding at that time. And I was really shocked. But then as I understood certain information, is always that out representation of here and there. And I'm not saying anybody is wrong or right, that give they choice. But then, Ryan, hopefully he made that choice, because at least I could say it was his choice, it wasn't someone else, because whatever is done, the fighter carries the bag, whether it's a positive bag or whether it's a negative bag. Because, like I said, again, starting his interview with this conversation, out of sight, out of mind.

KEVIN IOLE: Speaking of out of sight, we haven't seen Canelo Alvarez for a while. Hopefully, he will be back before long. I talked to Eric Gomez, he said that they're hoping September would be the Golden Boy [? precedented ?] time for Canelo to come back and fight on his own. Give me an update on what's going on. I saw some talk that he might fight John Ryder. Eric did tell me he wanted to fight at 168. Where do you guys stand right now with Canelo? And do you feel like-- I mean, he's making $36 million, so it's hard if there's no fan-- it's hard if there are fans in there to pay him $36 million, let alone no fans. How do you get this done and have Canelo come back and fight on his own with that kind of paycheck?

BERNARD HOPKINS: But, I think, Canelo-- I think-- and I'm not speaking for him-- but Canelo, I believe, know more about what's happening based on the little things he has said, and based on where we're at. Because Canelo also knows that this is a real life pandemic. This ain't no negotiation floor. This ain't no, oh, we gave you a contract, and now we want to try to reduce our commitment.

Nah, man, this is real. They watch the news. He understands. And when I say he understands, he understands like everybody in this world. Now, whether you take that serious or not, then don't wear your mask, don't wear your mask. You're risking your life, and you're risking, most importantly, somebody else's life. So we all understand that we know this is real. I don't think anybody can say exactly-- yup, see? Perfect. I love that mask.

KEVIN IOLE: The Vegas Golden Knights, baby.

BERNARD HOPKINS: Yes, sir. So you're protecting me now, because it probably can come through the internet if [INAUDIBLE].

KEVIN IOLE: Exactly.

BERNARD HOPKINS: It probably could come through this podcast interview. So you never know, man. But let me tell you, Canelo wants to fight in September because he knows that he needs to keep that momentum. And, also, it's good for him here.

KEVIN IOLE: Right.

BERNARD HOPKINS: And guess what? Now you have some momentum, physically, mentally, to go into '21-- right?-- with a credible opponent. Hey, you think the world of boxing think he's going to go ahead and fight a rematch with Jacob or this guy? That would be great, but right now they want bodies in the ring.

KEVIN IOLE: Right.

BERNARD HOPKINS: They want to be able to feel, like, boxing is coming back. And you know what, he's fighting a guy with a pulse, he's fighting a guy like this because a reduction--

KEVIN IOLE: Is Ryder the guy?

BERNARD HOPKINS: Yes, I think so. On this guy-- on the fight, would Canelo beat him? I'll be surprised if Canelo have a hard time with him, but he got to come in there honest, Canelo that is. Canelo gotta to come in there honest because he don't know nobody, he can't help himself. Canelo, he fights like that. He has that old school faking.

KEVIN IOLE: Like you.

BERNARD HOPKINS: Yes, he's never going to come in in shape. And when he blasts him out of there, of course, the Monday morning quarterback. People say, oh, the guy was a nobody. But, listen, we just need fighters to understand, and I need fighters to understand that's not even with us that I talk too frequently, they ask me different tips about how did I do this so long, how did I do that, what was my diet, and all this stuff. You rather have a moving car than a car standing still because the battery will go dead.

KEVIN IOLE: Right.

BERNARD HOPKINS: You must keep moving. You gotta keep moving. And part of that movement is staying active, is staying active. Well, I was training at the gym. No. The gym is comfortability. The gym is school. But you got to pass the test, right? And the next-- and the test that you got to pass is, then you got somebody in that ring with no headgear, right?

No time out because you got hit with a good shot, and in camp-- and in camp and training, they can stop at any given time. It's a false sense of comfortability of being protected by your cornermen, and this and that, and it's being monitored, and they could stop the rounds, they could stop-- nah, this ain't happening in a fight unless it's on the bad side or on the good side of yours. You must stay relevant in the sport of boxing, especially now, and out of sight and out of mind is the same thing as stay relevant. And continue to get ready for the next turning page of every young and old fighter career is called Father Time has a nursing home for all of us.

KEVIN IOLE: All that gray hair up there.

BERNARD HOPKINS: Father Time has a nursing home for all of us. It doesn't discriminate, right? It doesn't care if you're this or that. Father Time has a house for all of us.

KEVIN IOLE: Father Time is a good way to transition to my last question, which I think people are going to want to hear--

BERNARD HOPKINS: Damn, I shouldn't have mentioned that.

KEVIN IOLE: You were 50 years old when you fought, and you fought at a damn high level. But now there's guys that are 57-year-old Evander Holyfield, 54-year-old Mike Tyson, even--

BERNARD HOPKINS: [INAUDIBLE].

KEVIN IOLE: A guy named Oscar de La Hoya who I think is 47 or 48, are talking about fighting. I know I'm sure Oscar's asked you about it, but if Mike, Evander came to you and said, B Hop, what should I do? What do you tell him?

