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RINGSIDE REPORT: Hopkins Wins Unification Bout

BY Aaron Tallent ON April 20, 2014
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Bernard Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs) unified the IBF and WBA light heavyweights with a controversial split decision over Beibut Shumenov (14-2-0, 9 KOs) in front of a crowd of more than 6,800 at the D.C. Armory in Washington, D.C. The controversy was not that Hopkins won, but that the decision was split.

Hopkins, however, was not focused on the semantics of the outcome, just the next steps.

“Whatever the fight is, I want to be the undisputed light heavyweight champion before 50,” said Hopkins after the fight.

Hopkins craftiness exposed the flaws in Shumenov’s technique, mainly his wide-open, but immobile stance. Regardless of the flaws, the Nevadan by way of Kazakhstan showed that he has a chin of steel.

“Shumenov is a gallant warrior,” said Hopkins. “He will be champion when I leave from this I’m pretty sure. He’s going to learn from this.”

Hopkins played to the D.C. by wearing the colors of the Washington Redskins. The fighter who once entered the ring with an executioner mask now came in wearing an alien mask and to the adulation of the majority of the crowd. Shumenov’s sparse fan base sat to the side of the ring waving Kazakhstani flags.

As was the case with Hopkins fights of late, he was judicious with his punches. He spent the first round feeling out Shumenov, landing a small amount of punches. In the second round Hopkins threw punches and grappled with Shumenov in the first half of the round, but Shumenov threw more in the second half. The third was the first round that Hopkins dominated from start to finish.

Shumenov wide-open stance left him open to lead rights from Hopkins, who landed a few in the fourth. In the fifth, Hopkins missed with a wild left hook, but still landed a few power shots.

The sixth and seventh rounds saw little action, with Hopkins seeming to do enough to win both. In the eighth round, Shumenov left himself open and Hopkins nailed him with an unusually high number of rights.

Shumenov pressed Hopkins in the ninth and tenth rounds. While neither was dramatic, both were very close.

In the 11th, Hopkins left himself open to an overhand right and Hopkins put him on the canvas, bringing the crowd to its feat with chants of “B-Hop.” Shumenov got to his feet and Hopkins again wobbled him with a right and left hook. Shumenov clinched his way out of dire straits and made it through the round.

The twelfth round saw a mix of Hopkins power shots.

Two of the final scorecards read 116-111 for Hopkins with the other reading 114-113 for Hopkins. An example of Hopkins punching efficiency comes from the COMPUBOX numbers, showing that Hopkins threw 383 punches and landed 186, while Shumenov threw 608 punches and landed 124.

The main event was part of a tripleheader aired on Showtime that comprised one of the biggest fight cards ever to be held in the District of Columbia.

Shawn Porter (24-0-1, 15 KOs) defended his IBF Welterweight title and surprised the Armory crowd with a brutal fourth-round knockout of Paul Malignaggi (33-6-0, 7 KOs). The former two-time champion entered the ring a crowd favorite, but experienced the most devastating loss of his career.

Malignaggi and Porter went after each other early in the fight. An accidental head butt in the middle of the first round opened a cut under Malignaggi’s eye. In the final minute of the second round, Porter nailed him with a vicious left hook and wobbled him with a series of rights.

Porter sent Malignaggi to the canvas at the beginning of the fourth round. The challenger quickly rose to his feet, and Porter gave him a devastating amount of punishment. After Porter knocked him down again 1:24, referee Sam Williams had seen enough and stopped the bout.

“I definitely needed a victory like that over a guy like this,” said Porter. “I’m going to enjoy this and let my team handle [what’s next].”

As for Malignaggi, he said that he did not want to make an emotional decision about his future and that he was going to take some time to decide.

WBO Middleweight champion Peter Quillin (31-0-0, 22 KOs) won a unanimous decision over Lukas Konecny (50-5-0, 23 KOs) in a fight that was much more contentious than the final scorecards indicated. Konecny, who Quillin called a “tough customer,” is from the Czech Republic and fought all of his previous 54 fights in Europe. He used this title shot and first bout in the U.S. to show his grit.

From the opening bell, it was clear that Quillin was the more physically gifted fighter and spent most of the first and second rounds pawing with his jab to set up the big punch. Konecny, meanwhile, attacked with a flurry of body shots. In the third and fourth rounds, Quillin began to land more punches, but Konecny responded by working his way inside to land a barrage of hooks to the body. The action was more of the same in the fifth, but by the end, Konecny was bleeding from the mouth.

