Posts Tagged ‘Bernard Hopkins’

Bernard Hopkins defies age again with victory over Beibut Shumanov

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Bernard Hopkins

Bernard Hopkins overpowered Beibut Shumanov with crushing blows after the third round. (Luis M. Alvarez/AP)

WASHINGTON — Three thoughts on Bernard Hopkins’ split decision win over Beibut Shumenov:

A Hopkins clinic – We’re running out of ways to describe Hopkins. At 49 years old –49!– Hopkins put on a clinic, boxing circles around the 30-year old Shumenov. Hopkins is a surgeon in the ring. For two rounds Hopkins poked and probed Shumenov, studying his style, timing his punches. From the third round on, it was vintage Hopkins. He landed a big shot and tied Shumenov up. He dropped Shumenov with a crushing short right hand early in the 11th round and proceeded to calmly continue to pick him apart for the rest of it. He moved around the ring expertly, confidently showing the stamina of a man 20 years his junior. It wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing fight — per SHOstats, Hopkins landed 186 of 303 punches to 124 of 608 for Shumenov — but it was one controlled by Hopkins throughout.

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  • Published On Apr 20, 2014
  • Hopkins batters Murat, winning unanimous decision

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    Bernard Hopkins

    Hopkins didn’t follow his usual plan, but pounded Murat all the same. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    ATLANTIC CITY — Three thoughts on Bernard Hopkins’s unanimous decision win over Karo Murat…

    First, the good

    As Bernard Hopkins fights go, this one, in front of a crowd of 6,324 at Boardwalk Hall, was entertaining. After a slow start that featured more cheap shots than clean ones (more on that below), it looked like we were in for another rough and tumble Hopkins show. But in the middle stages, the fight picked up. Instead of clutching and grabbing, Hopkins began to stand and trade. He stood toe-to-toe with Murat — who, it should be noted, does not have great power — and blasted away. In the eighth round, Hopkins stood in Murat’s corner, turned and started talking to ringside announcers, all while Murat teed off. Hopkins responded with flush landing flurries, connecting on 184 of his 373 power punches (49 percent), per CompuBox, while a weary Murat struggled to keep up. It was a rare slugfest from a fighter who has spent his entire career outthinking and outpointing opponents in the ring.

    Said Murat, “Bernard is a good boxer.”

    Now, the ugly

    Referee Steve Smoger – -one of the most respected officials in the business — took one point away during the fight, from Murat, after a punch during the break. He could have taken away 20. Hopkins hit during the break, hit after the bell and threw a knee into Murat’s midsection during one exchange. Murat hit Hopkins when he was down, hit him during the clench and finished the fight with a pair of head butts the old Hopkins would have been proud of. It was a tough situation for Smoger; do you take away points on every foul, or do you let the two of them even each other out? Smoger chose the latter.

    Hopkins-Mayweather?

    Hopkins has waging a steady p.r. campaign to get a shot at Floyd Mayweather, saying he was ready, willing and able to get down to 160-pounds if Mayweather was willing to move up. But while it’s fun to talk about — Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said the promotion could be called “50-50,” with Mayweather inching towards 50 wins and Hopkins nearing 50 years of age — but it’s simply not realistic. Could Hopkins make 160? Maybe. Would Mayweather want to fight a guy that could rehydrate up to 180 pounds? Unlikely.

    “I’m going to talk to Floyd and his team, and we’ll see,” Schaefer said. “Floyd is the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. He decides where he wants to fight, when he wants to fight and who he wants to fight.”

    The reality is that Hopkins is likely to stay at light heavyweight, where he does have options. Golden Boy recently signed 175-pound titleholder Beibut Shumenov, who will fight on Showtime on December 14th. If Shumenov wins, a unification fight with Hopkins is easy to make. Making fights with light heavyweight titleholders Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson — two fighters who have pledged allegiance to HBO, which doesn’t do business with Golden Boy — is more problematic, but those are issues for another day.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Oct 27, 2013
  • Jabs: Latest on Mayweather-Hopkins, Mitchell likely done, Mosley’s big loss

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    Floyd Mayweather and Bernard Hopkins

    Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Bernard Hopkins are unlikely to meet in the ring. (Duffy-Marie Arnoult/Getty Images)

    Some short jabs …

    • The most entertaining fight of Saturday night’s show headlined by Bernard Hopkins’ light heavyweight title defense against Karo Murat could be the middleweight showdown right before it. WBO champion Peter Quillin (29-0) defends his title against Gabriel Rosado (21-6) in a fight between two men who don’t back up much. Rosado, a 154-pound contender, moved up earlier this year to face Gennady Golovkin, only to get stopped in the seventh round. Quillin has shown steady improvement since turning pro in 2005 and isn’t afraid to slug it out. If Rosado has his way, that’s exactly what will happen.

    • Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer told SI.com that he has advised heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell to retire. Mitchell (26-2-1) is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Chris Arreola, his second knockout defeat in his last three fights. In both fights, Mitchell showcased a weak chin.

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  • Published On Oct 24, 2013
  • Bernard Hopkins wants to fight Floyd Mayweather

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    Bernard Hopkins

    One for the ages: 48-year-old Bernard Hopkins believes he could defeat Floyd Mayweather if given the chance. (AP)

    LAS VEGAS — The pool of prospective opponents for Floyd Mayweather’s next fight already includes Danny Garcia and Amir Khan. Late Saturday night, another fighter tossed his name into the mix: Bernard Hopkins. The 48-year old light heavyweight champion said he would be willing to drop down to 160 pounds for a fight with Mayweather.

    “Floyd, his skills are so out there that he can risk going up to 160,” Hopkins said. “It isn’t the weight that is going to win the fight, it’s the skills. The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. The only guy who is going to beat a guy like Floyd Mayweather is a master chess player. And who is the master chess player? I’ll go back to 160. It’s the biggest old [man] fight. Everyone from the nursing home will be watching.”

    It’s certainly conceivable that Hopkins, who has fought at light heavyweight since 2006, could make a 160-pound weight limit. Hopkins is a finely conditioned athlete. He doesn’t drink or smoke and rarely strays from a disciplined diet. He says he walks around 10 pounds heavier than his fighting weight and if given until May, he could make the weight.

    “I will go to New Orleans or some place hot, I will train like a dog, and I will make an extraordinary fight,” Hopkins said. “If I was coming from [heavyweight] to [light heavyweight] like Roy Jones did, then it would be a problem. But being a guy who lives the way I live… for me to come down to 160, it’s doable.”

    For Hopkins, 160 pounds would be familiar territory. He was one of the greatest middleweights in boxing history, dominating the division for the better part of a decade, making a record 20 title defenses along the way.

    Mayweather, though, may not share Hopkins’s enthusiasm for a middleweight fight. Mayweather’s win over Saul Alvarez was just the third time he has fought above 147 pounds. On the day of the fight Mayweather “rehydrated” to half a pound lighter than what he weighed in at the day before. Moreover, even if Hopkins weighed in at 160, it’s likely he would balloon into the 170’s on fight night, creating an enormous size advantage.

    Still, Hopkins believes Mayweather could be interested.

    “When your name is Money, money moves you,” Hopkins said. “It would be a chess game. He would have the burden. You can’t let a 49-year-old go the distance with you. It would have to be a rumble. It wouldn’t be easy, This man has a defense that it would be a counterpunching fight.”

    For now, Hopkins says, he is focused on October 26, when he will defend his IBF title against Karo Murat. After that, it will be Mayweather’s call.

    “You can be 200 pounds [but] if you can’t fight, I could be 115 [pounds] and I will still kick your a–,” Hopkins said. “And Floyd can fight. I was one of his critics. When he beat Shane Mosley, remember I sort of instigated that fight. But when I saw him recover [from a Mosley punch], when I saw him make Shane Mosley want to shake hands and talk, I was converted. You give me until May, I will make that weight.” – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Sep 16, 2013
  • Bernard Hopkins vs. Karo Murat cancelled due to visa issues

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    Bernard Hopkins was in New York on June 5, promoting his since-canceled fight. (AP)

    Bernard Hopkins was in New York on June 5, promoting his since-canceled fight. (AP)

    The July 13th light heavyweight title fight between IBF champion Bernard Hopkins and No. 1 contender Karo Murat has been cancelled due to Murat being declared ineligible to receive a visa from the United States, Golden Boy Promotions announced on Friday.

