Wednesday, February 08, 2023  |


Oscar De La Hoya: Bernard Hopkins wants Gennady Golovkin post-Kovalev

Bernard Hopkins (L) faces Sergey Kovalev at the weigh-in for their Nov. 8 fight. Photo by Naoki Fukuda.

Bernard Hopkins (L) faces Sergey Kovalev at the weigh-in for their Nov. 8 fight. Photo by Naoki Fukuda.


ATLANTIC CITY — There are those who have called Sergey Kovalev “the Gennady Golovkin” of the light heavyweight division. But if he is successful in defeating Kovalev on Saturday at Boardwalk Hall, Bernard Hopkins wants the real thing.

Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 knockouts), who turns 50 in January, already is facing a difficult task in putting his IBF and WBA belts on the line against the WBO title held by Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 knockouts), 31, who will be making his third defense in an HBO-televised bout at Boardwalk Hall. Hopkins has twice become the oldest man to earn a major title, as well as the eldest to unify, and is trying to eclipse the third record against Kovalev.

According to Golden Boy president Oscar De La Hoya, if Hopkins succeeds on Saturday he wants to face Golovkin (31-0, 28 KOs), a 32-year-old currently on an 18-fight knockout streak.

“Hopkins is far from done,” said De La Hoya. “He wants to continue pushing himself and setting new goals.”

Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, which handles Golovkin, told Yahoo!Sports that he would be interested in Hopkins.

“I think it would be an interesting fight, one of the biggest fights of the next year,” said Loeffler. “But there are a lot of things that would need to be agreed to. I don’t think it would be realistic for Gennady to fight above 168. Other than that, it would be a huge fight.”

In Golovkin’s last fight he knocked out Marco Antonio Rubio in two rounds. His next fight will be against Martin Murray (28-1-1, 12 KOs) on Feb. 21 in Monte Carlo.

Golovkin’s trainer, Abel Sanchez, will be ringside on Saturday to watch his light heavyweight prospect, Sullivan Barrera, fight Rowland Bryant on the Hopkins-Kovalev undercard.

“I think that, first of all, [Hopkins has] a difficult fight on his hands tomorrow,” said Sanchez. “That’s the first thing. I think that he’s got a formidable challenge on his hands against Kovalev. That will be a good fight. They both have a 50-50 chance. I honestly think that he’s got to worry about tomorrow.

“But as far as Golovkin is concerned, then of course we would entertain the thought of that fight. That would probably be Gennady’s first pay-per-view fight, and Bernard’s latest. That would be a good fight. I don’t know if Oscar or Tom Loeffler have talked about it, but I would have no problem with that fight.”

If it were to happen, Sanchez would like to see the fight take place at a weight range “between 168 and 170 pounds.”

“I think that that’s something that Tom and Oscar and the management team would have to decide, but if we’re coming up then I would like to see him come down to maybe a 168 or something like that. But that would be up to them to iron those things out,” said Sanchez.

“I hope that that would not be a problem, and that if Bernard wins tomorrow, and if it could happen at a weight like 168, I think that it’s a great fight. That would mean that we would be coming up one division, and he would be coming down a division.”