Just two days after his 49th birthday, Bernard Hopkins' birthday wish is beginning to come true, as Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer tells Sky Sports Ringside that he reached terms for an IBF and WBA light heavyweight title unification between Hopkins and Shumenov.
I'm very, very excited. Unifying the light-heavyweight titles is Bernard's quest as he marches towards 50. Yesterday, on Bernard's 49th birthday, I came to terms with Beibut Shumenov, the WBA champion. We're working on dates at the end of March and beginning of April to get that fight done. It will be the first step towards becoming the undisputed light-heavyweight champion, something Bernard would like to do on the day he turns 50 next year.
Hopkins (54-6-2, 32 KO) won the IBF belt last year from Tavoris Cloud in March and made a successful defense in October against Karo Murat. Shumenov (14-1, 9 KO) has held the WBA belt since a controversial win over Gabriel Campillo in 2010, making five defenses against frankly inferior competition and no serious contenders.
Shumenov had an audition sort of fight against Tamas Kovacs in December on Showtime, winning in three rounds. Even before that, Hopkins-Shumenov looked like the fight to be made for B-Hop, and now it appears a reality.