Photo Credit: Tom Casino/Showtime

WASHINGTON, DC — One veteran keeps going and another is put out to pasture. That sentence is the best way to sum up last night’s Golden Boy triple-header as Bernard Hopkins added another career milestone in defeating Beibut Shumenov, and Shawn Porter put the welterweight division on notice by just needing just four rounds to destroy Paulie Malignaggi. It was a mixture of Sweet Science wisdom and ruthless aggression that lead to these dominate victories. Onto the card notes.


THE MAGIC MAN RUNS OUT OF TRICKS: Most observerser (including myself), picked Shawn Porter to win decisively over Malignaggi. At 33, Paulie was getting too old to have the stamina needed to stay away from a buzzsaw like Porter. But hardly anyone predicted that Porter would do it so quickly and brutally. Instead of Porter taking over when Malignaggi started slowing down in the mid-rounds and driving him to the ropes, Porter began Paulie’s downfall in the second round by outjabbing him at ring-center and stinging him badly with short, vicious hooks. When Malignaggi tried to hold, Porter proved too strong and simply brushed him off before landing more merciless power shots.

Malignaggi soon found himself on the canvas in the fourth after trying in vain to punch with Porter. Within seconds, Porter was back on him raining down short hooks that caused Malignaggi to collapse under the bottom rope.

GROWING INTO THE TITLE: I’ve been high on Porter since being ringside last year to watch him hit Julio Diaz with everything but the kitchen sink in their rematch, and seeing him doing the same live against Devon Alexander. The young man is getting better every fight and has the swagger and confidence that we see a lot of great fighters get one they get a title. His power is increasing, and this fight also showed that he’s not just a mindless come-forward fighter — he kept Paulie guessing with a strong counter jab, and worked “inside-out” in totally preventing Malignaggi from getting into a rhythm.

Up next for Porter will be Kell Brook unless the UK fighter’s promoter Eddie Hearn thinks better of it. Whether that fight is made or not, Porter should be a lock for Mayweather’s September undercard. And it should be noted that when Adrien Broner was asked about the Malignaggi-Porter matchup, he said he wanted Malignaggi to win to set up a rematch. There was not a mumbling word made about facing Porter. Guys like “Showtime Shawn” will be the reason you can expect Broner to stay at 140 pounds for the foreseeable future.


HOPKINS UNIFIES: In the main event, 49-year-old Bernard Hopkins put on his umpteenth clinic, this time against a clueless Beibut Shumenov, to unify the IBF and WBA light heavyweight titles. Shumenov, who trains himself, had no answers for Hopkins’ defense nor his counter right hand. Hopkins spent the first three rounds feeling out a man 19 years his junior before starting class in the fourth round. Hopkins then began making Shumenov pay for his clumsy, lunging jabs and telegraphed rights with sharp jabs and jarring overhand rights.

Hopkins was landing so much that for a brief moment after dropping Shumenov in the 11th, most in the crowd thought we might see the old man get his first stoppage in nearly 10 years.

MORE NUTTY SCORING: Hopkins won this fight going away and you’d have to be extremely generous to give Shumenov two rounds. Nonethess, we had one judge in 20-year veteran Gustavo Padilla scoring the bout 114-113 for Shumenov. You can view his entire judging record HERE and while nothing glaringly bad stands out on first look (then again, he did score Kotelnik-Maidana for Marcos…), this was a bad enough score that we never need to see him judging a major fight again.

NOW THE CHANCE FOR REAL HISTORY: While it makes for a nice headline to say Hopkins is the oldest fighter to unify a belt, the reality is he did so against a paper titlist. The real champion of the division is Adonis Stevenson. When they face off at the end of this year, Hopkins has a serious chance to move up several notches up the all-time list if he becomes the linear champ at 175. Based on what we saw last night and Stevenson’s propensity to fight at the slower pace B-Hop loves, the old master can’t be counted out.



QUILLIN DECISIONS KONECNY: The card opener saw Peter Quillin successfully defend his WBO middleweight title with a 12-round unanimous decision over Lukas Konecny. A career 154-pounder until last year, Konecny was very undersized against Quillin and utilized the high guard strategy the entire fight. Although he did land flush jabs and hooks on Quillin, Konecny didn’t have the power to seriously trouble him. Quillin’s uppercuts and hooks would knock Konecny backwards and by the middle rounds, the veteran’s face showed the effects of the punishment. Konecny never stopped trying, but the fight took on the look of a sparring session as Quillin was content to fight off the backfoot and not go for the kill.

Quillin has been treading water for the last year with all the other major titlists either overseas or fighting on HBO. He finally looks to be getting a decent fight with Daniel Jacobs, which will be a great matchup for the Barclays in Brooklyn.

