Photo by Tom Casino/Showtime
Bernard Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs) made history by becoming the oldest man to unify the Light Heavyweight division after scoring a split decision victory over Beibut Shumenov (14-2, 9 KOs) in a twelve-round bout at the DC Armory in Washington D.C. The fight was the main event of a card presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Showtime Sports.
After a three-round feel out process in which few punches were landed, Hopkins was briefly forced into a fight as Shumenov began applying pressure.
Hopkins, however, quickly responded to Shumenov’s pressure and landed quick counter right hands and a powerful right uppercut before the end of the fourth round. Shumenov’s brief display of pressure was immediately nullified for the entire fight.
Hopkins landed powerful counter right hands and a lead left hook in the sixth round to effectively begin the boxing clinic that seemed to elude him in the first three rounds.
In the tenth round, Shumenov tried to pick up the pace and once again applied the pressure that was ineffective in the fourth round. Shumenov, however, was completely unsuccessful.
Hopkins used his shoulders to deflect most of the punches. He then frequently came back with a counter right hand—a punch he landed with ease throughout the fight.
Photo by Tom Casino/Showtime
In the eleventh round, Hopkins used his jab to land an overhand right that surprisingly knocked down Shumenov. Hopkins, with his veteran mind-set, did not seek to end the fight from there.
Hopkins continued boxing calmly, hurting Shumenov with a counter left hook as Shumenov came forward wildly. Hopkins knew that searching for the knockout could have put him in trouble, but he still managed to land powerful shots while on his back foot.
Hopkins finished the twelfth round by taunting Shumenov, sticking his tongue out between counter right hands. Hopkins finished the fight yelling “Where fifteen rounds at?”
Hopkins was ostensibly conditioned enough to go another three.
In the post-fight interview, Hopkins touted the philosophy that allowed him to be successful into his age.
“Boxing is a science,” said Hopkins, “If you don’t have to get hit, don’t!”
Indeed, Hopkins used a combination of footwork, head movement, and a shoulder roll defense to avoid damage throughout the fight. Hopkins will now seek to fight for the undisputed RING Magazine title against Adonis Stevenson.
The judges scored the bout 116-11 and 116-111 for Hopkins, while a third judge, Gustavo Padilla, scored it 114-113 for Shumenov. Needless to say, Padilla’s score of the fight is lamentable, as his ability to do his job correctly should be examined by his superiors.
In the co-main event, Shawn Porter (24-0-1, 15 KOs) successfully defended his IBF Welterweight title for the first time after knocking out Paulie Malignaggi (33-6, 7 KOs) in the fourth round of a scheduled twelve-round fight.
Porter did as expected and pushed the action early in the fight. However, he mixed his pressure with a bit of work on the outside.
Malignaggi could not find his rhythm, and he did not look like his usual self—he was not jabbing as much and was not using his legs to move around Porter’s offense.
In the first round, Malignaggi was cut by one of Porter’s jabs. The cut was not severe, but it was an indication of the kind of pressure Porter was bringing.
In the second round, Malignaggi was stunned by a powerful overhand right and was wobbled in the third by a thundering left hook. Porter feinted to the body with his left hook—getting a lot of leverage from his legs—before taking it to Malignaggi’s chin.
Porter knocked down Malignaggi to open the fourth round. Malignaggi claimed that it landed in the back of his head, but he was nonetheless hurt.
Before the round’s end, Porter landed another left hook that knocked down Malignaggi for a second and final time. The referee stopped the fight while Malignaggi was still on the ground, clearly overwhelmed by Porter’s pressure.
Malignaggi was taken to the hospital after the fight and was released the following morning as, according to a Tweet by Showtime executive Stephen Espinoza, his CAT Scans and other tests were normal.
For Porter, knocking out Malignaggi is a feather in his cap as Malignaggi is known for his ability to take a punch. It usually takes someone with unusual speed, such as Amir Khan, or unusual power, such as Miguel Cotto, to seriously hurt Malignaggi.
Tonight, it seems, Porter brought both—he looked faster and stronger than what Malignaggi could handle.
Photo by Tom Casino/Showtime
In the first televised bout, Peter Quillin (31-0, 22 KOs) defended his WBO Middleweight title by scoring an easy unanimous decision victory over an overmatched Lukas Konecny(50-5, 23 KOs) in a twelve-round Middlweight bout.
Quillin easily won the first two rounds as Konecny tried to walk Quillin down without a jab or head movement. Quillin did his best to fight on the outside and landed power shots around Konecny’s peek-a-boo stance.
Konecny threw more punches in the third and fourth rounds, landing left hooks and right hands on a virtually unfazed Quillin. Konecny is a natural Junior Middleweight and was therefore at a great power disadvantage.
Quillin picked up his combination punching in the sixth round as he grew comfortable with Konecny’s less-than-stellar boxing skills. Konecny successfully closed the distance many times throughout the fight, but he did not have the power to threaten Quillin.
Quillin, who has stated that he believes he is ready for fights with Gennady Golovkin or Sergio Martinez, demonstrates serious flaws in his defensive abilities. Quillin was unable to look spectacular against an opponent whom nobody knew.
Quillin easily fought on the outside, but not without taking a number of punches that would have been threatening if they had been thrown by legitimate Middleweights.
The judges scored the bout 120-108, 119-109, and 119-109.
In the post-fight interview, Quillin said he is willing to fight either the winner of Cotto vs. Martinez or the winner of Gennady Golovkin vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Whether or not any of the possible match-ups will happen is unlikely, as his position with Golden Boy Promotions and Showtime Sports prevents him from taking on other Middleweight champions.