Bill Haney, father and trainer of 4-belt unified lightweight world champ Devin Haney, recently had a lot to say about former 4-belt middleweight champ, former light heavyweight titlist, and Hall of Famer, Bernard Hopkins.
Responding to some negative comments Hopkins made about his son (and this current generation of fighter in general), the elder Haney let loose on the legendary fighter in an interview with FightHype.com.
“Bernard Hopkins has lost touch with reality and what’s real and what is his job to do,” Haney said. “It’s just really sad that Bernard Hopkins will have not good things to say about young kids like Devin that don’t drink, eat right, make weight, that are world champions, that are similar to him, but I thought they were similar to him…Actually Bernard is nothing like Devin. Devin is a better fighter than him, an overall better person, better everything.”
Haney, who also spent time in prison as a young man, went on to compare Hopkins’ misguided time as a youth to his son’s accomplishments as a young man.
“Bernard, when you were 23, you were in jail for being a cat burglar, a petty thief,” Haney said. “Dev ain’t been to jail, he don’t smoke, he don’t drink. He don’t do nothing, and he’s an undisputed champion at 23…and you was in a penitentiary, so what do you mean guys aren’t like you? You weren’t even like you until after, and you became a world champion at 30 years old, so what are you talking about bro?
“[In] his next fight, he’ll make more than you ever made in your life.”
The unified champ’s father would then go even deeper. He would blast Hopkins for being a cultural sell-out and nothing more than a token, powerless greeter in his role as an exec at Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions.
“The man is Samuel L. Jackson from Django,” Haney remarked. “He won’t tell the people, really, you had to get your money by being a part of the company. You got your money in stock. You didn’t get your money and get paid and go on to start your own company, chump, I mean champ. You got paid in stock. You ain’t never really been ‘like that like that.’ I wish they’d take the mic out of your face because you are not representing what it means to be a stand-up African-American dude that came out the penitentiary. You had your shot. You got a second chance at life. Devin is on his first chance. I’m on my second chance, but you too ignorant to recognize that. You done lost touch with reality. What we really supposed to be doing is uplifting these youngsters.
“Bernard don’t make decisions [at Golden Boy]. We don’t care nothing about him. I went and talked to him and took him Devin and said, ‘listen, do you know Devin and you know we can make the fights and all that.’ The man looked at me like I was crazy. He acted like he didn’t know. So I said, well, how could you be in a position that you’re supposed to be, like, I thought he was like a matchmaker or something like that and found out the man ain’t nothing but a greeter like Joe Louis was at the Silver Slipper. You a greeter for Golden Boy. You don’t have no signing power, you ain’t signed nobody, you ain’t did nothing for our community, but down people.
“That’s all you do, Bernard…I don’t know where the disconnect came with Bernard but he ain’t helping nobody and he always got something negative to say.”
Haney would also remark that he had once held Hopkins in high regard as a man who managed to turn his life around the right way. That respect, though, is gone.
“You know, what I had previously liked about Bernard is that he made the mistakes that we make in the community as African-Americans and I know how hard it is to go into that penitentiary and come out and turn it around,” Haney said. “For him to turn it around. I always gave him his props and to live the life that he lived. I just don’t know when he started just downing other fighters.
“And this is what we worked to. He was the one with four belts, so we wanted four belts just like him. He switched up the whole sh*t when he started working with Oscar [De La Hoya].
“You’re not giving nobody their props [for] starting their own company before you. You’re not giving them their props if they in a big fight before you. You’re not giving their props if they have more belts before you. So, what do a person got to do, Bernard?
“Bernard, you was undisputed in the four-belt era, right? Devin is undisputed in the four-belt era and he was undisputed at 23. When you were still in the jail when, hopefully, you had a poker protecting your a**, we was defending belts in Australia.”