Bernard Hopkins 'would love' to face Stevenson and Kovalev, but acknowledges existence of boxing's cold war

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Bernard Hopkins says he'd like to unify the belts at 175 pounds before he turns 50, but is also able to face the reality of boxing's cold war making that unlikely.

Bernard Hopkins will turn 49 in January, and he says he'd like to face both Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev before he turns 50, if possible. But in a refreshing break from the usual nonsense dream world many fighters refuse to step out of, Hopkins admits that the cold war between HBO and Showtime/Golden Boy could make those fights difficult to put together.

"There's a cold war going on. That cold war is that HBO doesn't do business with Golden Boy. I'm loyal to Golden Boy. No money and no favors could sway me from my loyalty to Golden Boy. Hopefully, that's a situation that could be solved and the cold war can be ended."

Hopkins (54-6-2, 32 KO) holds the IBF light heavyweight title, and says he'd love to unify the belts at 175 the way he did at 160 so many years ago. Kovalev (23-0-1, 21 KO) holds the WBO belt, while Stevenson (23-1, 20 KO) has the WBC belt and is considered the lineal champion of the division, as well.

The other titlist is Beibut Shumenov (13-1, 8 KO). He fights next week in San Antonio against Tamas Kovacs, and figures to be a potential next opponent for Hopkins if he wins, as both fighters are working with Golden Boy.

Hopkins, for his part, already knows how to sell the Stevenson/Kovalev fights if fantasy can become reality:

"I've been in there with some punchers. But on my side, there is something different that I have that none of the other three has, and that is the ability to solve puzzles, which I've done throughout my career. The problem for them is that I like guys that come forward, and that people know that Bernard Hopkins does well with guys like them. They're perfect for my style. They would fall right into my traps. So the question is, can Bernard Hopkins, who is so good at solving puzzles and proving us wrong, time in and time out, prove us wrong again?"

Yeah, he's got that about right. Maybe he'll slide right into that waiting promoter's role once he hangs up the gloves at age 73.

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