3 More Rounds

Hopkins, Kovalev ready to collide

Photos: Hoganphotos/GBP

Photos: Hoganphotos/GBP

There is no question that the Nov. 8 light heavyweight unification bout between Bernard Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev is one of the more highly anticipated bouts of 2014.  In one corner, you have the ageless wonder, Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs), who despite a few losses sprinkled in here and there, has continued defying the odds late in his career, becoming the oldest fighter to win a world championship on two separate occasions.  He simply finds a way to frustrate and beat quality fighters half his age, while only showing snippets of slowing down.

“I bloomed late. I didn’t bloom by the timing of the experts,” said Hopkins. “I want to make it as difficult as possible for you to come up with a headline for me. I don’t want to be on the pound-for-pound list because that would make me human,” added B-Hop, who know goes by the nickname “The Alien.”

“What I’m doing now is making a new legacy and a new list and a new way to judge. ‘Where do we put this man? We can’t put him in the top 10. He’s doing things no one has done!’ proclaimed Hopkins. “Enjoy this while you can and come see it. Don’t worry about when or how I’m going to leave or break down. You guys are all humans, I understand you, but you don’t understand me.”

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Hopkins is coming off of a title unification win over Beibut Shumenov earlier this year, and has won three straight, including a title victory over Tavoris Cloud, since his last loss – a majority decision defeat to Chad Dawson in 2012.

In the other corner, we have the “Krusher” – the 25-0-1 Sergey Kovalev, himself a titleholder at 175 pounds, who has knocked out 23 of his opponents.

“It is not easy to overlook Hopkins. I think when he’s 60 years old he’ll be in the same condition. He’s an alien, but I have to send him to the moon and maybe from there he’ll go by himself to Mars,” said Kovalev during their New York City press conference earlier this week.

Kovalev has been thrashing his competition, and his destruction of former champ Nathan Cleverly, to win his world title, was impressive. The lone blemish on Kovalev’s record is a technical draw from 2011, when his opponent could not continue after an accidental foul. Since that draw, Kovalev has continued his path of destruction, building up his reputation along the way, as well as earning himself more exposure on HBO telecasts.

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Now with Hopkins in front of him, Kovalev will look to possibly become the first fighter to knockout out the sure-fire Hall of Famer, though he remains modest in his prediction.

“I can’t say what the fight will be like. This is boxing and anything can happen,” said Kovalev.  “It is my secret what I will do on fight night. I will give it my all and come out with the win.”

Hopkins concedes that anything is possible, but remains confident that he’ll be the victor.

Anybody at the right time and the right place can get knocked out,” acknowledged Hopkins. “It is his job to do what others try to do. It is my job to do what I’ve been doing.

“Come November 8 on HBO you get to watch artwork. You’re watching Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong with gloves on.”

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