Photos: Amanda Kwok/Showtime
IBF light heavyweight world champion Bernard Hopkins and WBA world champion Beibut Shumenov held a press conference on Tuesday at The W Hotel in Washington, D.C., to formally announce their world championship unification on April 19 at the DC Armory. At 49-years-old, Hopkins (54-6-2, 32 KOs), of Philadelphia, is looking to become the oldest fighter in boxing history to unify world titles, while Shumenov (14-1, 9 KOs), of Shymkent, Kazakhstan, is aiming to become the fastest fighter to unify the light heavyweight division with only 15 professional fights under his belt.
Below is what the participants had to say at Tuesday’s presser:
Bernard Hopkins: “I’m looking to put on something special. Because my thing is, you’re only as good as your last fight. Here in D.C. 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. I’m pretty sure that a lot of people don’t know who Shumenov is. And I tell them he’s a fast guy who is rising in the sport of boxing quickly. He comes to fight and he comes to win. You haven’t seen guys rise this quickly in boxing for many years. You usually see 30 or so fights before a guy gets a world title. But I’m not reading into all that stuff. All I know is that the guy signed up to fight a world champion. And he has something that I need to be the undisputed light heavyweight champion of the world. He’s in the way of that. Not only is he in the way, I have to use a lot of other things that motivate me even more to be successful on April 19. This fight is about my legacy. I unified the middleweight division and now my goal is to unify the light heavyweight division.
“I believe I’m the most feared fighter in the world or maybe the last 15-20 years in spite of my age. Love me or hate me, people understand how dangerous I can be to a fighters’ career moving forward.”
Beibut Shumenov: “I’m very excited that I’m going to fight one of the greatest fighters ever. I know that I’ve never faced anyone on his level and I know it’s going to be the hardest fight of my life. But I will do whatever it takes to win this fight. And I’ll do anything possible and impossible to get the victory. People will find out on April 19 that I belong in the elite level. That I am the best light heavyweight champion in the world. I’m looking to make a statement to the world.
In the co-main event, undefeated WBO middleweight world champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (30-0, 22 KOs), of New York, will defend his title for the third time when he meets former interim WBO junior middleweight champion Lukas Konecny (50-4, 23 KOs) of the Czech Republic.
Tickets priced at $25, $50, $75, $200 and $300, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges, went on sale today.