There are several college campuses in Washington, DC. You can add the campus of the DC Armory to that list and include Bernard Hopkins as a faculty member. Last night Hopkins taught Beibut Shumenov a painful lesson in the sweet science of professional boxing. Hopkins became the oldest (49) boxer to unify a weight classification in the history of the sport with a split decision win over Shumenov to become the International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Association and IBA Light Heavyweight champion of the world before 6823 fans and a world wide audience on Showtime Championship Boxing.
After the announced decision, Hopkins and Shumenov were face to face in a serious talk. "I was telling him it all starts with his mind. I kept pointing to my head, says Hopkins, he was upset at some of the things I said leading up to the fight and I said don't worry about that stuff, it's a part of boxing. I think he will beat some lesser fighters than me and could be a champion again." Shumenov said, "I am mad. I did not fight my best." Hopkins, (55-6-2), is such a professor in the ring, it is hard for some fans to figure out what his mind set is. "I watch my opponent. I knew the right hand was there all night. I am very comfortable fighting on the ropes. I think I did some of my best work ducking punches from the ropes." Some one asked was that the best right hand he has shown in several fights. "That knock down, [11th round], certainly was one of the best. But he is a European fighter and they keep their left hand low at times and that's what Shumenov did. My trainer told me that the right is there when I want it", recalls Hopkins.
The knock down was a thing of beauty. Following a jab, Hopkins caught Shumenov, (14-2), cleanly to the left side of his face and buckled his knees like a marionette puppet. The experienced Hopkins did not rush in as you see young fighters do so many times. He knew the fight was his and he cruised through the 12th round and unified the title in his 31st world title fight. One person who did not think the fight belonged to Hopkins was judge Gustovo Padilla. He scored the fight for Shumenov, 114-113. It was hard to give Shumenov any rounds, except maybe the first, which could have gone to Hopkins since both fighters did so little.
DC fighters were well represented on the Showtime card. Dominic Wade improved his record to 15-0 with a second round KO of Marcus Upshaw, D'mitrius Ballard went to 5-0 with a 2nd round TKO of Quincy Miner, who seemed to injure his elbow, David Grayton stayed undefeated with a TKO of Howard Reece in round 1 and improved to 7-0 and Lamont Roach made a successful debut to the pro ranks with a unanimous decision over Victor Galindo. Shawn Porter retained his IBF welterweight title with a TKO of Paulie Malignaggi in round 4 and may have sent Malignaggi into retirement.and Peter Quillin controlled his fight with a good jab and retained his WBO middleweight belt over Lukas Konecny.
Hopkins will turn 50 years old in January of 2015 and wants to unify the entire Light Heavyweight landscape before that day comes. "Once I unify, I will not defend any belts. I may fight a special fight at a comfortable weight, maybe 165 or 168, depending on the money. I have faith in Richard Schaefer. He will make the best deal for me". Schaefer is the CEO of Golden Boy Promotions and is said to be interested in bringing another championship fight to DC in the summer, maybe at the Verizon Center. Many think that "special fight" Hopkins was referring to will be against Floyd Meaweather. Both are Showtime fighters, so you never know. Please subscribe and keep close tabs on what Washington, DC has in store for the boxing world.