The challenger looked tired as he started the sixth round and a brief pause to retie his shoe did him no favors. Quillin’s punches seemed to be crisper and the fire Konecny showed in the first few rounds seemed to be fading. At the end of the eight round, he was bleeding from the nose.

Konecny roared back in the ninth, landing more blows and punctuating the round with a vicious left hook. He continued to apply that same level of pressure in the 10th and 11th rounds as well. Quillin controlled the final round and the judges’ scorecards read 120-108, 119-109 and 119-109.

“I’m going to home and watch the tape (of the fight) and see what improvements I need to make,” said Quillin.

Konecny call Quillin a “good champion, but not a great one.”

On the undercard, welterweight Sadam Ali (19-0-0, 12 KOs) dispatched Michael Clark (44-10-1, 18 KOs) with a vicious left hook that resulted in a knockout a little more than two minutes into the first round. It was the second first-round knockout in a row that Clark has suffered.

Light heavyweight southpaw Marcus Browne (10-0-0, 7 KOs) cruised to an eight-round unanimous decision over Otis Griffin (24-16-2, 10 KOs). Browne was a 2012 Golden Gloves national champion.

Junior welterweight Zachary Ochoa (7-0-0, 4 KOs) remained unbeaten with a fifth-round stoppage of Hector Marengo (6-8-4, 4 KOs). Ochoa had sent Marengo to the canvas twice before his corner stopped the bout.

David Grayton (7-0-0, 6 KOs), a welterweight from Washington, DC, had a short night, knocking out Howard Reece (2-5-0, 1 KO) in the first round.

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the Roast says:

Another con job victory for Bernard. Why these guys play his game of pose, wait and stroll around I will never know. Make the old timer fight instead of pose and Hop gets beat. Shumenov stood there like a cobra watching the snake charmer. Throw punches! I give credit to Hopkins for controling the pace and the tempo (yawn) in winning yet another thrilling (yawn again) pose down.

riverside says:

wow! was i off? is hopkins gonna ever get old? we've been asking this for 30 years lol. amazing! what happen to Paulie?

deepwater2 says:

I thought Shumenov would out work Hopkins .oh well, Hopkins still has it.

jzzy says:

Hopefully, this is the last time we see Paulie inside the ropes. BHop is heading for disaster once one of these young guys actually make him
work for 3 minutes each round. Kid Chocolate has defensive liabilities that will be exploited by GGG.

oubobcat says:

Shumenov played right into Hopkins hands. He consistently held his left low and was just getting racked by right hands from Hopkins all night. Maybe if he had a trainer at some point this would have been corrected. But its clear Hopkins saw this on tape and exposed this flaw early. In addition, Shumenov allowed Hopkins to fight as his measured pace for most of the night.

I am continually amazed at what a 49 year old fighter can do in the ring. I was as pumped for the fight yesterday as any fight so far in 2014. When Hopkins fights now he makes history and did so once again last night.

SouthPawFlo says:

Poor Paulie, he needs to hang it up after that massacre lastnight, Porter SteamRolles him Easily...

As far as B-Hop he is the master at his feint and well timed counters, I remember when B-Hop fought RJJR 20 years ago and to see him still putting on boxing clinics now is amazing... He doesn't get hit cleanly, he moves around the ring gracefully, he knows how and when to clinch, he keeps guys off balance because sometimes he waits to counter, then sometimes it's the lead right hand, then other times it's the lead left hook.

That quick 1-2 he dropped the kid with was perfect, blind him with the jab then shoot the right hand....


I hope guys appreciate how masterful this ageless wonder is, he enters every fight without having any physical advantages yet his boxing IQ is so high now of his physical liabilities seem to matter

amayseng says:

Hopkins still has the footwork, upper body movement, buzzing power and hand speed to still compete at the highest level. Very impressive.

Of course Hop is gonna control the pace, spacing and work rate but he landed enough clean and hard shots to keep me entertained.

I think this performance was superior, more enjoyable and entertaining to Floyds last 3 performances.

honestly.

ArneK. says:

Back around 1990, I attended several tough-man shows. The contests were three one-minute rounds.

In these bouts, you would see some nightclub bouncer who appeared to be in good shape huffing-and-puffing after only one round. That gave me a greater appreciation of boxing as an endurance sport. And ultimately it gave me a greater appreciation of the amazing Bernard Hopkins.

