Bernard Hopkins vs Beibut Shumenov preview April 19
The oldest champion in pro boxing history will be returning to the ring again this Saturday, April 19 when Bernard Hopkins of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania puts his IBF Light Heavyweight Crown on the line in a title unification bout with WBA Champion Beibut Shumenov of Kazakhstan. The 12-round contest will be held at the DC Armory in Washington, D.C. and can be seen on the Showtime Network in America and on Super Channel in Canada.
The 30-year-old Shumenov doesn’t really have a lot of pro experience when compared to the 49-year-old Hopkins, but then again, not many boxers do. Hopkins won the crown by taking a unanimous decision over former champion Tavoris Cloud and last defended it via a unanimous decision over Karo Murat in 2013. He became the oldest man to win a world title back in 2011 when he beat former WBC Champion Jean Pascal by decision at the age of 46. He then lost that title by majority decision to Chad Dawson the next year.
Winning and losing fights by decision has become a habit with Hopkins these days as he hasn’t scored a stoppage since taking out Oscar De La Hoya with a body shot in the ninth round way back in 2004. And this is why some fans consider him to be a bit of a boring fighter. He’ll be entering the ring with a record of 54-6-2 with 32 Kos. He also fought in the Washington area in 1993 when he lost to Roy Jones Jr. by a unanimous decision at RFK Stadium in his first world title fight. He then fought in Landover two years later and beat Segundo Mercado for the IBF middleweight belt via a seventh-round stoppage.
Hopkins defended that title a record 20 times until being outpointed by Jermain Taylor in 2005. The Philly fighter said he likes fighting in the Washington area and is glad to be trying to unify the titles there. He said he known that Shumenov is a tough fighter, but is looking to knock him out. He’s right. Shumenov is tough. He has just 15 pro fights to his name and has a record of 14-1 along with 9 Kos. He’s already defended his WBA title five times though. He returned to the ring in December after an 18-month absence and stopped Tomas Kovacs in the third round.
Shumenov now fights out of Las Vegas and he set a light heavyweight record by winning the WBA title in just his 10th pro bout when he beat Gabriel Campillo of Spain for the crown in 2009. This was a rematch of their first fight which Campillo won by majority decision and handed the champion his one and only loss. This will be Shumenov’s first fight in the Washington region and he said he’s looking forward to meeting a legend like Hopkins.
Shumenov hasn’t really fought an elite opponent as of yet and in his first meeting with one he’ll have to deal with Hopkins’ questionable tactics. Shumenov isn’t the quickest of punchers, but is quite strong. Like all of Hopkins’ opponents, he should be looking to take the fight to him and make the old guy work as hard as possible every round. The Kazakh should also have the edge in power, but it’s very unlikely he’s going to be able to stop Hopkins. If he doesn’t throw punches on a regular basis though, he’ll be playing right into Hopkins’ hands. This is a tossup, but let’s go with Shumenov by a close and controversial decision
Sportsbook 5dimes.eu has the latest odds on all of the big fights with a Hopkins win being listed at -185 and a Shumenov victory at +160. Visit 5Dimes.eu to see up to date odds and to bet on this fight. You should also check out our recent boxing betting predictions to see how we’ve done of late capping the bouts.