Bernard Hopkins is already looking past Karo Murat, the man he faces in Atlantic City this weekend.
"If it was a dollar to fight (Murat), you'd see me up here promoting like I was getting $20 million. Why? Because I have a better plan. I'm coming to defend my title and look for bigger things next."
Bigger things. Well what could that be? Of course, astute observers of the ring know it's Floyd Mayweather, who needs a big name marquee opponent. Because we know Floyd will never risk pulling the plug on the Haymon, Golden Boy, Showtime money machine by fighting a Bob Arum fighter like Manny Pacquiao, Tim Bradley or Ruslan Provodnikov. Floyd and his masters need to come up with something flashy, some kind of smoke and mirrors, to divert pressure away from Floyd having to fight Pacquiao or Bradley.
It appears Bernard Hopkins is the first choice for Floyd and Haymon since nobody really cares to see Floyd vs. Amir Khan or Paulie Malignaggi. Mayweather vs. Hopkins even appears to be in the preliminary stage of production.
"Well, first of all I had no conversations, but it was a conversation said to me, and that’s why I responded," said Hopkins in quotes that appeared on Fightnews.com. "And when I realized that there is a fight that they (Showtime) owe him in May of next year, and whether I’m willing or can I make 160, and I said, well, if I have that much time, a guy like me, the way I live and the way I keep my body right, even six pounds from fight night next week, sure. They (presumably Haymon, Schaefer, Ellerbe) didn’t act like they were joking, and we’re talking powerful people. So I’m sitting back saying, Okay, hey, you know, because no one else is going to beat Floyd Mayweather in their 20s and even in their early 30s."
[Hopkins knows no Bob Arum fighter like Pacquiao, Bradley or Provodnikov will be given a chance to beat Floyd.]
"Not this checkerboard man colony, young fighters who can be great later, but right now they just don’t have the degrees to do it. So that’s the only reason I threw my hat in there."
"I would love to put a feather in my cap to go down two weight classes after coming up two weight classes to make history with [Antonio] Tarver, almost six, seven years ago. I mean can you imagine the ‘All Access’ [Showtime pre-fight reality show]? Can you imagine the promotion for that fight? Because I’m not a shy guy and I don’t have a shy camp."
Hopkins seemed to get caught up in the excitement about laying the foundation for the blockbuster event which promises to pay him handsomely. But then he stopped himself, sort of.
"But I keep reminding people (wonder which people?), okay yes, there’s a possibility of anything. I’m not chasing anybody. I’m not standing in line for anybody. I’m not trying to pick on the little guy. But if you can find somebody that people want to see fight after that performance [Mayweather's last fight vs. a strangely passive Canelo Alvarez], masterful performance of a king chess player that we witnessed less than two months ago – good luck."
Of course, it must be said that Hopkins knows the world still wants to see Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, especially if Pacquiao beats Brandon Rios next month. But, of course, Hopkins knows he is forbidden by his masters Al Haymon, Richard Schaefer and Showtime from saying anything positive about Manny Pacquiao because Al Haymon and Floyd Mayweather will never ever make that fight which could wreck the Floyd gravy train.
The four biggest threats to Mayweather are all non-Golden Boy/Haymon - Pacquiao, Tim Bradley, Sergio Martinez and Ruslan Provodnikov, so Hopkins, a member of the Golden Boy inner circle, knows he's the inside favorite (if he beats Murat - hold your chuckles] to step in and be Mayweather's next Al Haymon approved, handpicked set up, B side, looking for a final big payday opponent.
Get ready for Hopkins vs. Mayweather Reality Show coming soon next year.
Warning: Don't be a fool and bet a dime on the old man. Remember, Floyd told us, "I never lose fights like this."