IBF titlist Bernard Hopkins and WBA belt-holder Beibut Shumenov will stage a unification match on April 19 at the DC Amory in Washington D.C.
The 49-year-old Hopkins, who won a wide decision over Karo Murat last October, will attempt to become the oldest man to ever unify world titles. Hopkins is also hoping to end a 10-year knockout drought in the city where he made a middleweight title defense, scoring a seventh round TKO over Robert Allen back in 1999.
“It’s no secret that my one of my biggest goals has been to unify the titles and getting to do that in a city where I have a lot of history is the best-case scenario,” said Hopkins. “I’m coming back to break another record by unifying the title and I’m looking to get my first knockout since I fought Oscar De La Hoya in 2004. I know Shumenov is tough, but I’m tougher and I’m not going to let him make a name for himself by being the one to stop me.”
On the undercard, Peter Quillin will be making the third defense of his WBO middleweight strap against Lukas Konency. Quillin is coming off a controversial 10th round cut stoppage over Gabriel Rosado on October 26. The 35-year-old Konency, who’s mostly competed in his native Czech Republic and Germany, is receiving his first major world title shot after moving from 154 to middleweight last year. He has won two decisions over Karim Achour and Moez Fhima in his middleweight campaign.
“I can’t wait to get back in the ring and defend my title once again,” Quillin explained. “I’m excited to be fighting in front of the great fans in D.C. and I will give them a show on April 19. Konecny is an experienced challenger, and you can’t overlook anyone with 50 wins, but I’m going home with the title, and I’ll be looking for another knockout.”
“I have a lot more experience than Quillin and the fans will see that on April 19,” added Konecy. “This is my first fight in the U.S. and I don’t plan on going home without that belt. Every fighter dreams of fighting for and winning a world championship, and I am thankful for the chance to do that against Peter Quillin.”
Tickets went on sale today via. www.ticketmaster.com.
With the HBO embargo still in place on Golden Boy, this matchup is the best Hopkins can do. And lucky for the old master, it comes against a fighter with the plodding, come-forward slugging style that Hopkins has easily dominated for most of his career. The only drama is when Hopkins will look his age in the ring and Shumenov probably isn’t the guy to do it. Whenever HBO and Golden Boy start doing business together, Hopkins will have two belts to his name and be able to negotiate on equal footing with whoever emerges between Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev.
Speaking of the cold war, Peter Quillin is one of the fighters that has been most affected by it. He should have been right in the mix as an opponent for Gennady Golovkin or Sergio Martinez. Instead, he has to take on useless mandatories against obscure fighters. Quillin’s best hope for a significant fight this year still looks to be Danny Jacobs, and that’s only if the latter takes out a name opponent in the coming months.