Former middleweight and light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins was a guest Wednesday night on the new Showtime series "Jim Rome on Showtime" and gave his take on Manny Pacquiao following his huge knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday.
Hopkins, who turns 48 on Jan. 15 but will be back in the ring March 9 (opponent TBA) to headline a Showtime card at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., also gave his take on the return of boxing to network television with Saturday's show on CBS. There will be another card aired on NBC next Saturday.
Here is part of their conversation:
Rome: Is that the type of punch [that knocked out Pacquiao] that ends careers?
Hopkins: Absolutely. That's the type of punch that takes more than one fight out of you. It takes a couple of fights out of you. It's one of those types of knockouts that you can recover from in life, but I don't think you can recover fully in the sport. That was a devastating knockout that has a long-term effect. I know when you see a guy get knocked out and hit in that way, they are considered damaged goods and they live up to that title.
Rome: So it sounds like you would advise [Pacquiao] to retire.
Hopkins: I would advise him to grab his wife and kids and take a long vacation. Take a long year off. Regroup physically, mentally, spiritually and then you make the decision there. Truthfully, it was such a devastating knockout that I don't think he will ever be the Pacquiao that he was.
Rome: Boxing returns to CBS after 15 years on Saturday. You won the last fight on CBS back in 1997 [in a middleweight title defense against Glen Johnson]. What kind of boost do you think the network presence will give the sport?
Hopkins: To me, that's what we've been missing. Corporate America ran from boxing for many reasons. But now they're coming back. I'm so glad that not only Golden Boy, but other promoters have good relationships with these networks. This is something great. I remember growing up and watching boxing on "Wide World of Sports."