Bernard Hopkins, 49, set for title unification vs Russian Kovalev
MANILA, Philippines - Bernard Hopkins will take another huge leap in the twilight of his prizefighting career as he is set to unify three of the major light heavyweight world titles against undefeated Russian fighter Sergey Kovalev.
Though the championship clash between Hopkins and Kovalev does not have an official date or venue, it will likely take place on November 8 at either Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey or Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 knockouts) was last seen in action this past April when he outpointed Beibut Shumenov via split decision to retain his IBF light heavyweight belt while capturing the WBA titles.
“Everything I do at this point in my career affects my legacy. I’ve set and broken many records, but becoming the oldest undisputed light heavyweight world champion is the goal and Kovalev stands in the way of that goal. He’s another young, hungry fighter and just like the ones that came before him. He will leave the ring beltless,” said Hopkins, who became the oldest boxer ever to win a world title in May 2011.
The 49-year-old future Hall of Famer was initially being paired with WBC and lineal light heavyweight titlist Adonis Stevenson, but it did not push through after the latter reneged on a deal with Main Events and HBO in March and opted to fight under the Showtime banner.
Following the recommendation of Stevenson's newly-signed adviser Al Haymon, the Haitian-born Canadian boxer accepted an offer from Showtime for a May tune-up tussle with Andrzej Fonfara to be pursued by what was supposed to be a marquee match-up versus Hopkins.
The incident resulted into a lawsuit, which Main Events contended that Stevenson and his promoter Yvon Michel backed out of an agreement for a planned Stevenson-Kovalev bout.
On the other hand, Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 KOs) is coming off a successful title defense of his WBO light heavyweight belt over the weekend when he stopped previously unbeaten Australian Blake Caparello by second-round knockout.
Hopkins was able to witness Kovalev’s destruction of Caparello firsthand as he was at ringside to scout the performance of his next opponent.
“I respect Bernard Hopkins for taking this fight. When I came to America, it was [my] dream to fight the best and now I am fighting, I have my chance. He says he is an alien. He punch, I punch, then we see who is going to go to Mars,” Kovalev stated in a press release.
The opening line lists the 31-year-old Kovalev as the -275 favorite, while Hopkins acts as the +200 underdog.
In layman’s terms, a bet of $275 on Kovalev would net an additional $100. Meanwhile, a $100-wager on Hopkins would earn $200.
The aforementioned 12-round encounter would mark the return of Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions to HBO for the first time since the television network publicly severed ties with the promotional company in March 2013 due to major differences they were having over their philosophy of making and selling fights. - Rappler.com