Kovalev the Real Deal, Guy to Beat at 175, Hopkins Says

by David P. Greisman

Bernard Hopkins was one of the three top light heavyweights, and he had his choice of opponent between the other two: lineal champion Adonis Stevenson and titleholder Sergey Kovalev. Now that Hopkins has fought and lost a shutout to Kovalev, he had high praise for Kovalev’s position in the 175-pound division.

“As far as I’m concerned, he is the guy to beat in the light heavyweight division,” Hopkins said at the post-fight press conference. “Obviously the other light heavyweight [Stevenson] didn’t want to fight him, and I chose to fight him. I’m not looking for a cigar for second place or a pat on the back. I’m not that type of guy. I’m just saying that I recognize real. I’ve been in there with a lot of great fighters from the middleweights to now, and Sergey’s the real deal. I respect him.

Someone asked Hopkins whether he felt the torch had been passed to Kovalev.

“He already got the torch. I didn’t have to pass it. He got the torch tonight,” Hopkins said. “I feel comfortable to say that as a light heavyweight champion that if he wants to stay there and defend it, he going to have it for a long time. It’s up to him how long he want to keep it. I can say that I’m not glad that I didn’t win, but I can say that it’s in good hands.”

Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at or internationally at Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by creekrat77 on 11-09-2014

Good on you B-hop. Very respectful response

Comment by Run on 11-09-2014

I buy it. He sold me as a fighter. Despite X being 49, I thought going into the fight that he would expose Kovalev. Kovalev killed 2 birds: a.) Showed it's about time for Hopkins to leave the elite level....and…

Comment by jbpanama on 11-09-2014

[QUOTE=mathed;15087858]Hopkins is classy in defeat[/QUOTE] B-Hop has always carried Himself with Class!!!

Comment by bojangles1987 on 11-09-2014

No doubt here. Quackenson could have been the guy to beat, but he waddled out of the lake.

Comment by damned1974 on 11-09-2014

[QUOTE=Mr.Daddy;15088018]Hopkins and Kovalev did their part to make boxing interesting and exciting, so watching the fight was time well spent. Also, I have to believe that Sergey gained valuable experience and earned the respect of many boxing fans who now…

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