Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Hopkins-Shumenov: Pre-Unification Report Card

by Cliff Rold

So, is this the one?

When Bernard Hopkins won his first major title with a knockout of Segundo Mercado, George Foreman was the Heavyweight champion of the world, Floyd Mayweather was more than a year away from the Olympics, and Pernell Whitaker was the best fighter in the world pound-for-pound. 

When Bernard Hopkins became the first man since the late 1980s inception of the WBO to unify all four major sanctioning body belts in a single division with a knockout of Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones was between his first two knockout losses, Manny Pacquiao was the lineal Featherweight king, and fans wondered if Lennox Lewis’s retirement would last.

So, is this the one?

Is this Saturday the night Bernard Hopkins gets too old to do it anymore?

He certainly doesn’t think so and, at 49, is set for a unification bout that would get him halfway to collecting four belts in a division again ten years after he did it the first time.  No, a win this weekend won’t make him the true champion at Light Heavyweight.  He’ll have to beat the man who beat the man who beat him, Adonis Stevenson, to reclaim the lineal crown.

That he’s even trying is part of why Bernard Hopkins can say his name in the same breath as men like Ezzard Charles and Archie Moore and people just nod.   

Let’s go to the report card.

The Ledgers

Bernard Hopkins

Age: 49

Current Title: IBF Light Heavyweight (2013-Present, 1 Defense)
Previous Titles: Lineal/Ring World Middleweight (2001-05, 6 Defenses); IBF Middleweight (1995-2005, 20 Defenses); WBC Middleweight (2001-05, 7 Defenses); Ring/WBA Middleweight (2001-05, 6 Defenses); WBO Middleweight (2004-05, 1 Defense); Ring Light Heavyweight (2006-08, 1 Defense)
; Lineal/Ring/WBC World Light Heavyweight (2011-12, 1 Defense)

Height: 6’1

Weight: 172.4 lbs.

Average Weight - Five Most Recent Fights:   173.75 lbs.

Hails from: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Record: 54-6-2, 32 KO, 2 No Contests
Rankings: #1 (BoxingScene, TBRB, Ring, BoxRec); #3 (ESPN)

Record in Major Title Fights: 25-5-2, 13 KO, 2 No Contests
 (including Ring Mag. Title fights)
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced: 18 (Roy Jones L12, UD12; Lupe Aquino UD12; John David Jackson TKO7; Glen Johnson TKO11; Simon Brown TKO6; Keith Holmes UD12; Felix Trinidad TKO12; Carl Daniels RTD10; William Joppy UD12; Oscar De La Hoya KO9; Jermain Taylor L12, L12; Antonio Tarver UD12; Winky Wright UD12; Joe Calzaghe L12; Kelly Pavlik UD12; Jean Pascal D12, UD12; Chad Dawson NC2, L12; Tavoris Cloud UD12)

Vs.

Beibut Shumenov
Age: 30

Current Title: WBA Light Heavyweight (2010-Present, 5 Defenses)
Previous Titles: None
Height: 6’2
Weight: 174.4 lbs.

Average Weight - Five Most Recent Fights:   174.9 lbs.

Hails from: Las Vegas, Nevada (Born in Kazakhstan)
Record: 14-1, 9 KO
Rankings: #4 (Ring); #6 (TBRB); #7 (BoxingScene); #8 (ESPN)
Record in Major Title Fights: 6-1, 3 KO
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced: 17 (Montell Griffin UD12; Byron Mitchell TKO4; Gabriel Campillo L12, SD12; William Joppy KO6)

Grades
Pre-Fight: Speed – Hopkins B; Shumenov B
Pre-Fight: Power – Hopkins B; Shumenov B
Pre-Fight: Defense – Hopkins A+; Shuemov C
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Hopkins A+; Shumenov B

Hopkins remains where he is today because his ability to minimize damage remains as keen as ever.  Even in a decisive loss to Chad Dawson in 2012, the younger and quicker man had a hard time keeping consistent offense going.  When people talk about the great defensive fighters, Pep, Whitaker, and Mayweather are names that roll off the tongue easy.

Hopkins is their peer.  That he sometimes is omitted might be a tactical issue.  Hopkins defends by making guys miss.  He also does it often by not letting them fight.  He’s cagey in the oldest sense of the word.  Against Shumenov, we are likely to see some tricks.

The younger man can be awkward and has the sort of style that could make this ugly in spots.  He often slaps from the outside with his shots and will lead from a distance with haymakers.  Shumenov can put some mustard on his shots when he commits but sometimes pushes his blows instead.  If he unsettles Hopkins early, stops his from finding a rhythm, Shumenov can steal rounds.

Against Karo Murat, Hopkins looked as old as he ever has in the first few rounds.  Good thing for him there are twelve in a fight.  Once his old joints were fully loosened, Hopkins took over and boxed Murat silly, the fight ending up better than it started out by leaps.  Could the same thing happen here?

Shumenov certainly hasn’t been shy.  He was matched well on his way up and has always been bold.  While he might not have deserved the verdict in the second Campillo fight that earned him the belt he holds, his first defense against Vyacheslav Uzelkov indicated there might be a higher ceiling than looked to be the case before then.  Shumenov has been plagued by inactivity since but knows this is the best chance he’ll have to truly etch himself a player at 175.

All he has to do is beat a living legend on a mission.   