King Beef says:

Another con job victory for Bernard. Why these guys play his game of pose, wait and stroll around I will never know. Make the old timer fight instead of pose and Hop gets beat. Shumenov stood there like a cobra watching the snake charmer. Throw punches! I give credit to Hopkins for controling the pace and the tempo (yawn) in winning yet another thrilling (yawn again) pose down.


I don't know about a con job but I gotta agree with you on making BHop fight 3 minutes of every rd, it amazes me how these guys fall right into that trap. Granted Hopkins and corner have probably forgotten more about boxing than Shumenov knows, (needs a trainer BAD!) pushing the pace against a 50 yr old man seems like a no brainer; I fault Shumenov for that.
Props to BHop, and a pretty good night at the fights again.
I did not see Porter steamrolling Paulie like that!!!

Domenic says:

I don't know about a con job but I gotta agree with you on making BHop fight 3 minutes of every rd, it amazes me how these guys fall right into that trap. Granted Hopkins and corner have probably forgotten more about boxing than Shumenov knows, (needs a trainer BAD!) pushing the pace against a 50 yr old man seems like a no brainer; I fault Shumenov for that.
Props to BHop, and a pretty good night at the fights again.
I did not see Porter steamrolling Paulie like that!!!


No doubt man. Someone else said it, but Paulie's speed is no longer a weapon, so now he's got no chance but to brawl. Not his game. He reminded me of Gatti a bit last night. Paulie is a credit to the sport. I never liked him coming up, rooted against him, and I've done a complete 180. I admire the guy and he got whipped by what looks to be a special guy. No shame there.

As for Hopkins, I just don't get it either. BS having no trainer at the elite level of boxing is sheer stupidity. I admire where he's gotten, but man, put a team together. I guess he's keeping the bulk of his purse though. But those purses will dry up with performances like that. I would have given the welterweight Shawn Porter a better chance of beating Hopkins than Shumenov, and I mean that literally.

dino da vinci says:

@Dominic. And I agree with you literally.

Here's what I learned from last night. It's a good thing Paulie excels at announcing because he has no future as a matchmaker. Paulie, title aside, what exactly was it you saw you felt you could exploit?

I was channeling a little of the old BHop in the few sentences on Paulie. I managed to find three words with the letter x in them. Don't get to use that key nearly enough as I would like.

Carmine Cas says:

Porter did to Paulie what Broner was hyped to do back in June of last year.

Hopkins still has the goods to compete at the upper echelon, I'd like to see him fight Stevenson.

Skibbz says:

The sad problem with the SD on Hopkins' record is that it makes what was a relatively straight forward fight, look like it was difficult because of his age to those looking back on his fight history in the future. A shame because it was a serious vet exposing gaping holes in a fellow champ. Good luck Stevenson.

King Beef says:

No doubt man. Someone else said it, but Paulie's speed is no longer a weapon, so now he's got no chance but to brawl. Not his game. He reminded me of Gatti a bit last night. Paulie is a credit to the sport. I never liked him coming up, rooted against him, and I've done a complete 180. I admire the guy and he got whipped by what looks to be a special guy. No shame there.

As for Hopkins, I just don't get it either. BS having no trainer at the elite level of boxing is sheer stupidity. I admire where he's gotten, but man, put a team together. I guess he's keeping the bulk of his purse though. But those purses will dry up with performances like that. I would have given the welterweight Shawn Porter a better chance of beating Hopkins than Shumenov, and I mean that literally.



Yeah I think Porter is gonna be a player @147. I kinda want to see a Porter/Thurman matchup alittle more now; I know Porter's dad kinda swept it aside earlier, but it will be a good test for both: can Porter pressure a puncher, and can Thurman adapt to Porter's pressure. I don't know iiif it was more of an old Paulie, but Porter was alittle quicker than I thought.

Skibbz says:

Yeah I think Porter is gonna be a player @147. I kinda want to see a Porter/Thurman matchup alittle more now; I know Porter's dad kinda swept it aside earlier, but it will be a good test for both: can Porter pressure a puncher, and can Thurman adapt to Porter's pressure. I don't know iiif it was more of an old Paulie, but Porter was alittle quicker than I thought.


Porter's dad brushed it aside because he doesn't want to give his a loss! How do you catch a shorter guy rushing in? The uppercut... The same one that Thurman has polished, ready for show.

Radam G says:

Porter's dad brushed it aside because he doesn't want to give his a loss! How do you catch a shorter guy rushing in? The uppercut... The same one that Thurman has polished, ready for show.


