MANILA, Philippines – Bernard Hopkins, the oldest man to win a major boxing title, does not want to fight undefeated super middleweight champion Andre Ward, calling him a friend and a protege.
The 48-year-old Hopkins became a world champion anew after outpointing Tavoris Cloud to claim a light-heavyweight belt.
In an interview with Boxing Scene, Hopkins ruled out a showdown with Ward, even though he believes he can still make the super middleweight limit.
“Andre Ward is a protege of myself,” Hopkins said. “I would never fight Andre Ward, and I even told (Golden Boy chief executive) Richard (Schaefer) that in the ring.”
Hopkins said no amount of money will entice him to take on the 29-year-old Ward, who holds a record of 26 wins and was named Fighter of the Year in 2011.
“$10 million, $8 -million, $15 million... I told him in the ring, it’s not the money,” Hopkins said. “And I mean that. And I put that on my mom’s grave.”
Ward, who did the HBO commentary for Hopkins’ fight against Cloud, was all praises for the veteran fighter following the victory.
“It was a masterful Bernard Hopkins performance,” Ward told ESPN.com.
Ward is also reluctant to fight “The Executioner,” but did not completely rule it out.
“Me and Bernard Hopkins are just not gonna fight. Never say never. Anything can happen. We entertain the right opportunities,” he said.