Bernard Hopkins believes a victory over Karo Murat in Atlantic City, N.J., this weekend could set him up for a potentially money-spinning super-fight with Floyd Mayweather next year, according to the Daily Mail's Martin Domin.
It had been anticipated that Mayweather would next fight Britain's Amir Khan, as first reported by Jeff Powell of the Daily Mail, but interest from the 48-year-old Hopkins could take precedence—despite the need for the challenger to drop down two weight divisions.
For the fight to stand any chance of going ahead, however, Hopkins must first beat Murat in their IBF light-heavyweight world title clash at the Boardwalk Hall on Saturday.
Hopkins told Domin why he is looking to take on Mayweather:
When I realised that there is a fight that they owe him (Mayweather) in May of next year, and whether I'm willing or can I make 160, and I said, well, if I have that much time, a guy like me, the way I live and the way I keep my body right, even six pounds from fight night next week, sure.
They didn't act like they were joking, and we're talking powerful people. So I'm sitting back saying, "Okay, hey, you know," because no one else is going to beat Floyd Mayweather in their 20s and even in their early 30s.
Not this checkerboard man colony, young fighters who can be great later, but right now they just don't have the degrees to do it. So that's the only reason I threw my hat in there.
Hopkins is the sport's oldest-ever world champion, per the Daily Mail, and would certainly concede a speed advantage to the spritely Mayweather should they end up in the ring together.
However, his experience in victories over Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad and Roy Jones, Jr. among others, would place Hopkins in good stead for such an encounter.
The clash would certainly appeal to boxing's moneymen also, with Hopkins and Mayweather among the sport's most recognisable and outspoken figures.
The odds would be heavily stacked in the younger fighter's favour, but Hopkins will insist that he still has one more major fight in him before retirement. Even should he inevitably lose, he would rake in a major payday in what would possibly be his last fight.
The New York Daily News, though, reported that any such fight is unlikely to happen. Mayweather is searching for an opponent next May, but is unlikely to want to go up in weight to fight the ageing Hopkins at this point in his career.
It is an enticing prospect, with few boxers out there who can realistically challenge Mayweather at present. Hopkins may not defeat Mayweather, but his background at least suggests he would make it a good fight.
Mayweather's 45-0 professional record demonstrates his dominance of the sport in recent years in beating many of boxing's biggest names at both welterweight and light-middleweight classes.
The one big regret, though, looks to be that we may never see a Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight that had promised so much when the pair dominated the scene a couple of years ago.