WBA light-heavyweight champion Beibut Shumenov is nearing the unification clash he has craved as the Las Vegas-based Kazakh gears up to trade punches with the ageless Bernard Hopkins.
The 30 year-old, who won the world title in just his tenth professional fight, has been calling out fellow-champions since his reign began four years ago and now has the chance to end the Hopkins fairytale.
A champion at two-weight divisions, Hopkins has enjoyed an extended run at the top sport as he dons the gloves into his 50th year, and Shumenov is weary of the evergreen ‘Alien’ and has a blueprint to be smarter than the American on Saturday night.
“I am very focused, confident, excited and looking forward to my match with Bernard Hopkins,” Shumenov told World Boxing News on Wednesday.
“I will be intelligent, strong, passionate and use the skills that I have worked so diligently on. My plan is to win and win well.”
IBF title holder Hopkins is continually the subject of speculation as to when his career will finally wane, although a respectful Shumenov says its no fluke that the former middleweight king has enjoyed such a lengthy spell holding various titles.
“Hopkins has always lived the boxing life and he never gets out of shape,” said Shumenov.”He is also smart and has a strong will, both traits that help him stay where he is today.
“Some try to knock him, but who can criticize Hopkins? He almost always wins, so I will have to stick to my plan. That plan is to be better than Hopkins in every way and to win this Saturday in D C, the capital of the USA.
“The boxing world will notice me more after a beat Hopkins and they will always remember this as a great fight.”
Asked whether he may be looking to add another title to his collection if he can dethrone Hopkins of his belt at the weekend, a coy Shumenov gave the typically professional response: “I don’t think about next I only think about Saturday night with Bernard Hopkins.
“I just want to add a big hello to the people of the world who love boxing and I assure them It will be a wonderful contest.”
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