"When I see Bernard, the first thing I do is laugh because of the things that comes out of his mouth. He has to take 5 minutes to himself before he comes out and speaks like that. Who wants to see Roy Jones fight him? I read where Gary Shaw offered to put that fight on the undercard of Chad Dawson. Bernard has to wake up and smell the coffee. And listen, if you don't want to fight Chad, just say it. Don't try to go back in time when time just got stopped in the first round. You trying to make excuses for Roy when Roy not making any excuses. He says he got stopped and that the guy was the better man; that's it. He didn't make no excuses. Bernard is trying to make excuses for Roy," stated world-class trainer and former light heavyweight champion Eddie Mustafa Muhammad as he shared his thoughts Roy Jones' recent loss, Bernard Hopkins' recent performance, Chad Dawson's future plans and much more. Check it out!
PC: How is it going my man?
EMM: Everything is going smooth man. I'm just taking life as it comes.
PC: I have to get your take on Roy Jones' fight. Would you be someone advising him to retire?
EMM: Roy is a good friend of mine and I like Roy very much. It would be something that Roy has to decide on. We, as fighters, don't want someone to tell us it's time to retire. We have to know it on our own. I always told myself that if I ever got stopped in a fight, no matter if it was my first fight or last fight, I would retire. This was a promise I made to myself and I got stopped in my 60th fight. I thought that the referee stopped it prematurely, but I didn't argue with him and I kept that promise to myself. I said I am never going to lie to myself, so when that time came and I got stopped, I said that's it.
PC: Did you think the Jones stoppage was premature?
EMM: Let me explain something to you. When you go over to a foreign country, you have to realize that you are fighting one of their guys and the slightest imbalance in the fight in the hometown guy's favor, they are going to make sure that they do everything to give them the verdict, whether a decision or stoppage. I thought that it was a premature stoppage, but then again, you are in this guys hometown, you are on the ropes and I think Roy was catching a lot of those shots on his arms. You can't do that though because you still gotta fire back and Roy didn't fire back, so that was a situation to stop the fight.
PC: I personally thought his legs were gone and that is was inevitable, but either way, I don't want to see Jones-Hopkins 2. What did you think of Hopkins' performance over Ornelas?
EMM: I really don't know what's wrong with Bernard (laughing). It's just funny to me when he comes out like that. And I like Bernard. When I see Bernard, the first thing I do is laugh because of the things that comes out of his mouth. He has to take 5 minutes to himself before he comes out and speaks like that. Who wants to see Roy Jones fight him? I read where Gary Shaw offered to put that fight on the undercard of Chad Dawson. Bernard has to wake up and smell the coffee. And listen, if you don't want to fight Chad, just say it. Don't try to go back in time when time just got stopped in the first round. You trying to make excuses for Roy when Roy not making any excuses. He says he got stopped and that the guy was the better man; that's it. He didn't make no excuses. Bernard is trying to make excuses for Roy.
PC: Yeah, it's definitely not pay-per-view worthy anymore and I just don't know what network would pick that fight up.
EMM: A Romper Room wouldn't pick that fight up. And the guy that Bernard fought the other day, I'm 57-years-old and I am contemplating a comeback. And if my comeback is in the foreseeable future, the guy that Bernard fought, I would want to fight him and I'm guaranteeing a knockout. I guarantee a knockout. I will make 175 without a doubt and knock him out.
PC: I take it you weren't too impressed with Hopkins' performance?
EMM: Nah man, I wasn't impressed. I understand the age factor with Bernard and the guy he fought had got beaten by all of the top flight middleweights of the world. He wasn't a serious threat as a puncher, so he couldn't hurt Bernard, so Bernard could go in there with his hands down and just play to the crowd a little bit. They gave him the right dance partner for that type of performance. He was doing a 60's Waltz. That fighter was just the right type of dance partner that he needed.
PC: Have you spoken with Chad since both Roy and Bernard have fought to get his thoughts?
EMM: I haven't spoken to Chad because this is his time away from me and he deserves that because when he gives me those 8 weeks of hard training, he don't want to see me another day. We go hard and we get right. He doesn't want to see me until it's time to get me those 8 weeks when he has to be back up at Mount Charleston at 5 in the morning doing the thing. This is his time off from his Professor, from the Doctor, and he don't want to see or hear from me right now. He's hanging out with the family and that's good.
