When Washington, DC was mentioned to host the unification bout for the Light Heavyweight championship of the world, champion Bernard Hopkins jumped at it. Hopkins, 49, will fight Beibut Shumenov, 14-1, 9 KO's, on Saturday April 19, live on Showtime at the DC Armory. Hopkins holds the International Boxing Federation belt and Shumenov is the World Boxing Association and the International Boxing Association champion. The winner will walk away with 3 world Lt. Heavyweight belts.
Hopkins, 56-22, 32 KO's, has many fans in the DC area. He first fight in DC was in 1993 on the under card of heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe. He lost a decision to Roy Jones, outside, at RFK Stadium, a stones throw from the DC Armory. The last time Hopkins, known as B Hop, fought in the city, was in 1999 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. " My thing is, you are only as good as your last fight. Here in DC, you're only as good as your last vote. At the end of the day, I've realized that you can be a champion yesterday, but if you dwell on yesterday, you will never go forward", says Hopkins. Hopkins is known for his no nonsense training regimen, even at this advanced age for a professional athlete. "I am blessed to be here through hard work and discipline. Shumenov will learn from this fight because he's still young and he still has some experience to gain after this fight."
Shumenov is confident in his ability. "People will find out on April 19 that I belong in the elite level...that I am the best light heavyweight in the world. I am looking to make a statement to the world. It's a dream of mine to have this kind of opportunity. I've been ready to fight at this type of level for several years and now I have this platform to show off my skills." DC Boxing Chairman, Scottie Irving is thrilled to have another title fight in the capitol city, "We're happy to have this world title fight here in Washington, DC. When we had the [Lamont] Peterson fight back in January, we talked to Bernard and Golden Boy Promotions about having another fight back here in D C, but what we didn't know was that Bernard was going to fight here himself. So we're happy to bring this world championship event to DC and we're looking forward to it." Golden Boy Promotions will promote this title fight. Bruce Binkow, COO and CMO of Golden Boy says, "DC is becoming a hot bed for big fights and we are excited to bring this world championship unification to our nations's capitol.
It is rare to witness an athlete competing for championships as he approaches 50 years of age in any sport, let alone the sport of boxing. Bernard Hopkins is already the oldest boxing champion in history and is looking to add to that record 21 years after he lost to Roy Jones about 300 yards from where this next challenge will take place. Please subscribe and follow the boxing action in DC and come on out to the DC Armory to witness history on April 19.