Bernard Hopkins has called on fighters to settle their differences in the ring rather than on social media for the integrity of the sport.
Hopkins’ comments come in light of his recent bad blood with Ryan Garcia, whose relationship with Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions is at an all-time low. Garcia is currently in a legal battle with Golden Boy for breach of contract. His dissatisfaction was shown in his pre-fight presser for the Oscar Duarte fight. Garcia lashed out at Hopkins over his comments that Garcia may not box if he lost to Duarte.
Garcia also attacked De La Hoya, who claimed Hopkins’ comments were taken out of context. That impacted Garcia’s choices, given the disconnect between him and De La Hoya. After instructing De La Hoya to make the Devin Haney fight, Garcia pulled out of talks in favor of Rolando Romero. That happened after Garcia was seen with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Garcia and Haney then traded verbal shots at each other online, leaving boxing fans without a big fight, as Hopkins expressed his frustration.
“I think the drama queens are starting to get to the point that the fans are getting turned off and they don’t care who they fight or when they fight. And that’s the risk that happens when you make a soap opera out of it. It gets to the point that if you into that, you into that. Don’t get me wrong. Someone’s out there that is into that. I think after a while it gets kind of boring,” Hopkins said
The Haney-Garcia fight is still possible down the line, provided Garcia beats Romero. But boxing has often seen fighters face each other after their prime, depriving fans of seeing the best fights. While Garcia and Haney are still relatively young, any losses on their record will diminish the significance of the fight. That’s why Hopkins urged boxers to back up their fighting talk in the ring.
“I think right now the world of boxing fans, casual or hardcore, are basically tired of hearing lip service. I think they now want to hear action. They want to hear more ‘we got signed contracts,’ more than ‘I want to fight [this guy, that guy],” Hopkins added
I mean, they don't need to fight the best boxers 4 times a year.
But they are fighting the best only once in 3 years… If not less.
That really is not that good. Boxing is being carried by some few big stars that are not afraid to fight.
— Jefferson Matos (@jeffsmm) January 15, 2024
Turned off by paper champions and terrible match ups**
— Bader (@BaderNjd90) January 15, 2024
— Tom Hicks (@Coach_Tom_Hicks) January 15, 2024