SAN DIEGO, April 18, 2013 – Every time light heavyweight Bernard Hopkins steps in a boxing ring, he sets a record. As the oldest current title holder in boxing at age 49, his mere existence is noteworthy. His place in boxing history is secure, no matter what happens on Saturday at the DC Armory in the nation’s capitol when Hopkins faces Beibut Shumenov of Kazakhstan.
The bout airs as the main event of a tripleheader on Showtime at 9:30 p.m. ET.
Hopkins, known as “BHop” or by his recently adopted nickname “The Alien” isn’t normally the type of fighter who often brings fans to their feet. In his last bout against lightly regarded Karo Murat, Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KO) brought more action than he’s displayed in a decade. It made him appealing as a target for all the top fighters anywhere near Hopkins’s weight class assuming he’ll continue to do the same.
The first to get that chance is heavy hitting Shumenov, part of a recent Eastern European invasion of professional boxing. Shumenov (14-1, 9 KOs) scored a third round knockout in his last bout after two knockdowns in round two against Tamas Kovacs.
Shumenov said after the fight he was ready to fight light heavyweight champion Hopkins and would be “honored” to fight him. BHop, who was ringside for the fight, came into the ring and replied that he would be honored to fight Shumanov and take his belt.
Hopkins is a remarkable fighter given his record and age, but he isn’t the type of fighter who often brings fans to their feet. Hopkins did so against Murat. Hopkins said later he knew he needed to be crowd pleasing, and could still be smart.
Hopkins will get the chance to unify the light heavyweight division against WBA champion Shumenov. He would be the oldest boxer ever to do so. Hopkins says he would move down in weight to 160 pounds if a fight could be made with Floyd Mayweather. “I can make 160 pounds if the negotiations become realistic.” That is 14 pounds less than his weigh-in today.
Crazy as it sounds, it’s crazy that a guy just shy of 50 years old is holding a title belt after an entertaining fight. Hopkins has been fighting for 25 years, a quarter of a century, longer than some title holder have been alive. He’s done it by avoiding brawling fights and limiting the damage, living an exceptionally clean and healthy life. And he’s gotten lucky in the DNA department. The only person that can count Bernard Hopkins out is Bernard Hopkins. Do you still doubt he’s an alien?
Joining Hopkins on the card is middleweight champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillan (30-0, 22 KOs) of Brooklyn against 35-year-old veteran Lukas Konecny of the Czech Republic (50-4, 23 KO). Konecny is a compact, short middleweight built out of concrete blocks. He’s never been stopped in a fight. Quillan has stopped his last three opponents. Including a determined Gabriel Rosado. Quillan should prevail, but he’ll need to work hard to get a KO here.
The ever-entertaining Paulie Malignaggi steps away from his Showtime commentary assignment to make his first IBF welterweight title defense against Shawn Porter in the third fight on the program Saturday. The pair both fought in at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn December 7. Malignaggi (33-5, 7 KO) beat Zab Judah, a comeback fight after his narrow decision loss to Adrien Broner, who was defeated in his next bout by Marcos Maidana. Porter (23-0-1, 14 KO) defeated Devon Alexander to win the IBF welterweight title. Malignaggi is the journeyman veteran at age 33, and every fight is make or break for him. Porter wants to position himself to face the bigger names in the division, but he cannot ignore this boxing cliché: 26 year old Porter cannot look past Paulie.
All fighters made weight. Malignaggi put on a bonus floor show for fans, hitting the scale wearing only an elephant thong. Yes, there are photos. No, we are not posting them.
“Force of Nature: Hopkins vs. Shumanov” airs Saturday, April 18, at 9:30 p.m. ET on Showtime.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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