BERNARD HOPKINS: First, let's start with Mike Tyson. First of all, are you fighting a video game, or are you fighting in the ring? Once you make it clear that, no, I'm going in the ring and fight, it's going to have to be someone that I feel that he never, never, never had experience to be in there with a Mike Tyson old or young. I don't want to see Holyfield only if-- only if they can pass every test that's given to you to protect you. And I'm not talking about squeeze the ball, stand on one leg, no, I'm talking about hard tests.

KEVIN IOLE: Neurological tests.

BERNARD HOPKINS: Stress tests. All that stuff that, if you breathe in a certain way, and you haven't really done nothing, there's a problem. Second-- that goes for everybody-- I'm starting from my partner all the way down, like, you must pass those tests. And I'm talking about not deep down somewhere in some unlicensed state that don't care that'll let you do a fight with no ring mat, no cushion, or no safety. We're not talking about none of that.

I'd like to see that done. Then second, if you pass that, the physical, then I want to see who you're fighting, and they must be around the same age, right? Which is kind of hard to do for somebody [INAUDIBLE]. Right? They can't be 10, 20, or 15 years younger. No. Right? Now, former champions, current champions, they're not going to even want to even-- [INAUDIBLE]. They're like, what would that do for a guy with a title? Oscar, there's a little different.

And probably say, Bernard, that's your partner, you're going to say that? Well, there's a big community, we all know, in the Latin, or the Mexican community-- Latino. And the fight that's there if Oscar chooses to fight, they will fight based on his name and based on Oscar being in that historic numbers of followings that he has and the culture of boxing, and it can generate a lot of buzz, but it has a lot to do with who, who is the dance partner. Is his dance partner is a rematch with Floyd Mayweather who's been out for a few years?

KEVIN IOLE: He hasn't really fought a boxer since 2015, Floyd Mayweather. He fought Connor McGregor, but he hasn't fought a boxer since Andre Berto.

BERNARD HOPKINS: This is '20, so you're talking 5 years, right?

KEVIN IOLE: Right.

BERNARD HOPKINS: Right? Going to '21. But that fight would ring bells, right? Rematch, they've both been off, you can buy that, and similar situations, right, you can sell that, and that's a fight that you will want to see, I'm pretty sure, and I'm speaking for you. But I know I would want to see it, others would want to see it. That type of setup-- if Oscar is coming back, and you say, Bernard, who would you want to see Oscar fight? Right now at this age, in his time, as you mentioned, Mayweather been off five years, Oscar been off over 10 years. If they had a fight, local, close, depending on who you ask, they say, it could've-- worse case-- been a draw, or would've been a big stank where Floyd eked out a round. So those are some conversations. That fight would be huge.

Tyson, you've got to find that same chemistry of, man, I'll see that fight. I don't care how old these guys is. So it's not just them walking to the dance with some Joe Smuck on the corner, or some person that-- whether he in the hall of fame or not-- and you mentioned Tyson name, they're expecting a bigger name just like that, right? Or to me, it's just a show, it's a show. And I don't think that myself or anybody should come out of any retirement without having something historic attached to it, or risk other than, you couldn't pass the test, or you're not physically ready, because you're going to take the risk anyway. You took it when you was old-- younger. You're taking it even more when you're older. And I see Holyfield and Tyson as being a--

KEVIN IOLE: It would sell, Bernard, it would sell.

BERNARD HOPKINS: It would sell, but I think-- I also think that there's your big risk in that based on their age.

KEVIN IOLE: I agree.

BERNARD HOPKINS: Possibility of someone getting severely hurt. And our sport that we both love would be under a national spotlight in a negative way. And you have to be careful on who we sanction, or who we support far as, they can do what they need to do, they have the right to do that in this great country. But by the same token, if we're going to have fights like that, 50 and older, or say, 45 and older, and coming back after being out of the ring for multiple years, then it damn better be a good match up on both ends.

It got to be something that you would say, Bernard, I would want to see that fight. OK. We got it. They both in the same situation. They both should be rusty. They both going to have cameras. They both going to train. Yes. But for that type of guy to jump on a young fighter that's hungry right now, in any division, I think that's-- that's-- that's playing Russian roulette.

KEVIN IOLE: Yeah, I'm with you. Bernard, I really appreciate you. I want to reiterate, July 24th, The Zone is back, Vergil Ortiz. And Bernard Hopkins is guaranteeing an A plus level performance from Vergil Ortiz. We're going to see Vergil Ortiz get the finish.

BERNARD HOPKINS: I'mma go further than that. It's going to be a ball burner early on, and he will get the knockout late in the fight.

KEVIN IOLE: All right, [INAUDIBLE].

BERNARD HOPKINS: [INAUDIBLE].

KEVIN IOLE: [INAUDIBLE] from the hall of famer himself, that is the legend, one of my favorite guys, and you can see why, one of my favorite guys over the years. And I've interviewed a lot of great guys. And this man right here is one of the best I've ever talked to both in the ring and to sit there and talk to, Bernard Hopkins. B Hop, I appreciate you, brother.

BERNARD HOPKINS: Be safe, man. Wear your mask.

KEVIN IOLE: We got that Golden Knights mask going.

BERNARD HOPKINS: All right. Take care.

KEVIN IOLE: Peace out.

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