IBF orders Bernard Hopkins to fight Dudchenko-Mohammedi winner

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Bernard Hopkins talked about unifying the light heavyweight belts after taking Beibut Shumenov's Super WBA title, but first he'll have to contend with the IBF's next mandatory challenger.

Bernard Hopkins declared his wish to unify the light heavyweight belts after his last win, a split decision over WBA Super champion Beibut Shumenov, which would mean fights with two electrifying boxers in Sergey Kovalev (24-0-1, 22 KO) and Adonis Stevenson (23-1, 20 KO). Before Hopkins can get set on that path, however, he'll have to fight another lesser champion if he wants to keep his IBF belt.

Fightnews.com reports that the IBF has ordered Hopkins (55-6-2, 2 NC, 32 KO) to fight the winner of an upcoming bout between Nadjib Mohammedi (34-3, 20 KO) and Anatoliy Dudchenko (19-2, 13 KO). Their bout is scheduled to take place June 21st on NBC Sports, and the winner will hold both the IBF inter-continental and the WBA continental titles.

Belts these days are only slightly less numerous than Pokemon, and it is even more difficult to catch them all, but it would be fun to watch the 49 year-old Hopkins try. B-hop is already a wonder among boxers as the oldest man to ever hold a world title, and there is little doubt that he will beat the winner of Dudchenko-Mohammedi. Let's hope that he feels free to pursue the big fights he wants after once again beating his own record.

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