Shumenov (14-1, 9 KOs) most recently earned a third round TKO over Tamas Kovacs on December 14.
"Bernard Hopkins, right now, he is the best light heavyweight champion in the world. He is one of the idols that I have in boxing," said Shumenov, 30, who represented Kazakhstan in the 2004 Summer Olympics. “But for me, this is a great opportunity to show that I am actually the best light heavyweight champion of the world."
Comparatively, Hopkins (54-6-2-2, 32 KOs), who is also a former two-weight world titleholder, last vacated the squared circle in October after universally outscoring Karo Murat to successfully defend the IBF light heavyweight crown.
In a scintillating prizefight that bordered on a brawl, the 49-year-old Hopkins battered the 30-year-old Murat (25-2-1, 15 KOs) late and aggressively tried to knock the German challenger onto Queer Street.
Despite being 18 years older, Hopkins opened a cut on Murat’s left eye and bullied the youngster for 36 minutes.
As a quasi-geriatric, “The Executioner” continues to defy Father Time.
Although younger, quicker and stronger than “The Alien,” Shumenov’s inexperience will ultimately lead to his demise.
Expect Bernard Hopkins to prove that he is “actually the best light heavyweight champion of the world" later this month in the District of Columbia.