No! No! No! That is an uppercut myth, not reality. You catch a boxer -- tall or short -- leaning forward over his footing with an uppercut. If you throw an uppercut because he is "rushing," moving or running in, he will counter over the top and knock you da double fudge out. [He likely would be tricking you to shoot the uppercut, anyway.]

TAKE NOTE: This past Friday -- U.S. mainland time -- on Showtime, a heavyweight got KTFO by doing what you just mentioned.

Tricks of the trade and optical illusions are everywhere. Fighters worth their salts, trick an muthadummy into throwing an uppercut . It is the most dangerous punch in boxing to shoot. And, especially, to shoot at the right time, distance and place. About a third of the fighters who are winning the bout get knocked down or out by throwing an uppercut.

The great amateur and O-Games' gold medalist Howard Davis didn't win a world title because he was fond of uppercutting at the wrong time and would get knocked down a time or two when he had the victories rapped up. Holla!

The Good Doctor says:

No! No! No! That is an uppercut myth, not reality. You catch a boxer -- tall or short -- leaning forward over his footing with an uppercut. If you throw an uppercut because he is "rushing," moving or running in, he will counter over the top and knock you da double fudge out. [He likely would be tricking you to shoot the uppercut, anyway.]

TAKE NOTE: This past Friday -- U.S. mainland time -- on Showtime, a heavyweight got KTFO by doing what you just mentioned.

Tricks of the trade and optical illusions are everywhere. Fighters worth their salts, trick an muthadummy into throwing an uppercut . It is the most dangerous punch in boxing to shoot. And, especially, to shoot at the right time, distance and place. About a third of the fighters who are winning the bout get knocked down or out by throwing an uppercut.

The great amateur and O-Games' gold medalist Howard Davis didn't win a world title because he was fond of uppercutting at the wrong time and would get knocked down a time or two when he had the victories rapped up. Holla!


I with you Radam. One of the best defenses (and there are many) I heard and have seen many times for a guy rushing in was from Pernell Whitaker. He said if a guy rushes in, step outside of his lead foot in a bit of a crouch with chin and elbows tucked, roll your hips over and shoot a straight hand right off his ear or right under the second rib depending upon his head and hand placement. As for an uppercut, unless you throw and absolute atom bomb of an uppercut or a gross speed advantage, it's best use is only really in tight. The reason being is that more than any other punch, it leaves you the most exposed for a counter.

The Good Doctor says:

No! No! No! That is an uppercut myth, not reality. You catch a boxer -- tall or short -- leaning forward over his footing with an uppercut. If you throw an uppercut because he is "rushing," moving or running in, he will counter over the top and knock you da double fudge out. [He likely would be tricking you to shoot the uppercut, anyway.]

TAKE NOTE: This past Friday -- U.S. mainland time -- on Showtime, a heavyweight got KTFO by doing what you just mentioned.

Tricks of the trade and optical illusions are everywhere. Fighters worth their salts, trick an muthadummy into throwing an uppercut . It is the most dangerous punch in boxing to shoot. And, especially, to shoot at the right time, distance and place. About a third of the fighters who are winning the bout get knocked down or out by throwing an uppercut.

The great amateur and O-Games' gold medalist Howard Davis didn't win a world title because he was fond of uppercutting at the wrong time and would get knocked down a time or two when he had the victories rapped up. Holla!


I with you Radam. One of the best defenses (and there are many) I heard and have seen many times for a guy rushing in was from Pernell Whitaker. He said if a guy rushes in, step outside of his lead foot in a bit of a crouch with chin and elbows tucked, roll your hips over and shoot a straight hand right off his ear or right under the second rib depending upon his head and hand placement. As for an uppercut, unless you throw and absolute atom bomb of an uppercut or a gross speed advantage, it's best use is only really in tight. The reason being is that more than any other punch, it leaves you the most exposed for a counter.

The Good Doctor says:

I see alot of people saying that when is someone going to make Hopkins work for three rounds and I have to channel one of the oldest sayings in the book:

"If it were that easy everybody would do it"

Pascal tried to do that to Hop and gassed. You can make the same argument for several other fighters. When I look at Hop I see why no one has figured out how to press the issue:

1. You get nothing to hit. Hop flies dangerously close to turning his back to fighters. When he tucks his chin behind his shoulder you can barely see the dudes eyes and when he raises his glove to cover his face and add the covering of his body with the other arm, you are going to spend alot of time hitting nothing. On top of that, when he fires, its 1,2 and out of the pocket or tie up.

2. He still hits hard. When Hop hits you with a shot he backs you up. You rush in or try to out work him and you leave yourself open to counters which leads to three..........

