By Victor Salazar
Bernard Hopkins, 50-years-old, was recently ordered to face undefeated hot prospect Artur Beterbiev in a final IBF light heavyweight eliminator to face Sergey Kovalev for the 175 pound IBF World title. Hopkins has been inactive since losing a twelve round decision to Kovalev last year.
Hopkins passed on the opportunity to face Beterbiev, because he so no reason to face the up and comer and said his decision to turn down the fight had nothing to do with Beterbiev being managed by Al Haymon or the association with Premier Boxing Champions.
At he moment, Hopkins has placed his full focus on facing WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham. Hopkins captured titles at middleweight and light heavyweight, but never won a world title at 168 as he jumped directly from 160 to 175 when he decisioned Antonio Tarver in 2007.
“It’s no politics [on why I turned him down],” Hopkins said to BoxingScene.com. “I represented the IBF 20 times, it was the first title I won. I think on this stage the Beterbiev fight means nothing to me because not only is there a title involved with Abraham but there is prestige involved with winning a title at 168-pounds. Abraham has that notoriety here and fans know him here like they know him in Europe. It was an obvious choice."