Hopkins: Unifies @ 49!
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 | Carl
EVERGREEN Bernard Hopkins added the WBA Super light-heavyweight crown to the IBF strap he already held with a facile 12-round points victory – despite a ludicrous split decision – over rival champion Beibut Shumenov at the DC Armory in Washington DC, even scoring a rare knockdown en route. The two tallies of 116-111 – from Dave Moretti and Jerry Roth – were surprising enough, but Gustavo Padilla’s 114-113 card in favour of the loser, who won just two rounds on Boxing News’ card, was an absolute joke.
After a quiet, feint-filled opening two rounds, Hopkins began to time Shumenov’s tentative attacks and retaliate with quick single shots – jabs, left hooks and, most notably, sharp rights over the Las Vegas-based Kazakh’s low-held lead. Shumenov failed to apply sustained pressure, allowing Hopkins to fight at a comfortable pace and still win at a canter. It was embarrassingly easy for the 49-year-old at times.
Apprehensive Shumenov, even when the contest was going away from him, failed to throw many combinations or vary the angle of attack, instead attempting single shots against a faster, defensively adept and more mobile opponent.
Shumenov marginally increased his output in the second half but was still too static and continued to telegraph his blows. Hopkins punished these flaws appreciably. Yet another right – in the 11th round – forced Shumenov to touch down and prompted stirring “B-Hop” chants from the crowd.
With a Hopkins-Adonis Stevenson bout mooted for later this year, the Philadelphian “Alien” has taken care of his end of the bargain, with Canada’s WBC king, a recent acquisition by Showtime who broadcast Bernard’s fights, taking on Andrzej Fonfara next month. Perhaps he can give the ageless wonder a genuine challenge.
Shawn Porter produced a hugely impressive performance to stop veteran former two-weight world champion Paulie Malignaggi at 1-14 of the fourth round (of a scheduled 12) and retain his IBF welterweight belt. Malignaggi was cut below the left eye in the very first round and was generally outhustled by the 26-year-old champion from Akron, Ohio. Porter’s fast feet were key to his victory as he closed the distance rapidly and tagged the veteran Brooklyn man with a variety of shots, including looping rights over the top and leaping left hooks. Paulie was mobile and landed some nice jabs but simply did not have the power to keep his assailant off. In what became the concluding session, Porter dropped Malignaggi early with a right, and later a clean left badly rocked Malignaggi who was pinned on the ropes and allowed to take too many shots in my opinion before referee Sam Williams belatedly stepped in.
An atypically thoughtful Peter Quillin retained his WBO middleweight title with a wide and repetitive points win over the gritty but predictable and much smaller Czech, Lukas Konecny. Brooklyn’s Quillin, usually aggressive and exciting, fought mostly off the back foot, picking off his persistent challenger and using angles and variety to maintain control. Konecny kept his guard up and moved his head coming forward but often advanced in straight lines and presented a perennially inviting target; he was gradually busted up and worn down. Quillin triumphed clearly with scores of 120-108 and 119-109 (twice), but the later stages of the 12-rounder were booed.