Hopkins On Kovalev: I Respect, Accept The IBF's Decision

By Jake Donovan

For the moment, Bernard Hopkins still chooses to run towards the sound of gun fire.

Upon orders from the IBF, Hopkins’ first defense of his latest light heavyweight title reign must come against unbeaten knockout artist Sergey Kovalev. The thought of such a fight generated considerable buzz in boxing circles following Kovalev’s explosive 3rd round knockout of Cornelius White last weekend, a bout that aired live on NBC Sports Network.

Given the skeptical nature that comes with the average boxing fan, most of the buzz centered around whether or not Hopkins would still keep his belt and go through with the fight.

His first public statement on the subject suggests the 48-year old is at least warm to the idea.
“I respect (and) accept the IBF decision,” Hopkins (53-6-2, 32KO) said via his verified Twitter account Wednesday morning. “I see this guy is good! I look forward to defending my title.”

Hopkins rewrote the history books this past March with a decisive points win over Tavoris Cloud to win the belt he currently has in his possession. The win added to a legendary career long ago destined for Canastota and the International Boxing Hall of Fame, highlighted by a record breaking middleweight title reign from 1995 to 2005 and his lineal light heavyweight lifting effort over Jean Pascal in May ’11.

The win also came with the obligation to make an overdue mandatory title defense against Karo Murat, which Hopkins graciously accepted and was prepared to carry out on July 13.

However, the bout was canceled last week once learned that Murat would be unable to obtain a travel visa in time for the fight. Furthermore, the appeal process would take upwards of six months, thus rendering Murat unable to satisfy his role of mandatory challenger.

Kovalev took the opportunity to call out Hopkins immediately following his knockout win over White. The unbeaten Russian has two paths from which to choose, as he has also been offered the opportunity to face undefeated WBO titlist Nathan Cleverly, a bout that would take place August 17 on the road in Wales, though with reported interest from cable giant HBO.

A decision is expected to be made by Kovalev’s camp before week’s end on which direction he will choose to travel.

Previous announcements suggested a September ring return for Hopkins. For now, the light heavyweight titlist returns to the venue that helped him rewrite the record books – Hopkins will serve on the Showtime broadcast team as a color commentator for this weekend’s show at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The main event pits welterweight titlist Paul Malignaggi in a defense against unbeaten Adrien Broner, who moves up two divisions in an attempt to become a three-division champ.

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by MDPopescu on 06-19-2013

[QUOTE=ИATAS;13485421]Al Seeger killed someone in the ring after he was brutally KOd by Gamboa. It happens, unfortunately.[/QUOTE] That poor Simakov took the terrible punishment and stood his ground until the 7th round when he got his brain actually damaged. He…

Comment by IronDanHamza on 06-19-2013

Kovalev has a style that Hopkins eats alive but he has to get credit for this fight because Kovalev is actually good unlike Cloud.

Comment by revs1227 on 06-19-2013

please dont b hop please dont i love u and wouldnt wanna see u get killed seriously

Comment by ИATAS on 06-19-2013

[QUOTE=MDPopescu;13485368]Look guys: Kovalev actually kills people into the ring... On 2011-12-08, three days after the fight, Roman Simakov (age:27) died of a brain injury he sustained during his bout with Sergey Kovalev.[/QUOTE] Al Seeger killed someone in the ring after…

Comment by mathed on 06-19-2013

I've seen Kovalev and I've seen Hopkins. I'm rolling with Hopkins in this fight......right hand leads have Kovalev bleeding by round 4.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (31)
Top Headlines Andre Ward: My Skills Never Left, I'm Feeling Better Than Ever LaRon Mitchell Drops, Decisions Scott Alexander in Ontario Photos: Marco Huck, Dmytro Kucher Size Up at Hannover Presser Anthony Ogogo Suffered Broken Eye Socket in Cunningham Loss Kovalev Hopes To Become The P4P Best With Win Over Ward Donaire Spars Twelve Hard Rounds With Chocolatito's Cousin Joseph Parker's Coach: I Really Like Andy Ruiz's Style For Us Trainer: Smith's Pressure, Power Will Take Care of Bernard Hopkins Lemieux Targets Canelo Showdown - Catch-Weight is Ruled Out Daily Bread Mailbag: Golovkin-Jacobs, Kovalev-Ward, Aaron Pryor Long-Reigning Lefties - Pacquiao, Hagler, Martinez, Winky, More Browne Shreds Whyte: You're Euro Level, an Ugly Motherf***er Boxer Tries To Leave The Ring Mid-Count After Being Dropped Roach: Pacquiao Has Been Hurting Me, Expect a Different Manny! Former World Champion Seriously Injured, Attacked With a Sword "Fighting Words" - Breaking Down 2016's Fighter of the Year Race Golovkin's Coach: GGG Beats Kovalev, Ward and Stevenson David Lemieux: I'm Not 100% Satisfied With The Rios Win Klitschko Confirms Title Fight, Won't Confirm The Opponent Sergey Lipinets To Face Lenny Z on Charlo vs. Williams PBC Card Photos: David Lemieux Powers Past Cristian Fabian Rios Joseph Parker vs. Andy Ruiz Could Head To The United States Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Dominik Britsch on December 10 Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera No Longer Rivals - Photo Roy Jones: If No Canelo, Golovkin Must Take a Risk and Move Up! Video: Buboy Fernandez Breaks Down Pacquiao vs. Vargas Bout Video: Manny Pacquiao Discusses Camp, Vargas Fight, More Roy Jones Jr: I'm Addicted To Boxing, No Retirement Right Now Frankie Gavin Rules Out Retirement, Wants Eggington Rematch Parker's Promoter Faces Resistance on Funding For Ruiz Event Frank Warren Details Thoughts on WBA/WBO Heavyweight Belts Jorge Linares Targets Mikey Garcia, Hopes To Face Him in 2017 Judah: Brook Showed Golovkin is Not Invincible, Canelo Can Win Photos: Sam Eggington Drills Frankie Gavin in Birmingham War Photos: Craig Cunningham Shocks Anthony Ogogo By TKO Pacquiao's Co-Trainer Expects Vargas To Fall in Later Rounds Chavez Sr: My Son Will Continue Relationship With Al Haymon De La Hoya: I Knew Pacquiao Would Beat Me Up, I Was a Dead Man Provodnikov, Pirog, Avanesyan, Troyanovsky Part of Reality Show Eduardo Hernandez Blasts Out Victor Terrazas in Two Rounds

Latest Active Forum Threads