    It is unclear if the fight will be rescheduled. On Friday afternoon, Hopkins tweeted that “it Looks like September I’ll be back!! Now, at least I can enjoy some of the summer.”

    The 48-year old Hopkins (53-6-2) was scheduled to make his first defense of the title he won in March, when he outpointed Tavoris Cloud to become — for the second time — the oldest man to win a major title. Murat, 29, was originally the mandatory for Cloud. But the IBF granted Cloud an exception to fight Hopkins, with the stipulation that the winner would face Murat (25-1-1) in his next fight. 

    “I’m extremely disappointed about the fight being cancelled,” said Hopkins.  “I was already in the gym, sparring and preparing for the fight, but things happen. I know [Golden Boy Promotions CEO] Richard Schaefer and the staff at Golden Boy Promotions are already working on something bigger and better.  I stay in shape so being ready is never a problem and I look forward to whatever fight is made for me in the near future.”

    Said Murat, “Obviously I’m very disappointed, as I have been in training for almost three months now, but I understand that my promoter’s representative, Chris Meyer, is in talks with Richard Schaefer to discuss possible alternatives.”

    IBF Chairman Lindsey Tucker told SI.com that the IBF would wait to hear from Murat’s team that Murat would be unable to attend. According to Tucker, an ordered, agreed upon fight being cancelled is “a problem we have never had before.” Tucker says the IBF could order the two sides to negotiate again or could elevate the next contender. That spot will be determined tonight, when undefeated Sergey Kovalev takes on Cornelius White in Bethlehem, Penn. (NBC Sports Network, 8 p.m.) for the No. 1 position in the IBF rankings.

    If the IBF allows Hopkins to make a voluntary defense, Hopkins has made it clear he would like to unify the 175-pound titles. That could mean a fight against titleholders Nathan Cleverly, Beibut Shumenov or Adonis Stevenson, who became the WBC — and, more importantly, the lineal champion — with a stunning first round knockout of Chad Dawson last weekend. 

    Hopkins could also pursue a fight with super middleweight titleholder Carl Froch. Hopkins has made it clear he is willing to fight Froch, who defeated Mikkel Kessler last month, in England, where Froch has become a huge box office attraction, and at a catch weight. 

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Jun 14, 2013
  • Three thoughts on Carl Froch’s unanimous decision over Mikkel Kessler

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    Carl Froch beats Mikkel Kessler

    Carl Froch (left) withstood several big shots to the chin from Mikkel Kessler to win a unanimous decision. (Sang Tan/AP)

    Three thoughts on Carl Froch’s unanimous decision win over Mikkel Kessler:

    Froch continues to impress
    In 2011, Froch lost a lopsided decision to Andre Ward in the finals of Showtime’s Super Six tournament, and at 34, it was fair to question if Froch had blown his best opportunity to prove he was among the top fighters in the world. But Froch followed up the loss with a dramatic knockout win over Lucian Bute—an undefeated, legitimate titleholder considered the best 168-pounder not in the Super Six—and on Saturday, Froch became a unified super middleweight champion with a decisive decision win over Mikkel Kessler, avenging a 2010 defeat. Froch, fighting for the third straight time in his home country of England, was as relentless against Kessler as he was against Bute, piling up points in the early rounds behind a stiff jab and an overwhelming work rate. Kessler rallied in the later rounds, even stunning Froch in the 11th, but Froch closed the show with a strong 12th, pummeling Kessler into a corner. The three judges scored the fight 118-110, 116-112 and 115-113, while SI.com had it 116-112. Everyone got it right.

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  • Published On May 25, 2013
  • Three thoughts: Matthysse showcases power in KO win against Peterson

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    Lucas Matthysse

    Lucas Matthysse knocked down LaMont Peterson in the second round and won in the third. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

    ATLANTIC CITY — Three thoughts from Lucas Matthysse’s knockout win over Lamont Peterson …

    1. Matthysse is scary good. Yes, Matthysse has two losses on his résumé, narrow defeats to Devon Alexander and Zab Judah. Yes, they were his two biggest fights. But in blowing away Peterson on Saturday, Matthysse firmly established himself as the most dangerous fighter in the junior welterweight division. Because this was never close. Peterson was clearly wary of Matthysse’s power early, fighting backing up, trying to keep Matthysse at bay with his jab. But Matthysse is relentless. He stalked Peterson in the second round, dropping him with a crushing right hand. In the third, Matthysse dropped Peterson again. Referee Steve Smoger allowed a wobbly Peterson to continue — “He’s a champion,” Smoger told me afterwards. “I wanted to give him one more shot.” — but Matthysse stormed in to close the show, dropping Peterson again, forcing Smoger to wave it off. Make no mistake, Lamont Peterson is a very good fighter and a legitimate titleholder. But Matthysse simply destroyed him.

