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.
HOPKINS: 172.4 LBS.
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
MALIGNAGGI: 146.2 LBS.
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
QUILLIN: 159.3 LBS.
KONECNY: 158.3 LBS.
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