Shumenov: I’ll show I’m the best one in the division
By Allan Fox: IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (54-6-2, 32 KO’s) may have a much tougher fight than he expected tonight in his important unification bout against WBA champion Beibut Shumenov (14-1, 9 KO’s) in this Showtime televised fight at the DC Armory, in Washington, District of Columbia, USA. Hopkins, 49, has been talking about wanting to school Shumenov like he’s done recently to his last two opponents Karo Murat and Tavoris Cloud. But Shumenov feels he’s going to take the fight to Hopkins tonight and make him look every bit his age.
“I have no doubts I’ll be the winner,” said Shumenov. “I’m going to show the world what I’m capable of. I’m going to show I’m the best one in our division.”
Hopkins is going to need to use his legs a little more for this fight than he did against his last limited opponent Karo Murat, who Hopkins defeated with ease last October. Shumenov is a much different fighter than Murat with more power and a busier fighting style.
Shumenov, 6’2”, is also a lot bigger than the 5′ 10½″ Murat, who looked small next to the 6’1” Hopkins last October. Hopkins will be facing a legitimate light heavyweight in this fight, and not another small 175lb fighter like Murat or his previous opponent the 5’10” Tavorius Cloud.
Hopkins will be facing a fighter around the same size as Chad Dawson, a fighter who beat Hopkins by a 12 round decision in 2012. Hopkins has won his last two fights since then in beating Cloud and Murat, but neither of them are in the same class Shumenov.
That’s why Hopkins is going to need to use a different fight strategy for this one compared to how he fought in his last two fights. It’s quite possible that we’re going to see Hopkins attempt to smother Shumenov’s offense by mugging him on the inside to keep him from getting his punches. Hopkins might try the punch and grab technique to make sure he doesn’t get hit too much by the hard hitting Shumenov
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