Bernard Hopkins, 49, becomes oldest fighter to unify world titles

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Washington, DC, United States (4E Sports) – International Boxing Federation (IBF) light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins became the oldest fighter to unify major world titles with a split decision win over Beibut Shumenov Saturday at D.C. Armory.

Two judges awarded the decision to Hopkins, 116-111, while the third gave the fight to Shumenov, 114-113.

With the victory, the 49-year-old Hopkins annexed Shumenov’s World Boxing Association (WBA) title.

The oldest athlete to own a world championship, Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 knockouts) defended his light-heavyweight title for the second time against Shumenov, who is 19 years his junior.

Hopkins did the most damage in the 11th round when he caught Shumenov (14-2, 9 KOs) with a straight right that sent him to the mat.

“One thing I just want to know before I leave this game, that I gave it my all. I gave it my all. Let me tell you, the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world right now is Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather,” Hopkins said after the victory witnessed by 6,823 fans.

“I tell you, behind Andre Ward, who I believe is second and should be, I ain’t far from the top three I feel because of my age and the way I’m doing it. I’m not fighting cream puffs. I’m just telling you I’m not done yet,” he added.

Hopkins has fought in or around the District four times since turning professional in 1988. In his first try at claiming the IBF middleweight title, Hopkins lost to Roy Jones Jr. via unanimous decision in 1993 as part of the undercard of then-heavyweight world champion Riddick Bowe’s victory over Jesse Ferguson at RFK Stadium.

Hopkins beat Segundo Mercado to claim the belt in 1995 at what was then US Air Arena in Landover and defended the title twice in the area. The first came against Andrew Council in 1997 in Upper Marlboro, and Hopkins beat Robert Allen two years later at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

The co-main event featured IBF welterweight champion Shawn Porter punishing Paulie Malignaggi to keep his title via fourth-round technical knockout.

Porter (24-0-1, 14 KOs) remained undefeated after his first title defense since winning the belt via unanimous decision over Devon Alexander in December 2013.

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