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Hopkins Makes History, Wins Split Decision in DC

pic Tom Casino (Showtime)
pic Tom Casino (Showtime)

By Derek Gionta, ringside: Bernard Hopkins, 55-6-2 (32), unified his IBF light heavyweight title along with his newly acquired IBA and WBA titles after defeating Beibut Shumenov, 14-2 (9), of Las Vegas by way of Kazakhstan at the DC Armory in Washington, DC on Saturday night April 19th in a Golden Boy Promotions event entitled "History at the Capitol".

Hopkins made history as the oldest fighter, at 49 years old, to unify world titles.


The Philadelphia great put on a display of boxing in what was despicably scored a split decision with scores of 116-111 x 2 for Hopkins and an inexplicable score of 114-113 for Shumenov.


The opening round was uneventful as many expected. Shumenov stood in front of Hopkins while Hopkins slowly circled and threw and occasional jab. Neither fighter landed any noteworthy punches.


The second round was much of the same with a little more activity on both ends. Hopkins nearly landed two sneaky right hands, countering Shumenov. Both let their hands go in the final ten seconds.


Hopkins landed a right hand early in the third and began touching the target with his jab. At the tail end of the round Hopkins landed a short right uppercut and slid out of Shumenov’s counter range.


As the rounds progress, Hopkins heats up. The fourth was his best round so far, as vintage Bernard Hopkins continued what has made him a Hall of Famer and all-time great. His right hand found the target more consistently and effectively. Shumenov looked to be soon captured into the Hopkins trap.


In the fifth, Hopkins landed a clean right hand and grabbed Shumenov while sneaking in two lefts in the clinch. Another clean right hand ensued shortly after.


The sixth round was much of the same as the Hopkins showboating started, compliments of his success hitting and not getting hit in return.


The next two rounds were a continued boxing display by the ageless wonder. Shumenov’s body language and hesitation to be first is showing more as the rounds progress. He tried to open up on Hopkins at the end of the eighth but had minimal success.


The ensuing rounds were similar, while Shumenov did display more aggression and pressure. Shumenov had no answers for Hopkins’ tricky offensive attack, who simply outclassed the younger champion consistently and methodically.


A right hand floored Shumenov in the eleventh round. B-Hop chants began as the round progressed. Hopkins had his most entertaining round of the fight, taunting and landing at will.



Hopkins fought with aggression in the final round, drawing crowd reaction on and off like a light switch.


Despite the scores, the dominance was clear and Hopkins continues to make history. 


Punch stats showed Hopkins landing 186/383 to Shumenov’s 124/608 in total punches.  Hopkins also landed more in the jab and power punching categories.


The younger man was busier, but the older man nicknamed "The Alien" was more economical and effective.


Hopkins commented, "I’ve been around.  I’ve seen everything.  I want to unify all the titles by fifty years old." 


"My legacy is like Joe Frazier’s.  We get knocked down and get back up."


A fight with Stevenson was mentioned as Hopkins then talked about his team of Golden Boy Promotions and Al Haymon and reiterated unifying the titles before age fifty. 


Shumenov commented, "I wasn’t thinking about the scorecards, I was thinking about the victory."


Hopkins made no bad remarks towards the judge that scored it for Shumenov but I’m sure he felt like most in attendance that witnessed a clear cut win and bad score from the judge from Panama.


Hopkins continued after the fight, "Making money is nice, but making history is the best part about this."


April 20, 2014  

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