Bernard Hopkins has made setting records part of his daily routine so it should come as no surprise that the 49-year old boxer has done it again.
A lot of athlete continue to play their game as they get older because they still feel like they have something to prove. Stopping feels incomplete. If they do they will always have the sense that there was something left undone. So they keep going.
That can’t be the case for Bernard Hopkins (55-6-2) though. No one has defended a title like he has (20 as a middleweight from 1995-2005). He is the oldest boxer to ever win a recognized title (48), and Saturday night he set another record. With a split decision over Beibut Shumenov (14-2) he became the oldest champion to ever unify a title (49).
By defeating Shumenov he held on to the IBF light-heavyweight belt and took the IBA and WBA ones from him.
“I’m special, in a way that is good,” Hopkins said. “I don’t have to explain special. There is no definition for special. Special speaks for itself. I had a great night. I am a great champion.”
Two of the judges scored the fight 116-111 for Hopkins, but the other saw it go the other scoring it 114-113 for Shumenov. The crowd wasn’t too about that, but Hopkins wasn’t too worried.
“When you get into all of that with judges, it’s the commission’s job to deal with that stuff,” he said. “I deal with what’s in the ring.”
At his age it would not be surprising if he wanted to take a nice long break, but that is far from it. Hopkins wants to continue unifying the title and fight Adonis Stevenson, the WBC and lineal champion, next. He doesn’t want to wait; he wants to do it this year.[H/T ESPN, USAToday]