You might recall that before he became the oldest boxing champ in history last weekend, Bernard Hopkins had some choice words for Donovan McNabb, who never had much truck with the boxer, aside from neglecting to shake his hand when Hopkins visited the Eagles training center in 2004. Never one to let go of a grudge (imagine if you actually insulted this guy), Hopkins took to the TV last night to further lambaste McNabb. Video is here.
The interview is amusing, mainly because Hopkins is such a character. For those who don't care to watch the whole thing, I've transcribed highlights from the Hopkins monologue:
That's how me and T.O. got having a conversation. They gave me mad love. Everybody running ... And next thing, we see two guys, two coaches, trainers, whatever, they looking out. And we see McNabb looking out. ...It reminded me of being up in Chestnut Hill. Because I'm from Germantown. And when you go up Chestnut Hill back in early 70s and 80s you got looked at funny. I felt that way. I felt like I was up in Chestnut Hill. Like, [??] whitewash. Like, do I supposed to be in this neighborhood? ... It had nothing to do with my ego. Everybody was giving us love. ... T.O. just coming to town not too long ago. And I love his heart. I love his demeanor. I mean, he got issues. But we all do. And I'm seeing this guy hide and wait until we leave and peek out every now and then. It's like, you know, you go on the block and you know somebody's home and they're like, 'Did he leave yet? Did he leave yet? Did he leave yet?'
After this encounter, Hopkins began scrutinizing McNabb, athlete-to-athlete, man-to-man. He determined that the quarterback had talent but lacked heart. McNabb simply didn't have that quintessence that makes an athlete great. And how did Hopkins know this?:
It's like instincts that I have growing up in the streets. ...To be able to have the ability that some can't understand because they haven't walked that road or been in that block where you can look at somebody and sense something, not judge them, and have the experience to see and feel what they're actually thinking and what they don't have in 'em. Now did that play in my 23-year boxing career? Where I have to be mano a mano, where I have to look at a guy even though he speaks with confidence but he really don't mean it? That is something that I have — the ability to look through a man's soul and watch his actions and see if he really means what he really wants. That separates the average from the greats.
Here's the craziest part. If you redact all the hateful stuff Hopkins has said about McNabb being an Uncle Tom, you start to wonder if the boxer actually knows from which he speaks.