by David P. Greisman
Bernard Hopkins doesn’t have an exact date for when he’ll fight next, but he has a general idea of when he’d like to fight — and a very specific idea concerning whom he’d like to face.
“WBA title,” Hopkins told BoxingScene.com in a brief conversation as he left Friday’s weigh-in in San Antonio for the card featuring Adrien Broner vs. Marcos Maidana. And by that, he meant Beibut Shumenov, the 13-1 titleholder who is scheduled to defend against Tamas Kovacs on the same card as Broner-Maidana.
Hopkins said he’d like to be back in the ring by March or April. His last bout was on Oct. 26, a unanimous decision over Karo Murat that brought his record to 54-6-2 with 32 knockouts and 2 no contest.
BoxingScene.com: Why do you want to fight for the WBA title?
Hopkins: “Because I want to unify the titles eventually, and since I’m at Showtime and I’m loyal to Golden Boy, I figure if I put my title up against another champion, eventually the fans is going to force all four champions to fight each other to bring credibility and assimilation to the light heavyweight division. The light heavyweight division all of a sudden became hot, and so that’s [leading me] to fight for the WBA title, and I’ll risk my IBF title.”
BoxingScene.com: What do you think about Shumenov?
Hopkins: “I think he’s a guy that’s really a sleeper. He can fight. To me, he has a lot more talent than Karo Murat. But at the same token, I believe that I’ve got to be on my game and not underestimate him, because he’s tall, he’s 6’2”, he’s rangy, and he’s got good trainers around him. So I’m not underestimating nobody at 49, which I’ll become next year, Jan. 15.”
BoxingScene.com: Do you think he wins against Tamas Kovacs on Saturday night?
Hopkins: “I hope he wins. I’m looking for him to win because he’s motivated, he’s with Golden Boy now, and he’s also got an opportunity to fight a legend and beat a legend and become a superstar.”
Pick up a copy of David’s new book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide . Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]