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We’re now officially in the media hype swing with the debut episode of All Access: Mayweather vs. Maidana. On Mayweaher’s side, the focus is on the “lifestyle,” which basically is what toys Floyd likes to spend his money on and the assorted women. On Maidana’s end, we find the welterweight slugger celebrating the birth of his daughter and enjoying the aftermath of his win over Adrien Broner.


Today is the 20th anniversary of Nas’ masterpiece Illmatic (yes, we’re all old). In this insightful two-part video interview, Nas’ former mentor and executive producer MC Serch breaks down the climate at the time the album was made and why the project still resonates today.



WASHINGTON, DC — The weigh-in results are in for tonight’s Showtime triple-header headlined by the light-heavyweight unification matchup between Bernard Hopkins (IBF) and Beibut Shumenov. Believe it or not, Shumenov broke from his usual stoic demeanor and engaged in some heated trash-talk with the old master.






PREDICTION: As you can see from the picture and the listed weight, Hopkins is coming in very lean. This is basically his same weight from the Karo Murat fight, so this may be q case of Hopkins simply losing muscle mass at his age. He flat out told Shumenov he was going to lose, prompting Shumenov to launch his own brief tirade. Afterward, Shumenov disclosed he was tired of the disrespect (Writer’s Note: At the final press conference Hopkins took Shumenov’s belt.).

Will Shumenov be able to translate this anger into a disciplined fight? The answer is an emphatic NO and he shouldn’t look to try it. Shumenov is a hard-hitting but awkward fighter. However, that awkwardness is his best chance to land a miracle shot. Shumenov’s issue is his competition, which has been woeful and hasn’t prepared him for the all the sneaky tricks and traps Hopkins will set. Outside of getting buzzed by an occasional big shot, look for Hopkins to frustrate Shumenov with fouls inside and sharp lead and counter rights.

Hopkins is an old man, but he has’t slipped enough to lose to a plodder like Shumenov. HOPKINS UD




PORTER: 146.8 LBS.

PREDICTION: This here is the most intriguing fight of the night. Porter burst on the scene last December by completely bullying and wearing out Devon Alexander, who hadn’t lost since facing Timothy Bradley in 2011. Porter is very aggressive and strong, two attributes that have given the aging Malignaggi fits in recent close bouts against Pablo Cesar Cano and Adrien Broner. And even if Malignaggi was in his early 20s, this still would have been a difficult fight.

At 33, I don’t see Paulie’s being able to stay on his toes for the seven clear rounds needed to win this fight. If Paulie had just a little more pop in his right hand to keep Porter honest, maybe the Magic Man could pull this off. It’ll take more than a nice jab to tame Porter, and I see him walking Malignaggi down and forcing exchanges where Paulie, who has absolutely no inside game, gets the worst of it before clinching. If Broner, who’s a plodder, can walk down Malignaggi, Porter can and will do it in much better fashion. I don’t see Malignaggi getting stopped, but the later rounds will test his toughness as Porter will work him over pretty good. PORTER UD





PREDICTION: Quillin would’ve been better off rematching Gabe Rosado than passing this off as a legit middleweight title defense. The 35-year old Lukas Konecny has spent most of his career at 154 and it’ll show tonight when the bigger Quillin lays a few solid punches on him. QUILLIN TKO5


Straight out of the 90s Busta Rhymes video playbook, the Young Money camp drops a surreal video “Senile.” The track is included on their compilation Rise of an Empire.

Listen, I don’t want to hear you guys talk about respect for each other. I want to hear what you guys are going to do to each other tomorrow night. I want to hear that you’re going to knock him out.

Don’t worry about making weight. Listen, we’re only talking about a few pounds here. I fought as a heavyweight and it didn’t matter. This is boxing. We’re here to see some people beat each other up tomorrow. Weight doesn’t matter; we’re here to watch you fight. – MIKE TYSON


Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp / SHOWTIME

MONROEVILL, PA — Mike Tyson’s upstart promotional outfit, Iron Mike Productions, will get its biggest exposure tonight via Showtime’s ShoBox series. The triple-header features Alexei Collado (18-0, 16 KOs) vs. Rod Salka (18-3, 3 KOs), Felix Diaz (14-0, 8 KOs) vs. Emmanuel Lartey (15-1-1, 7 KOs), and Sammy Vasquez Jr. (13-0, 9 KOs) against Juan Rodriguez (11-0, 5 KOs). Below are selected quotes from the final press conference and weigh-in.

The card airs at 10:45 p.m.





I think he’s the toughest fighter I’ve faced, but we’re looking at this more as an opportunity than a challenge.


My career has changed since I moved to Miami to train. I now have all the opportunity in the world. Fighting on Showtime opens the door even more. Now all I have to do is win.


I’m ready for anyone in this division. I let my team make the opportunities, I just handle the fighting. But I think I’m getting close to a title shot.


