Hall of Fame fighter, Bernard Hopkins, dominated the middleweight division with incredible speed, defence and impressive power.
With wins over Oscar De La Hoya, Antonio Tarver and Roy Jones Jr, as well as losses to the likes of Joe Calzaghe and Jermain Taylor, ‘The Executioner’ prides himself on being willing to take on all comers.
Nowadays he’s in the promotional game with Golden Boy, and has a keen eye on the very best in the world.
Speaking on the Joe Rogan Experience, Hopkins branded Artur Beterbiev a ‘beast’, and puts the unified light-heavyweight champion’s issues with finding opponents down to a larger problem with today’s fighters.
“Beast. Beast. And that’s one of the reasons why [he can’t secure a big fight] – he’s dangerous. This is the thing the generation of fighters – not all, but most – they don’t want an L on their record. What about their legacy?
They want the bag of course, but they don’t dare to be great. Most of them want to fight the fights that they have a better chance of winning. When you tell most of them from this generation about history, they look at you like you’ve got three heads.”
Beterbiev is the only current world champion with a perfect win to knockout ratio. His 19 stoppages in all 19 contests come through sheer ferociousness and stunning punch power.
His latest knockout came over Anthony Yarde in London – the Brit put up a valiant showing through eight rounds, but was systematically broken down and stopped.
Whilst there are two clear top dogs in that division – Beterbiev alongside WBA Champion Dmitry Bivol – an undisputed fight has been denied by the WBC, who refuse to sanction the latter as a Russian fighter amidst the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Beterbiev is also Russian, but resides in Canada.
The 38-year-old has also not been helped in his campaign by injury, the latest of which has seen his mandatory defence against Britain’s Callum Smith postponed until 2024.