Souvenir: Shumenov Wants Hopkins

By Robert Ecksel on December 27, 2013
Souvenir: Shumenov Wants Hopkins
“He said he wants to fight me,” said Shumenov. “I want to fight him.” (Naoki Fukuda)

Shumenov had hand towels printed with his likeness to give out as souvenirs. They were quaint but forgettable, something to notice then ignore…

No one at the Alamodome watched WBA light heavyweight champion Beibut Shumenov dismantle Tamas Kovacs more closely than IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins.

It wasn’t that the fight was compelling or competitive. It was neither. It’s that Shumenov (14-1, 9 KOs) is a bona fide titleholder with limited skills, the sort of fighter Hopkins (54-6-2, 32 KOs), who watches his diet like a hawk, eats for breakfast.

There are other worthy challengers, perhaps worthier challengers against whom Hopkins can strut his superiority. But they’re aligned with HBO or Top Rank, so we can forget about his fighting Sergey Kovalev or Adonis Stevenson any time soon, at least until such time as they see the light, jump ship, and/or cut a deal with Golden Boy Promotions.

At 30 years of age, Shumenov is no spring chicken, but compared to the 48-year-old Hopkins he’s a newborn wrapped in swaddling. But as Hopkins keeps reminding us, age is less a number than a state of mind, a reminder which Shumenov has elected to ignore.

“My goal has always been to unify,” Shumenov said, “and Golden Boy and Showtime are going to give me that opportunity. We tried to make a couple of unifications and different fights that for one reason or another fell through. We tried to made unification fights with Cleverly and Dawson when they held belts, but they weren’t interested in fighting me. I tried to unify with a scheduled fight against Braehmer but he ran out of town three days before our fight.”

Hopkins won’t run out of town three days before a fight. Why would he? What does Hopkins have to fear? In a sport where losers outnumber winners by 1000 to 1, Hopkins has won and won big. At this point a loss, however unlikely, will not deter The Alien.

“Bernard Hopkins is a legendary fighter and it would be an honor to fight him,” continued Shumenov. “He said he wants to fight me. I want to fight him. If I had my choice of unifying against any of the other world champions in the 175-pound division, I would pick Bernard Hopkins because he’s headed to the Hall of Fame. The other two world champions, Stevenson and Kovalev, only became world champions this year and they haven’t beaten opponents at their peaks like Hopkins has so many times.”

Showtime and Golden Boy are pushing this fight for March or April. It will be a nice payday for Shumenov. It will be another feather in the cap for Hopkins, who already wears the boxing equivalent of a Native American headdress.


Shumenov had hand towels printed with his likeness to give out as souvenirs. They were quaint but forgettable, something to notice then ignore. After Shumenov starched Kovacs, Hopkins got hold of one of the towels and was parading it around the ring. He wasn’t waving the towel above his head, as many Shumenov loyalists were doing. Hopkins held it in front of his groin and pointed at the likeness of Shumenov…while wearing a sly grin on his face.

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Beibut Shumenov Stops Tomas Kovacs by TKO - SHOWTIME Boxing

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  1. nicolas 11:18pm, 12/27/2013

    At this time, Shumenov is one of the least deserving of “world champions”. He won it in a very controversial decision of Campanillo, and did not even give that fighter a rematch, though the other gentlemen, who when he beat Shumenov in Khazahstan no less, gave him a rematch. Most of his defenses of that WBA title, like the fighter from Slovakia, are really second tier fighters, though it is true, that Brahmer, another fraud as world champ, and now called WBA regular champ, skipped out of town, claiming food poisoning, as he did when he claimed an injury before the scheduled fight with Cleverly, though I don’t thin Brahmer is even as good as Campanillo. Though amazing at 48, I think Hopkins will try to go the road that Foreman went on his second reign as champ. Though his opponents might at least be more credible than Foremans.

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