We’re looking for the best fight of my career. I’m looking to make a statement and knock this guy out. A win is a win – we’ll take a decision – but we’d love a knockout.


I’m not concerned about the judges or fighting in his hometown. I’m coming in with confidence. I’ve fought in Cuba, Ireland, the U.S. I’ll fight anywhere. If you win every round then there is no way the judges can take that away from you.


It’s going to be a good, hard fight. We took a tough opponent – he’s smart, fast and strong.





I can’t wait to get in the ring. This is a job; I’m here to fight. That’s all that matters.


We have 10 rounds or less to finish this fight. Why wouldn’t I want to knock him out? It’s 10 rounds or less for a reason. We’ll see tomorrow when we get in the ring.


We’ve been doing this for a long time in Pittsburgh. You know what we’re about. I look forward to showing it in the ring.


I’m relying on everyone from Pittsburgh to cheer me on. Once we get in the ring I won’t have to do any more talking.


If I win this fight I’m going to fly to California for the (Omar) Figueroa-(Jerry) Belmontes fight. I want the winner of that. If they can’t make that happen then I’ll fight anyone with a big name. That’s what I’m ready for.


I’m sick of being the guy that people build their fighters up against. I’m looking for a signature win to make myself viable in this division.


People know I looked good against (Ricardo) Alvarez. I need to look good in this fight and get my big shot.


I love fighting guys that come forward. I think Figueroa would be perfect for me. If you put me in there with that guy it’s going to be an exciting fight.


I’m not looking past Collado. This guy is tough – he comes forward and comes to fight. But if I come out throwing 80 or 90 punches a round it’s going to tough to beat me.




I guarantee an exciting fight and a victory. I didn’t come here to lose.


I went to Oxnard, Calif., to train with Robert Garcia and he’s done a hell of a job getting me ready.


My outlook has always been the same and my style is the same. But Robert has improved my conditioning. I’m more well-rounded. My game has always been about reflexes and being quick, but training up there has made me a better fighter.


He’s faced a few guys that might be tougher than me on paper. But at the same time I’m going to show why I’m the undefeated fighter.





This opportunity is everything. I wouldn’t mess this up for anything in the world. I’m here to win. I know Diaz is undefeated but I’m not anything or anybody to look past.


I’m ready. I’ll fight this guy anywhere, anytime. I’m here to fight and I’m here to win.


He not the toughest guy I’ve faced. I fought Kaizer Mabuza, who got a shot at a title, and I beat him. I think Diaz is between him and (Errol) Spence as far as talent. He may be tough, but tomorrow will be my day.


His record doesn’t impress me. Olympics is Olympics, professional is professional. I went to Commonwealth games and was the captain of the Ghana team. I have a good amateur record as well. So I’m not afraid of him or his resume.


I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a very long time and I just didn’t get a chance. People always took me as an opponent but I always proved myself. This is the right time for me to prove who I really am.





He’s coming into my town and messing with what I represent. My record speaks for itself. It’s not me going to sleep. It’s time for him to lay down.


I’m here to handle business. I’m happy that we get to do this in Pittsburgh and we get to showcase this city and our skills to the world.


I’m excited for the opportunity. To be on TV is a great experience. I’ve been on AFN (American Forces Network) before and that was great, but this is a whole different level.


I have family in Texas, Florida, California, and now they can all watch my fight on SHOWTIME.


Bringing a nationally televised fight to my town is a big deal. I’ve trained hard. Everyone knows who I am here – that statement has been made – but I’m looking to show the rest of the country what I have.


I respect every fighter that steps in there with me. My job is to get him out of there. I’ll set him up with the shots and take care of business. I’m the first undefeated fighter he’s faced so he’s looking to make a statement as well.


I think I’ve definitely faced the tougher opponents.


I’ve already received some messages from friends over in Afghanistan that they’re going to watch my fight on AFN. It means a lot to have my fellow veterans and active military supporting me overseas.





We have two undefeated fighters both putting their records on the line early in their career. It’s going to be a show. We didn’t come here to lose and I know he didn’t come here to lose. But we’re here to put him to sleep.


We will just beat him up really bad, abuse him. Even though sometimes the judges don’t agree, we can abuse him and have fun with him if we don’t knock him out.


It’s a step up for both of us. We’re both equal fighters. I don’t think he has an advantage over me. He’s only fought one other fighter with an undefeated record so I’m not worried. It’s a step up for both of us.


I’m looking to show the world out there what I’m really about. I’m looking to make a statement to my Puerto Rican fan base and everyone out there. I want to show them my skills and talent.


It’s time for the beast to be unleashed.



Here’s some vintage grimy Brooklyn Hip-Hop courtesy of newcomer Innocent? and featured guests Ruste Juxx and Sean Price. The track is off the forthcoming T.H.E.M. Recordings compilation Killin’ the Game.