Bernard Hopkins made history—again.
Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KO) turned in another performance worthy of his Hall of Fame career, controlling the pace and even knocking down Beibut Shumenov in Round 11 to secure an all-too-close split-decision victory.
Scores were 116-111 and 116-111 for Hopkins and 114-113 for Shumenov.
Bleacher Report scored the contest 118-109 for Hopkins.
With the victory, Hopkins—twice the oldest man to win a world championship—added another feather to his cap, becoming the oldest man to unify titles, adding the WBA 175-pound belt to his IBF title.
The first three rounds of the fight were close, and could’ve gone either way, but from that point on “The Alien” took over. Shumenov never adjusted to his style or pace, and he was relegated to following Hopkins around the ring, swallowing more than his share of counter shots.
There was a fair amount of drama when the scorecards were read—it’s very hard to make a case that Shumenov was competitive, much less that he won—but, for now at least, it seems that Showtime’s plans for a Hopkins match with Adonis Stevenson to unify the 175-pound division remain on track.
In the co-featured bout, “Showtime” Shawn Porter scored an emphatic and impressive fourth-round knockout of former two-time, two-weight world champion Paulie Malignaggi.
Porter (24-0-1, 15 KO) blitzed his foe from the second the bell rang to start the fight. He cut him under the left eye in the opening frame and unloaded on him with increasing ferocity as the fight went on.
Malignaggi (33-6, 7 KO) never had a chance to get set up on offense. Porter was on top of him, unloading big shots and forcing him to fight at a pace where he couldn’t keep up. He was down twice in Round 4, and went to the hospital post-fight as a precaution.
In the opening contest of the evening, WBO middleweight champion Peter Quillin retained his title with an uninspired unanimous-decision win over unheralded Lukas Konecny.
Scores were 120-108, 119-109 and 119-109, all for Quillin.
Quillin (31-0, 22 KO) was clearly the better, stronger fighter, but he seemed reluctant to really put his foot on the gas against an overmatched opponent. He allowed his foe to hang around, and showed that he still has some room to improve, particularly on defense.
Konecny (50-5, 23 KO) had a few isolated moments in the fight, but he didn’t have near the power to do any serious damage.
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