    2. Can anyone stand up to that power? Watching Matthysse walk through Peterson made me wonder: How did Alexander and Judah stand up to this? After the fight, Bernard Hopkins walked over to press row and said that if he were fighting Matthysse, the crowd would be booing for the first six rounds. “Because I’d be running,” Hopkins said. “I’d be trying to tire him out.”

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  • Published On May 18, 2013
  • Quick Jabs: Russian promoter shells out big bucks for Wladimir Klitschko fight

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    Wladimir Klitschko is expected to face Alexander Povetkin in August. (Nadine Rupp/Bongarts/Getty Images)

    Wladimir Klitschko is expected to face Alexander Povetkin in August. (Nadine Rupp/Bongarts/Getty Images)

    • In a shocker, Russian promoter Vladimir Hryunov won a purse bid for the right to promote Wladimir Klitschko’s future heavyweight title defense against Alexander Povetkin with a whopping $23.3 million bid, far more than K2 Promotions ($7.1 million) or Sauerland Event ($6.01 million) put up. Assuming both Klitschko and Povetkin make it through their upcoming bouts, the fight will take place August 31 in either Moscow, Berlin or Las Vegas. Under the terms of the bid, Klitschko would receive $17.5 million with Povetkin entitled to $5.8 million. As big as Hryunov’s bid was, it falls well short of the $32.1 million Las Vegas businessman Steve Wynn put up to secure the rights to Buster Douglas’s title defense against Evander Holyfield in 1990.

    The obvious question: Can Hryunov come up with the cash? Occasionally, a promoter will come in and submit an outlandish bid for a fight, and then default. Don King has done it twice in the last year, first with a $1.1 million bid for the right to promote a heavyweight fight between Cris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne and later with a $1.5 million bid for Marco Huck and Ola Afolabi. King would default on both, losing the ten percent deposit he was required to put down. Sources involved with the bid told SI.com that Hryunov, who is being backed by a Russian-based businessman and real estate developer, will spend the next few weeks exploring ways to monetize the fight.

    • Some numbers from a busy boxing weekend: Last Saturday’s Showtime-televised fight between Saul Alvarez and Austin Trout peaked at 734,000 households and 1.061 million viewers, a modest increase from the 1.031 viewers Alvarez attracted for his September fight with Josesito Lopez. Meanwhile Saturday afternoon’s fight on NBC, headlined by heavyweights Tyson Fury and Steve Cunningham, did a strong overnight rating that translated to 1.2 million viewers. Expectations are that when the full numbers come in later in the week, peak viewership will exceed 1.8 million.

    • I love Juan Manuel Marquez-Tim Bradley. Like most, I was surprised that Marquez didn’t take a fifth fight with Pacquiao. Despite all the rhetoric, I figured Marquez would go for the biggest check. But in fighting Bradley, Marquez can still cash a big check and give himself a chance at history by becoming the first Mexican to win titles in five weight classes. And if he beats Bradley — and Pacquiao gets past either Mike Alvarado or Brandon Rios — a Pacquiao fight will still be there.

    • I don’t think I’ve ever been less interested in a notable fight than this Saturday’s heavyweight bout between Deontay Wilder and Audley Harrison. It’s another absolute joke of a fight for Wilder, a 2008 bronze medalist whose résumé as a pro is pathetic.

    • If Danny Garcia beats Zab Judah on Saturday, I think he becomes the favorite to face Floyd Mayweather in the fall. Mayweather clearly isn’t overly interested in facing Saul Alvarez; if he were, he would have agreed to face him already and fought together on the May 4th pay per view. I’ve been told that during negotiations with HBO and Showtime Mayweather’s representatives mentioned Garcia often as a possible opponent.

    • Ishe Smith-Carlos Molina: The very definition of not-made-for-TV.

