Hopkins (54-6-2-2, 32 KOs), who is also a past two-weight world titlist, last exited the squared circle in October after universally outscoring Karo Murat to successfully defend the IBF light heavyweight crown.
In a scintillating match 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.
Dismissing 18 years of seniority, Hopkins opened a cut on Murat’s left eye and bullied the youngster for 36 minutes.
“If a baseball player, football player, basketball player was performing at anywhere near the level that Bernard is, he would be in a lab being studied by scientists,” says Bruce Binkow, the chief operating officer for Golden Boy, Hopkins’s promoter.
Meanwhile, safeguarding the WBA and IBA light heavyweight belts, Shumenov (14-1, 9 KOs) most recently earned a third round TKO over Tamas Kovacs on December 14.
A representative of Kazakhstan in the 2004 Summer Olympics, the 30-year-old Shumenov has beaten a host of tomato cans as a professional.
In stark contrast to Shumenov, and despite being a quasi-geriatric, “The Executioner” continues to defy Father Time and trump the world’s premier prizefighters.
Although younger, quicker and stronger than “The Alien,” Shumenov’s inexperience will ultimately lead to his demise.