Standing on a dais inside the lobby of Madison Square Garden, Bernard Hopkins channeled his inner Mark Messier and Patrick Ewing.
Whether the legendary fighter's prognostic abilities are revealed to be the equal of Messier or Ewing will be determined when Gennady Golovkin takes on David Lemieux on Oct. 17.
"When you have the knockout [ability] that both of these fighters [possess], you don't have time to go get your popcorn," Hopkins said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon to announce the unification bout.
Golovkin is the reigning WBA and IBO middleweight champion, and Lemieux is the IBF champion. The Garden will host the fight, and Joel Fisher, executive vice president of MSG Sports, said the fight sold "over 15,000 tickets in less than a week." Advance tickets were priced between $50 and $500. HBO pay-per-view will air the fight at $49.95.
"Trust me, this is not a sell," Fischer said. "If you want to come to this fight, get your tickets now.
"We set a record on our presale, almost double the highest presale we had previously. This fight is going to sell out, it's going to sell out quickly. There's only a few tickets remaining as it is. We're trying to work with HBO and a couple of the other groups to release some seats, to free up some more seats. That's the kind of demand that we have."
According to Hopkins, the various promotional organizations studied the price points for the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao superfight and decided to make the prices for Golovkin-Lemieux more affordable.
"Absolutely," Hopkins said. "That's no secret. That was premeditated. I [want fans to know they are] going to get more for less. You pay less and you're going to get more, just by [Golovkin and Lemieux's] styles."
The fight appears to be one that should be appealing to boxing fans. Golovkin is 33-0 with 30 knockouts, including 20 straight stoppages (18 KO/TKO, two retired). Lemieux boasts a 34-2 record with 31 knockouts.
"This fight, I don't see going the distance," said Hopkins, who represents Golden Boy Promotions. "This is the type of fight where you're dealing with firepower."
Naturally, both fighters agreed with Hopkins' assessment.
"I promise an amazing show," Golovkin said.
Lemieux, who noted that his training camp is underway, said: "You can expect what you see: two hard punchers going at it. It's going to be an explosive fight.
"I respect him a lot, he's a great fighter. He's [one of] the great ones in the middleweight division, but I'm not here to be his friend. I'm here to be his opponent. We're going to fight [and] there will be blood. It's going to be an exciting event."
Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions, said the victor will meet the winner of the Nov. 21 Miguel Cotto-Saul "Canelo" Alvarez fight for the undisputed championship.
Cotto is the WBC middleweight champion.