    • Golden Boy’s ability to get Bernard Hopkins’ upcoming title defense against Karo Murat on premium television could get interesting. The fight stinks. Murat (25-0-1) is not a particularly big puncher and a complete unknown in the U.S. And everyone knows that at this stage of his career Hopkins (53-6-2) needs a certain type of opponent (Tavoris Cloud, Jean Pascal) to look impressive. I’m told Showtime is interested in showing the fight, but will require a strong co-main event to make it worth their while.

    • There is still nothing to make me think that a fight between Nathan Cleverly and Bernard Hopkins will be anything but dull.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Apr 25, 2013
  • HBO announces it won’t televise Golden Boy Promotions’ fights

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    Rising star Adrien Broner, right, will no longer be featured on HBO after Monday's announcement.

    Rising star Adrien Broner, right, will no longer be featured on HBO after Monday’s announcement. [Richard Vogel/AP]

    For the last year, HBO has watched as Golden Boy Promotions has moved many of its top fighters from HBO to Showtime. On Monday, HBO struck back: The network announced that it would no longer buy any fights from Golden Boy Promotions.

    “In order to achieve our goal of the best fighters in the most compelling matchups we’ve decided to focus our efforts and resources on those strategic relationships where we better share common goals and business philosophies,” HBO Sports President Ken Hershman said in a statement.

    The decision is a decisive move from HBO to strike back at Golden Boy. Since Stephen Espinoza — a former Golden Boy attorney — took over as the head of the sports department at Showtime, Golden Boy has pulled several of its top fighters including Danny Garcia, Amir Khan, Canelo Alavarez and Andre Berto off of HBO and onto Showtime. Last month, Floyd Mayweather — who works closely with Golden Boy —announced he was leaving HBO, his broadcast partner for virtually his entire career, to sign a lucrative deal with Showtime.

    Among the casualties of HBO’s decision is Adrien Broner, a rising star who has been a staple on HBO. HBO sources made it clear that it was nothing against Broner, but they will not put him on the network as long as Golden Boy represents him. Likewise for Bernard Hopkins, a longtime HBO fighter who last week became the oldest man to win a major title when he defeated Tavoris Cloud on HBO.

    The decision to stop doing business with Golden Boy is being called indefinite.

    Golden Boy CEO called the decision “retaliation” and “ill advised.”

    I’m not really surprised,” Schaefer told SI.com. “I have not had a conversation with Ken Hershman since last November or December. They are upset at me, I’m sure they are upset at Al Haymon. But the ones getting hurt are the subscribers. Whether you like Golden Boy or you don’t, our stable is second to none. I wished them well. (HBO Vice President) Kery Davis, (VP) Mart Taffet, (CEO) Richard Plepler, I consider them friends. But there are people making decisions in the HBO sports department that don’t know the difference between Floyd Mayweather and Jessie Vargas.”

    — Chris Mannix


  • Published On Mar 18, 2013
  • Who 48-year-old Bernard Hopkins could fight next

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    The ageless Bernard Hopkins, 48, vowed to fight until he's 50 years old after beating Tavoris Cloud. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

    The ageless Bernard Hopkins, 48, vowed to fight until he’s 50 years old after beating Tavoris Cloud. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

    The inimitable Bernard Hopkins made history Saturday night, outpointing Tavoris Cloud to win the IBF light heavyweight belt and become (again) the oldest man to win a major title. Hopkins has no intention of hanging ‘em up, joking (we think) that he plans to fight until he is 50. The 175-pound division is loaded with possibilities. Here’s one list:

    The winner of Jean Pascal/Lucian Bute
    Understand this: Hopkins needs the right opponent. fighter that will stay on the outside and pepper Hopkins with jabs (see Dawson, Chad) is a bad matchup. Pascal has fought Hopkins twice, battling him to a draw and losing a decision in 2011. Both fights were close and, more importantly, entertaining. Bute is more of a wild card: He’s known for his stiff jab but in a knockout loss to Carl Froch last year showed a willingness to engage. Though neither are native Canadians, Bute-Pascal–tentatively scheduled for May–will be the biggest fight in Canadian boxing history due to their close ties to the country. And the winner will get a big bounce coming out of it. Pascal was in the ring after Hopkins win over Cloud and was vocal about his desire for a third fight. To me, it’s the best option out there.

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  • Published On Mar 11, 2013


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