The Pick

If Hopkins wasn’t 49, would this even be considered a real fight?  Unification or not, the quality gap here looks palpable.  That he is 49, and Shumenov is a capable pro, is where the intrigue lies. With the caveat being that one never knows when Hopkins will act his age, Shumenov doesn't have enough of the sort of speed or awkwardness that troubles the older Hopkins.  Hopkins, if he's still reasonably Hopkins, takes this one with a crystal clear (if ugly in the ring) decision.

Report Card Picks 2014: 12-6

Cliff’s Notes…

As long as there is a full tripleheader to pick…WBO Middleweight titlist Peter Quillin (30-0, 22 KO) should walk over Lucas Konecny (50-4, 23 KO).  How Konecny earned a high rating from the WBO is worthy of a solid guffaw…IBF Welterweight tiltist Shawn Porter (23-0-1, 14 KO) against former WBA titlist Paulie Malignaggi (33-5, 7 KO) is a tough call.  Porter seems to be growing as a fighter, showing marked improvement in his last few bouts.  He should be able to impose his strength on Paulie and earn a decision but Malignaggi will give him some rounds.

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Bigg Rigg on 04-19-2014

[QUOTE=turnedup;14442579]I'm def watching the porter vs malignaggi bout, I expect hopkins to do what hopkins does.[/QUOTE] That's all I'm interested in myself. Quillin is fighting a midget and if Hopkins does what he usually does, I'll definatly pass on that.

Comment by crold1 on 04-19-2014

[QUOTE=Elotero;14443313]Nice write up Cliff. Im going with Shumenov/Father Time on this one. Just a hunch. I don't think Hops can keep this up forever and it stops here.[/QUOTE] Wouldn't shock me. I picked Father Time against BHop many times. Been…

Comment by Elotero on 04-19-2014

Nice write up Cliff. Im going with Shumenov/Father Time on this one. Just a hunch. I don't think Hops can keep this up forever and it stops here.

Comment by yoshik on 04-19-2014

While Hopkins is truly a defensive fighter he doesn't run ala Fraud Mayfeathers. I would rather watch Hop all day long. May su cks.

Comment by Swatty on 04-19-2014

If Hopkins can land his head butt and elbow early he may win, but he'll probably need his deadly but neglected by the fans opposite side from the ref shot to the hip or upper thigh... he could win by…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (11)
Top Headlines Ganigan Lopez Injured: Pedro Guevara Will Now Face Tomogdan Robert Helenius To Return on December Date in Helsinki Randy Petalcorin Domintes Donnie Mabao Over Ten Rounds Joseph Parker vs. Andy Ruiz For Vacant WBO Title? Tyson Fury Will NOT Return in 2016, Says Peter Fury Sosa-Smith Winner is Contractually Bound To Face Fortuna Next Photos: Braehmer, Cleverly - Face To Face at Final Presser David Price Wants Parker or Top Name on Nov. 26, Not Allen Kell Brook Has Surgery - Wants Canelo, Cotto, Khan in 2017 Dennis Ceylan in Toughest Camp Ever For Ryan Walsh Clash Michael Conlan, Donnelly Named in Olympic Betting Judgement Diego Magdaleno vs. Art Hovhannisyan Set For October 7 Parker's Trainer: Dimitrenko is Bigger Challenge Than Haumono Tommy Langford-Sam Sheedy For Vacant British Belt, Oct. 22 Lou DiBella, Gary Shaw Fire Back at Jose Pedraza's Manager Duva: 'Modest Aspirations' For Kovalev-Ward PPV Performance Mayweather Sr: If Pacquiao Lost To Floyd Again, He'd Claim Injury Roach Will Have Pacquiao, Zou Shiming Spar as Bouts Near Parker's Title Prospects Increase as WBO Pressures Tyson Fury David Price vs. David Allen Clash in Play For October 15 Photos: Joseph Parker, Alexander Dimitrenko - Go Face To Face Miguel Cotto Return Targeted For February at Barclays Center Jose Ramirez: Pacquiao is Very Strong, Very Fast in Sparring Cecilia Braekhus Achieves Dream of Headlining on Home Soil Arum Rips: Golden Boy's Flat Fee Offer To Golovkin is Bullsh*t! Video: Bob Arum on Pacquiao Card, Future of PPV, More Estrada's Promoter Expects Chocolatito To Get KO'd in Rematch Photos: Mike Lee, Chris Traietti - Go Face To Face in Chicago Yordenis Ugas Demolishes Bryant Perrella in Four Rounds Magdaleno Confident of Making 122, Feels Donaire Has Aged Video: Pacquiao vs. Vargas Undercard Press Conference Jacobs' Trainer: Danny Not Afraid, He Will Curdle Golovkin's Milk! Donnie Nietes Feels Good at 112, Eyes WBO World Title Shot Ashley Theophane Tops Mayweather Promotions Card on Oct. 8 Photos: Nonito Doniare, Jessie Magdaleno - Go Face To Face Tyson Fury Will Be Back, Getting Help - Says Trainer Peter Fury Braehmer Will Have His Eye on Kovalev vs. Ward Winner Oscar Valdez Vows To Put on a Show on Pacquiao vs. Vargas Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Nicholas Walters Deal in Place, Nov. 26 Humberto Soto Will Now Face Daniel Ruiz on October 1
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement