Bernard Hopkins vs. Beibut Shumenov a done deal for April 19th!
By Allan Fox: 49-year-old IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (54-6-2, 32 KO’s) will be taking on WBA 175 lb champion Beibut Shumenov (14-1, 9 KO’s) on April 19th at the DC Armory in Washington, D.C, according to Dan Rafael. The fight will be televised on Showtime, and WBO middleweight champion Peter Quillin will be on the undercard making a defense against an opponent still to be determined. Hopkins just turned 49 last January, and he seems like he’s just playing out his string.
Fans aren’t too interested in seeing Hopkins fight Shumenov, a fighter who has fought only twice in the last three years. The guys that fans want to see Hopkins fight are WBC champion Adonis Stevenson and WBO champ Sergey Kovalev. However, it doesn’t look like Hopkins will ever fight either of them before retiring due to them fighting on HBO. Hopkins fights on Showtime. So instead of getting the chance to see Hopkins fight two really exciting fighters, fans will have to settle for Hopkins fight Shumenov.
In terms of interest, the Hopkins-Shumenov fight will likely be be not excite a lot of fans. Shumenov isn’t well known, and he’s not helped himself by rarely fighting. It’s unclear why Shumenov wasn’t stripped by the World Boxing Association after he failed to defend his WBA title for a year and a half from June 2012 to December 2013.
“I’m very excited that both fighters have agreed to this world championship unification fight,” Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer said to Dan Rafael at ESPN. “Bernard Hopkins is approaching his 50th birthday and to be able to unify world championships would be a special achievement. Bernard always says he wants to make history and he has made a lot of it, and then he comes up with something special that will be special. He is setting records that will stand the test of time.”
I think boxing fans would much prefer to see Hopkins in some good fights rather than seeing him pile up meaningless records against obscure champions like Shumenov and making title defenses against little known challengers like Karo Murat. Hopkins is fighting guys, but he’s no longer taking on tough opponents. The last fight where Hopkins face someone that had a chance to beat him was two years ago against Chad Dawson, and he lost that fight. Instead of fighting the Shumenovs and the Murats of the boxing world, Hopkins should agree to fight Stevenson or Kovalev.
If not them, then he should fight Jean Pascal again or take on some of the good super middleweights like Andre Ward or Carl Froch. Hopkins could also face some of the cruiserweights like Marco Huck Yoan Pablo Hernandez, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, Denis Lebedev, Guillermo Jones, Ola Afolabi, Thabiso Mchunu or Rakhim Chakhkiev.
I think boxing fans would much prefer to see Hopkins fighting some guys that actually had a chance of beating him for a change, because facing Shumenov isn’t going to be a competitive fight. Shumenov struggled badly against Danny Santiago in 2011, and he beat Gabriel Campillo by a controversial 12 round split decision in 2010. I saw that fight and I scored it for Campillo by 4 rounds.
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