Roach And Birmingham Confirm Hopkins And Wright “Coming To Fight”

bernard hopkins29.06.07 - By John Martinez, This afternoon an international media conference call was held to promote the Bernard Hopkins and Winky Wright catch weight fight dubbed “Coming to Fight” to be held next month at the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas. BOXINGREALM.COM sat in on this call and this is the first in a two part series. First will be Freddie Roach.

According to Kelly Swanson of Swanson Communications, this conference call would be the first in a series leading up to the pay per view event. Today they gave up the trainers of both fighters to chat with. That would be Freddie Roach for Bernard Hopkins and Dan Birmingham for Winky Wright.

The media event began with one half of the promotion team for this fight, Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions, letting us know the ticket sale count (7,000) and just how perfect Hopkins and Freddie Roach are getting along like hand and Reyes gloves. The second half of the promotion team is the new company headed by none other than Winky Wright. I wonder if this is the first fight in history being promoted by companies owned by the two fighters in the ring ( Bernard is part owner of Golden Boy Promotions).

The questions first went to Freddie Roach, who is training Bernard Hopkins for the first time in either man’s long and distinguished careers. This means that Hopkins would also be training at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles for the first time, where he arrived just last week.

Freddie started by telling us what would be his routine with Hopkins throughout training camp. Their would be sparing on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays and then doing mitt work on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday’s. He went on to say that they were working on a game plan on “how to crack that defense of the slick southpaw”. He then complained that Hopkins can “get(s) a little anxious on the mitts sometimes”, saying that he got stung by Hopkins during training Wednesday afternoon. Lastly he said that Bernard’s “weight is coming down fine” and they were ready to go.

I asked Freddie whether accepting work from the likes of Oscar and Bernard not to mention Manny Pacquiao and others was maybe taking on too much work. He said he has a tough time turning down veterans like his latest students and that maybe HE WAS taking on too much at the moment, revealing that he just got out of the ring after hitting the mitts with Boom Boom Bautista.

Freddie admitted that his plate was full now and would have to start turning down fighters who want to hire him.

The big news of the day and of this conference call was the return of Tito Trinidad, who has fought all the major players of this fight card. Oscar, Hopkins and Wright. The other big question was whether we would see a highly technical boxing exhibition or would a toe to toe fight ever materialize between these to pugilists.

This may be why the title of the card is “Coming to Fight” because many boxing fans are not expecting one from this matchup. So as any good marketing (propaganda) student will tell you, just tell people the opposite of what they think in their gut and maybe you can get them to shell out 50.00 on fight night.

For his part Dan Birmingham who has been training Winky Wright for over a decade has stated emphatically that Winky is coming to fight and put the pressure on Hopkins. Dan’s side of the story in part 2.

Article posted on 29.06.2007

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