3. He very rarely misses an opportunity. If you notice, every time Hop gets an opening, he is almost always able to land. The other thing about that to is he does not land grazing or wild shots. They are concise, square and flush.

I think to beat Hop you need to have major advantages in reach and speed. You would also need great head movement, good defense, and a strong mind because he is going to do his best to frustrate you. Also be willing to play a little dirty. If I am choosing, I go with Ward.

amayseng says:

I see alot of people saying that when is someone going to make Hopkins work for three rounds and I have to channel one of the oldest sayings in the book:

"If it were that easy everybody would do it"

Pascal tried to do that to Hop and gassed. You can make the same argument for several other fighters. When I look at Hop I see why no one has figured out how to press the issue:

1. You get nothing to hit. Hop flies dangerously close to turning his back to fighters. When he tucks his chin behind his shoulder you can barely see the dudes eyes and when he raises his glove to cover his face and add the covering of his body with the other arm, you are going to spend alot of time hitting nothing. On top of that, when he fires, its 1,2 and out of the pocket or tie up.

2. He still hits hard. When Hop hits you with a shot he backs you up. You rush in or try to out work him and you leave yourself open to counters which leads to three..........

3. He very rarely misses an opportunity. If you notice, every time Hop gets an opening, he is almost always able to land. The other thing about that to is he does not land grazing or wild shots. They are concise, square and flush.

I think to beat Hop you need to have major advantages in reach and speed. You would also need great head movement, good defense, and a strong mind because he is going to do his best to frustrate you. Also be willing to play a little dirty. If I am choosing, I go with Ward.




Bingo.


Hopkins is a true all time great


I plan to watch this fight about 3 times this week and take some notes.

Hopkins is a fountain of knowledge

dino da vinci says:

Joe Calzaghe did and you saw the results. If that 'missile' by JC that landed below the belt was any indication, the pressure was a bit much for Mr Hopkins. To me, it spoke volumes. You need the tools to force him to engage. I fell asleep last night between rounds so I don't know if it got any better, but that's not the way to fight him. (I was exhausted, nothing to do with the bout). It didn't force me to keep my eyes round either). Force him to fight 36 minutes...heck, force anybody to fight 36 minutes, and get back to me.

mortcola says:

Another con job victory for Bernard. Why these guys play his game of pose, wait and stroll around I will never know. Make the old timer fight instead of pose and Hop gets beat. Shumenov stood there like a cobra watching the snake charmer. Throw punches! I give credit to Hopkins for controling the pace and the tempo (yawn) in winning yet another thrilling (yawn again) pose down.


No con. B-Hop masters something no one has found the answer to: when he doesn’t feel like punching, he goes where the opponent can’t hit him without opening wide or overcommitting, or he occupies the guys arms and arms and shoulders till he gets a break. Then, when the time is right- he lands. Dude landed almost 50 percent of those low-output shots, meaning he picked exactly the ones he knew would land. That’s boxing, in its purest form - just without the adrenaline that makes it fun for most. He’s a genius at it.

As for Paulie - he actually fought well, slick moves, good counter shots - he just got overpowered. Period. If Paulie were a puncher he would be an all-time great. As it is, his shots just don’t hold off a powerful, determined opponent who knows how and when to throw, no matter how well he boxes.

brownsugar says:

Shumenov is unique in that he is his own corner man... I wonder why he didn't admonish himself for being for his complacentcy after round 3... He should have been swearing at himself and slapping himself in the face between rounds.. " wake up Shumenov don't you want to win this"?

Instead he sat there looking satisfied..... like a bookkeeper, confident that his accounting practices would survive an audit by the IRS.

I was completely mesmerised by Bhops non engagement. I have a sleep disorder that makes it extremely difficult to reach the alpha rem sleep stage.

Thanks to Bhop I got 20 minutes of some of the deepest sleep that I've had all month.
I snapped out of it just 5 seconds before he ambushed the hypnotised challenger in the 11th round for the only knock down of the fight.

I went back to rewatch the fight and fell asleep again.... I finally saw the fight in its entirety Sunday morning. There were some intermittant moments of action as the crafty Bhop stole single digit punch stats in most of the rounds.

Good win by Bhop but hard to watch.
He's done it again.
Even though he's in a class of his own and I do like watching tactical boxing... Bhop should consider changing his name to The Amazing Kreskin2 and open his next match at Caesars Palace. Those who enjoy watching mentalists and mass hypnotizm would enjoy it.

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