PC: Hopkins' next fight could be at heavyweight or possibly against Jones still. If that's the case, where does Chad go from here?
EMM: We have a lot of options. We are not worried about Hopkins. We are scheduled to fight the winner of Diacuno and Pascal and there are a lot of things that could happen for Chad Dawson. If Jermain Taylor decides to pull out of this Super Six tournament, he could drop down and go into the tournament. Bernard Hopkins doesn't run the show. He's probably got 1 fight left and he will fight another guy like Ornelas and I don't know if the Philly fans will like that because Philly fans are real fight buffs and they love action. And in this last fight, there wasn't no action. Bernard, in my opinion, and I'm not telling him to quit because he has earned the right to do it on his own terms and he's got my respect, but if you don't want to be in this game, the game is over. You can't play fight. You can in basketball, football and hockey, but you can't play fight. You can't take away anything from his skills back in the 90's and early 2000's. Bernard was the man; no doubt about it. Boxing is a young man's sport and for me to think that I can do the same things that I was able to do 10 to 12 years ago let me tell you something, when you take the first hard right hand right down the pike, that's going to be the answer to all questions right there buddy (laughing). That's going to wake you up.
PC: It's like no other sport man because the day Emmitt Smith realized he didn't have it anymore, they probably benched him and brought his backup in. In boxing, you have to learn the hard way.
EMM: Exactly. You can't call timeout. You get hit with that right hand, you can't tell your corner and tell them to send in help. Bernard has to think what he wants to do, but stop thinking heavyweight. He doesn't have a heavyweight frame; he doesn't have a cruiserweight frame. So listen, I wish him all of the luck in the world until he steps in the ring with Chad Dawson, if or when that will ever happen. But as far as anything else, I wish him all of the luck in the world.
PC: You were one of the people that I spoke to that was really adamant on the Margarito situation. I have to get your thoughts on the Guzman-Funeka decision.
EMM: I don't know what the hell went down with that foolishness. Guzman is a good friend of mine; very good friend of mine and it's not his fault that they called the fight a draw. Jose Feliciano and Helen Keller must have been judging that fight. I could not believe the draw.
PC: To have that kid fly in from South Africa and get that kind of decision was horrible.
EMM: That's a shame. The IBF should step in and do something about that. Whether they call an immediate rematch or whatever, but they need to do something about this. Maybe they should give this African kid an interim title. That was just uncalled for. That's why boxing is always walking around with a black eye. You hear everybody say they want to do this for boxing and that for boxing and they have this new promoter's organization association and they wrote a letter saying how they felt the judging of that fight was unfair. Well, we gotta stop talking about it and do something about it. I just wish that the federal government would step in because if the federal government doesn't step in, this game is going to go right to the dogs and that's the way it's heading. The federal government has to step in and appoint boxing people, not suits. They have to appoint boxing people in these positions to make sure that this game is run smooth. We don't need guys with suits and ties on that's going to go to a boxing show just to bring their girlfriends. That is not how this game works. You have to get down to the real nitty gritty; you have to get people that are down for this game. Funeka-Guzman is the ideal fight to take around the world to politicians to show them they need to appoint boxing people that are qualified. I was so surprised to see that come off like that. That was no good. When they take their sweet time to render a decision that shouldn't have taken more than a couple of minutes to tabulate, you know something is no good. It was a blatant robbery. That's getting screwed without Vaseline; that was cold man. They need real boxing people, not suits from Washington D.C. They need boxing people that have lived their lives in this game. We gotta know how to regulate this game and things would be much better.
PC: I always appreciate your time. You know you are welcome on the site any time you have anything to talk about. Good luck to you and Chad in 2010. Is there anything you want to say in closing?
EMM: I want to thank all of the fans for going to your website, which I think is a website where you let people speak their minds; speak the truth in what they do and how they feel about the game. Boxing is like any other game. It's to be told, not unfold. You know I am going to bring it straight up with no chaser baby. I ain't never going to sugar coat anything.