Floyd Mayweather '50-50' Bout with Bernard Hopkins Would Make Stellar Matchup

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistApril 22, 2014

Bernard Hopkins, of the United States, leaves the ring after defeating Beibut Shumenov, of Kazakhstan, by a split decision after their IBF, WBA and IBA Light Heavyweight World Championship unification boxing match, Sunday, April 20, 2014, in Washington. Hopkins won by a split decision.  (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
Luis M. Alvarez

In a fixture that would surely break the boundaries of boxing prestige, Bernard Hopkins has opened up the forum to the possibility of lining up opposite Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a future superfight.

Hopkins claimed a split-decision victory over Kazakhstan's Beibut Shumenov on Saturday evening to defend his International Boxing Federation light heavyweight title winning the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Association belts in the process.

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 19:  Bernard Hopkins (L) points to Beibut Shumenov during the 10th round of their IBA Light Heavyweight Title fight on April 19, 2014 in Washington, DC. Hopkins won a split decision in 12 rounds.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

But even at the age of 49, the oldest major title holder confirmed he has bigger prizes in sight and touched upon the possibility of a bout with the 45-0 Mayweather, per Jim Slater of Agence France-Presse (h/t Yahoo):

The only thing I want to know before I leave this game is that I gave it all. 

It's another page. Every page is history. Money is great but history is something you can't get rid of.

I want to be the undisputed champion by the end of this year. Between now and January 2015, let's do it. 

I set out to be the best in the light-heavyweight division. I'm thirsty for that like I was at middleweight.

Adonis Stevenson is scheduled to defend his World Boxing Council belt against Andrzej Fonfara of Poland in May, and Hopkins is confident he can become the undisputed champion before he turns 50 next January.

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 19:  Bernard Hopkins enters the ring to fight Beibut Shumenov during their IBA Light Heavyweight Title fight on April 19, 2014 in Washington, DC. Hopkins won a split decision in 12 rounds.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

"The Alien"—thus dubbed due to his extraordinary, otherwordly longevity at the elite level—sees himself as being able to contend with the biggest names of the brand, though, and clearly doesn't see his age as an inhibiting factor.

I'll give anybody a run for their money. If they are unbeaten I will take their 0, give them their first loss. I could make 165, 168 (pounds) real comfortably. 

If I do a fight, it would be one of the biggest in the world. We will do it in a stadium somewhere. 

After I become the undisputed light-heavyweight champion of the world, if there was one big fight out there, I know what I would call it -- 50-50. He wants to pass Marciano. He wants to get to 50 and I am 50. That would be huge. 

I would love to do that. But let me get past Stevenson first.

It's an incredibly intriguing prospect. By right, were Hopkins to become undisputed at light heavyweight and have the urge to drop in class, there aren't many reasons on paper to believe he wouldn't be entitled to the opportunity.

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 8: Floyd Mayweather Jr. announces fight against Marcos Maidana during a news conference at at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino March 8, 2014, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather will fight place Maidana on May 3. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/G
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Of course, as we all know, boxing is never as simple as the mathematics it can often make out, however, and the ball would undoubtedly be in Mayweather's court.

SportsCenter recently confirmed Mayweather as the highest-paid athlete in the world:

"Money" is currently preparing for his upcoming fight with Marcos Maidana on May 3, where he'll defend his WBC and The Ring welterweight titles looking to take the Argentinian's WBA belt as his own.

Presuming the 37-year-old improves his unbeaten record to 46-0 after that bout, it would admittedly set up a superb bit of prose for the dream "50-50" tale Hopkins envisions.

Two titanic powers of the sport in their own rights, some might laugh at Hopkins' hopes to test Mayweather, but when there are so few posing a genuine test to Money, the question sits as to why fans should be denied a clash that would undoubtedly draw massive attention.

Make your assumptions on just how large the gulf in talent between these two fighters might be—if under the impression there is one—but the context of the collision is something that can't be dimmed or diminished.

Each fighter has a big point to prove coming from a generation of boxers that some might say made the sport better than what it is today. It certainly makes for a unique brand of drama.