Bernard Hopkins wants to unifiy the 175 lb. division
By Dan Ambrose: IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (54-6-2, 32 KO’s) turns 49 tomorrow, and he’s hoping to fight WBA 175 lb. champion Beibut Shumenov in March or April in what Hopkins sees as the first of the 3 belts he wants to win. Hopkins wants the WBC title belonging to Adonis Stevenson and the WBO strap held by Sergey Kovalev. Hopkins sees Kovalev as an easy mark, and that could be who he targets after the Shumenov fight if he’s successful in beating him.
Hopkins wants to capture all the 175 lb. titles by his 50th birthday. He’d also like to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. if he could get him to agree to a fight that would take place at 160. But in the meantime, Hopkins wants to go after all the light heavyweight titles to unify them like he did when he fought in the 160 lb. division many years ago.
“I understand that certain things couldn’t happen in the past because of promoters and managers, and now it’s because of the networks,” Hopkins said to RingTV. “I want to unify the light heavyweight division, like I did the middleweight division, and bring clarity to the light heavyweight division.”
If the networks are going to keep Hopkins from trying to unify the belts then why is he talking so much about wanting to fight Kovalev and Stevenson? It’s almost like Hopkins is name dropping to get attention from the younger fans by mentioning the two fighters – Kovalev and Stevenson – that they’re really interested in right now. Hopkins isn’t generating the kind of excitement that those two fighters are, and I can’t remember any point in Hopkins’ career where he did have fans as interested in seeing his fights as they are with Kovalev an Stevenson.
Hopkins has got a good thing going by having his fights televised on Showtime. With him not having to fight Kovalev and Stevenson, Hopkins has a better chance of remaining a champion for a lot longer than if he were in a position where he’d be forced to make a decision about whether to fight those two guys are not.