NEW YORK (Reuters) - The rematch between Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr is not just two boxers in the twilight of their careers looking to settle an old score nearly two decades after they last fought, the pair said on Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters on a conference call ahead of their non-title fight in Las Vegas on April 3, the American boxers said they were still at the top of their game and some younger fighters did not offer the same competition.
“When we came up when we were younger we spent more time doing things that enhanced our skills, nowadays there is so much to do that you don’t get much time to work on your skills,” the 41-year-old Jones said.
According to Jones, today’s younger fighters spend more time with video games and other distractions instead of working on enhancing skills the way he did in his early days.
Jones, who beat Hopkins when the two fighters first met on May 22, 1993 in Washington for the IBF middleweight title, also said older fighters today were better conditioned than ever and that younger fighters, while fresher, were not as skilful.
Jones (54-6, 40 knockouts) defeated a 32-year-old Jeff Lacy last August before suffering a first-round knockout defeat by Australian Danny Green, then 36, in December, which triggered fears a rematch with Hopkins would not occur.
But in early February the two sides agreed to fight again.
Hopkins (50-5-1, 32 knockouts) even went as far as to say people would be just as interested in this fight as they would if retired basketball greats Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson played one-on-one.
“This is not on some clown reality show station where you have two wrestlers, two boxers, two old entertainers or two old singers squaring off on some reality show,” said 45-year-old Hopkins. “This is the real deal.”
Writing by Frank Pingue; Editing by Sonia Oxley; To query or comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org
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