Bernard Hopkins continues to prove that age is just a number following his history-making win over Beibut Shumenov last night.

The 49-year-old added the WBA Light-heavyweight crown to his IBF title with a points victory over the 30-year-old Kazakh, Shumenov.

Hopkins continues to defy belief with his boxing masterclasses and has now become the oldest man to unify world titles, a record that he can add to a long list of achievements, including numerous world title wins.

Shumenov is 19 years younger than the American and started the fight the brighter of the two, but it wasn't long before Hopkins got into his rhythm and began to dictate the pace.

Hopkins was calm and confident throughout the fight, enforcing his dominance against Shumenov who was never able to figure out a game plan to defeat the ageing American.

The Kazakh fighter, who is self-trained, threw very few combinations and could not press the pace. Hopkins, on the other hand, dazzled with his timing, counter-punching and, at times, showmanship.

From the third round onwards it was all Hopkins - a man that hasn't stopped an opponent in nearly a decade - but again, he could not finish off Shumenov despite knocking his 30-year-old foe down with a punishing right-hook in round 11 for only the fifth time in his career.

One judge strangely scored it 114-113 in Shumenov's favour, but Hopkins' dominance was reflected in the other two scores of 116-111.

After the win, the modest American compared himself to one of the all-time boxing greats.

"I describe my legacy like a Joe Frazier," he said on Sky Sports. "We get knocked down but we get back up. I'll let the historians analyse and debate over the years as I grow a deeper grey beard watching soap operas. I'll let them break down my legacy."

There was a time when he was chased from the Middleweight division following two straight losses in 2005 to Jermain Taylor. But now, the former 20-defence, 160-pound kingpin has gone 8-2-1 in 11 fights and defeated seven current or former world champions.

Hopkins truly is a physical marvel. At 49, after 12 rounds of boxing, against a man who was only five when he turned professional in 1988, he hardly looked out of breath. A testament to his discipline and commitment to clean living.

The Philadelphia fighter now wants to break more records by further unifying titles against lineal champion Adonis Stevenson, a fight on the drawing board in the wake of Stevenson's defection from HBO to Showtime last month.

"I want to be undisputed Light-heavyweight champion this year," Hopkins said. "The best fighter pound-for-pound is Floyd Mayweather and behind him is Andre Ward, but I ain't too far from the top three. I feel my age and the way I'm doing it, I'm not fighting cream puffs and I'm not done yet.

"I must be the undisputed Light-heavyweight champion before I leave. We are with Showtime until I end my career and whatever fight it is I want to be Light-heavyweight champion before 50."

It would certainly be some fight between the two heavy-hitters, and if Hopkins was to defeat Stevenson he would, if he hasn't already, go down as one of the very best boxers to grace the sport.

Although, Stevenson first has to win his own title defence against Andrzej Fonfara on May 24 before beginning any talk of a fight against the history-maker Hopkins.


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Topics:
Light heavyweight
Bernard Hopkins
Boxing