Although his colleagues at Golden Boy Promotions have preferred to put on their poker faces in regards to the stunning departure of Canelo Alvarez from their promotional stable, Bernard Hopkins does not seem to mind letting his guard down.

It turns out being deprived of one of the biggest stars in the sport hurts just as much as a well-place liver punch.

“Losing Canelo is nothing you can downplay,” Hopkins, a Golden Boy partner, told “Not having that particular athlete, that particular mindset and discipline ready for a big challenge, is not something you should want or try to tell others that swallowing that was easy. It’s still not easy for me, and I’ll leave it like that.”

It was no secret that the Alvarez-Golden Boy relationship had been on the outs for some time, with Alvarez taking particular ire against its founder Oscar De La Hoya. The two finally agreed to a separation in November after Alvarez filed a lawsuit against Golden Boy, and his broadcaster, DAZN, in September. Since then, De La Hoya and Co. have been smiling through gritted teeth, while trumpeting the progress of rising star Ryan Garcia, who, as it happens, is best buds with Alvarez. Garcia recently notched the biggest win of his career with a seventh-round knockout over Luke Campbell last Saturday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

Hopkins admitted that he should have played a more proactive role in salvaging the company’s relationship with Alvarez, although he did not specify what that would have entailed.

“I wish I could have done something early on to maybe…who knows,” Hopkins said. “I believe Canelo respects me. I believe me understands me from a fighter point of view and I assume a fighter’s point of view even though I wear a promoter’s hat based on my partnership. Sometimes when you let things become other people’s business on either side, other opinions can make things a little difficult, whether they were good opinions or bad opinions or good advice or bad advice.”

Still, Hopkins largely sympathizes with Alvarez, if only because he, too, a former fighter, understands what it is like to have an acrimonious relationship with a promoter.

“I can say this, a promoter don’t define a fighter, because if that was the case I wouldn’t have become who I became,” said Hopkins, one of the most winningest middleweights in boxing history. “I don’t like 99.9% of promoters. Then and now. Then and now. So, I had to change in my old age. But I wish Canelo well and I wish him greatness. I wish him many accomplishments in the next few years of his career, which is important, if you look at his age. Time do fly.

“On that note, I say job well done and I’ll be rooting for you every time you fight. That’s Bernard Hopkins saying that. What everybody else says, that’s their prerogative. Always, always got mad respect for Canelo to continue to cement his legacy as he moves through his 30s.”