Continuing to defy Father Time, IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs) captured the WBA lightheavyweight crown by outworking the much younger Beibut Shumenov (14-1, 9 KOs) over 12 rounds at the D.C. Armory in Washington D.C on Saturday night.
Hopkins, 49, is now the oldest fighter to ever unify a major title.
The bout was televised live on Showtime Boxing.
Two judges had Hopkins winning 116-111. Judge Gustavo Padilla somehow scored the one-sided bout 114-113 for Shumenov.
Doghouseboxing had Hopkins winning 116-112.
Hopkins kept the pace slow in the opening rounds. Shumenov, 30, jabbed but did little else. Hopkins looked to counter. A double jab landed, but a big right hand missed. Shumenvov used his reach advantage to catch Hopkins.
The action picked up a tiny bit in round three. Hopkins found Shumenov with a right. His educated jab snapped the head back of Shumenov. The WBA champion landed a heavy right at the bell. The lead right would continue to be the key punch for Hopkins. Shumenvov, defending his title for the fourth time, dangles his left low low - near his hip.
In rounds four and five, Hopkins began to exploit this flaw. His right scored numerous times. Shumenvov landed a left and right to the body. The fighters traded hooks to the chin. Hopkins lulled Shumenvov to sleep (and some of the crowd) and connected with a right.
The crafty Hopkins continued to control the bout in rounds six and seven. He feinted and looked to counter. His sneaky lead right found pay dirt. Shumenvov, who was born in Kazakhstan, stepped in with some shots to the body, but most of them were blocked.
Hopkins connect rate stayed high in rounds eight and nine. Shumenvov walked into a left hook. Hopkins landed a right and left. Shumenvov finally caught “The Alien” with a blow.
Shumenvov finally picked up the pace in rounds nine and 10. He connected with a left hook, but the ancient warrior fought back effectively. In round 11, Hopkins dropped Shumenvov with what else, a right hand.
The last round was all Hopkins. His right crashed off the chin of Shumenvov. A left hand knocked Shumenvov back two steps.
Check back with www.doghouseboxing.com for more reports on this fight.