Unified light-heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins is under no illusions about the task at hand as the evergreen American gears up to face big-punching Russian Segey Kovalev on HBO.
The 49 year-old, who currently holds the IBF and WBA titles at 175, collides with WBO champion Kovalev at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City and is fully aware of the dangers posed by the ‘Krusher’ on November 8.
“The last time I heard, he [Kovalev] can box. He’s shown that he can box…People are traumatized by the punch and the knockout,” said Hopkins.
“I’ve been in the game for almost three decades. I look for more of what a guy brings to a gunfight other than bullets…The sweet science is not based on only one thing you can do particularly well.
“If he comes in the game thinking a punch is all he’ll need, he might be right, so you should watch.
“I’m walking a tightrope hundreds of feet in the air. He crushes people. Only three or four people survive his hammer.”
Hopkins was asked at the kick-off press conference why he opted to face someone as feared as Kovalev when there were much easier fights out there for him – with the veteran who calls himself ‘The Alien’ defiant in his answer as he approaches his half century.
“When fighters want to fight, this is what happens. When we really want to do it and our promoters do as well, we get it done,” he emphasized.
“I take everything I do extremely seriously. But people ask me, how can I continue to do this? I have no plan or timetable when I put my mind to something,” added Hopkins in reference to how long he plans on continuing his career.
Kovalev, 31, holds an 88% knockout rate through 26 bouts in his career and has never been past eight rounds as a professional. Ex-Adonis Stevenson foe Darnell Boone came close to shocking Kovalev on an off night back in 2010, although was brushed aside in two rounds in a rematch of their eight session split decision two years later.
In his latest outing, Kovalev took just two rounds inflicting a maiden defeat on Australian hope Blake Caparello and goes into the Hopkins clash in good shape.
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