By Jake Donovan
If you’re waiting for Beibut Shumenov to reveal the secret of how he plans to beat Bernard Hopkins on April 19, you stand a better chance of passing out holding your breath while waiting on that answer.
The Kazakh boxer, now living in and training out of Las Vegas, is all business ahead of his upcoming light heavyweight title unification bout. So much that he refuses to tip his hand or give Hopkins (54-6-2, 32KO) – the absolute boxing master when it comes to pre-fight mind games – any additional ammunition.
All you really need to know about Shumenov, is that he has a plan and you’re just going to have to wait until fight night to find out what it is.
“I cannot discuss the knowledge I know about Bernard,” Shumenov (14-1, 9KO) stated, repeating that response in several variations during a recent conference call to promoter their upcoming Showtime-televised headliner. “I’m at the final stages of my preparation so people can see for themselves. I won’t give away any secrets.”
Shumenov was fast tracked to a world title, facing Gabriel Campillo in just his ninth pro fight. He came up just short in that attempt, but managed to best the Spaniard in their rematch five months later, claiming a major title in just his 10th pro fight.
Five title defenses have followed, although spray painted over the past four-plus years. The 30-year old is coming off of a 3rd round knockout of Tamas Kovacs last December, marking his debut on Showtime and with Golden Boy Promotions while ending an 18-month inactivity period.
Shumenov has decisively won each of his title defenses. Howeever, both fights with Campillo were extremely close and resulted in disputed decisions. Given the fighting styles of both fighters here, there exists the strong possibility of wide debate on the final scores should this one go to the cards.
To that, Shumenov revealed his only secret ahead of fight night.
“I plan to win so clearly that the judges don’t have a chance to take it from me,” Shumenov insists.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox