Hopkins plans to take Shumenov to school
- Updated: April 18, 2014
In their final press conference before their showdown on Saturday night, both Bernard Hopkins and Beibut Shumenov were brimming with confidence.
Sports are generally a young man’s game. 34-year-old football players are often considered past their prime. The fact that Bernard Hopkins is defending a world title a 49 is remarkable. He plans to put it down for all the “old people” out there on Saturday night.
“This is an opportunity for me to represent the 40 and up club that is very alive in the world,” Hopkins said. “Boxing and non-boxing fans are supporting me. I go and train understanding that it’s not just for me, but for you all to enjoy what is taking place while it is taking place.”
Hopkins is hoping to get Shumenov’s A-game. He believes an aggressive opponent will make him look even better.
“The best in Beibut will bring out the best in me. I want him to try to win every round,” Hopkins said. “I want him to do this because if he doesn’t do this, you won’t see the best of me. I’ll do what I do regardless, but I don’t want to look like the worst word in America, a bully.”
School will be in session this Saturday night according to Hopkins. He will be teaching boxing 101 to Shumenov.
“Get ready for school, student,” Hopkins said. “No disrespect, its logic. I am the professor with a PHd. I’m going to take his GED learning that you need more than that to make a living.”
While a fight with a 49-year-old boxer could sound like an easy task to some, Shumenov made it clear he is not looking at Hopkins as an over-the-hill fighter.
“[To Hopkins] You’re mistaken if you think going into this as if I’m fighting a 50-year-old man,” Shumenov said. “On Saturday night we are going to see who is taking whose belts.”
Shumenov has an old school mentality. He says he doesn’t fight for the money, he fights to leave a legacy in the sport.
“It’s not for me about money. I’m fighting for the honor and the glory to be acknowledged as a great fighter,” Shumenov said. “I’m not thinking about future fights. I prepared for this fight like it’s my last. I’m a man of my word, so you’re going to see a great fight Saturday night.”
It’s not easy to take down a legend, but Shumenov will attempt to do just that. With the hard work he has put in during training camp, the Kazakh fighter is feeling confident that he will be crowned as the new champion.
“Hard work and preparation has been done. I am fighting one of the greatest ever, who beat so many other legends and great fighters,” Shumenov said. “I am ready to show the world what I’m capable of. I will show the world that I am the best light heavyweight champion.”
Here are some highlights from the final press conference:
“We could have taken any challenger, we could have taken a lesser opponent, and we could have fought two more months from now…but that’s not the Porter way.
“We work hard and we have high expectations. At Team Porter we challenge ourselves. We talk day in and day out about the game plan. We send footage and notes to one and other every single day. We diet together. I lost a lot of weight for this fight, and I feel really good right now.
“My dad’s doing the exact same things I’m doing, eating the same stuff, working the same way I do. We work hard and we’re blessed. We understand what position we’re in today and what position we’re going to be in when I get in the ring with Paulie Malignaggi.
“We’re in a privileged position – we have a world championship belt. We’re going to defend it with honor and everything we have. We know what Paulie is bringing to the ring. This is going to be a great, exciting fight.”
“I have outlasted almost every single fighter that has been hyped more than me. You keep saying, ‘how is this guy still around?’
“Shawn Porter is a world champion who still has that hungry attitude. That makes it all the more difficult of a challenge. Fighting a guy like that becomes not only a game of skill, but a game of will.
“I think I’ve proven through the years that I have a lot of both and Shawn is proving he has both as well and that makes it a very intriguing matchup.
“The winner will be very deserving at the end of the day. I feel like I’m the more talented fighter not that Shawn isn’t talented. I feel what I have in my back pocket is more than what he has. We’ll see Saturday if he’s ready.”
“It’s an important thing for me to be here in front of you guys. I just hope I can keep doing this same thing over and over again.
“I’m going to defend my title with so much pride. There’s no ego, just pride, hard work, determination and sacrifice. It’s what got me here and it’s the most important part of boxing to me.
“I may not have much control outside of the ring, but when I’m in the ring I can create and do what I want. I’m inspiring people to be happy with themselves.
“Bernard set the bar so high and I just want to set it even higher.
“The only part of this card that’s going to be hard is watching my brothers Paulie and Shawn fight. May the best man win. When the opportunity comes you have to capitalize on it.
“I expect a hard fight, but a fair fight. I want to win and I have the most experience.
“I think it should be a good confrontation between the European and the U.S. boxing style. Hopefully the best one will win and it will be me.”
The live SHOWTIME Championship Boxing telecast will begin at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) immediately following ALL ACCESS: Mayweather vs. Maidana. Preliminary bouts will air on SHOWTIME EXTREME at 7 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).