“This is my legacy. Enjoy it, because it may never happen again.” Bernard Hopkins
“Don’t forget that I am here to make history, too.” Beibut Shumenov
Photo Credit: Rich Kane – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
NEW YORK – IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Bernard Hopkins and WBA Super World Champion Beibut Shumenov continued their media tour on Wednesday at Lucille’s Bar & Grill inside B.B. King’s Blues Club in New York to formally announce their world championship unification onSaturday, April 19, live on SHOWTIME®from the DC Armory in Washington, D.C.
At 49-years-old, “The Alien” Hopkins (54-6-2, 32 KOs), of Philadelphia, is looking to become the oldest fighter in boxing history to unify world titles, while Shumenov (14-1, 9 KOs), of Shymkent, Kazakhstan, is aiming to become the fastest fighter to unify the light heavyweight division with only 15 professional fights under his belt.
In the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® co-main event, undefeated WBO Middleweight World Champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (30-0, 22 KOs), of New York,will defend his title for the third time when he meets former interim WBO Junior Middleweight Champion Lukas Konecny (50-4, 23 KOs) of the Czech Republic.
Tickets priced at $25, $50, $75, $200 and $300, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges, went on sale today at 10 a.m. ET and are available online at http://www.ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations or by calling (800) 745-3000. The DC Armory Box Office will be open on fight night only from 3:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. ET.
Below is what the participants had to say at Wednesday’s presser:
BERNARD HOPKINS, IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion:
“Look at your age and look at mine. You want to risk this being done again, that you’ll be living to witness it? That’s like waiting for another black president. I wish you luck. I’m not risking that.
“You talk boxing. I live boxing. One thing that’s important to live in boxing is the lifestyle. So there’s noting that I’m doing that you haven’t written, because most of you have been writing about me for 10 years or more.
“I could have come out here with a walker, taken my teeth out, and then have him help me up to the seat there and play right into the old man syndrome. But I’m not going to play games with you.
“This is something that you’re going to remember, tell your grandkids, someone younger, someone in the boxing game, someone not in the boxing game. This is not only my personal achievement in history, but this is something that you can pass down to your kids. You can pass down to anyone you care to pass it down to. I can tell my son who’s two years old, Bernard III,that this is the legacy he inherits from me.
“Let’s talk about Father Time. He’s a son of a bitch. He is. Father Time is undefeated because time is undefeated. That’s the fight that I can’t win and nobody on this earth can win. I’m not fighting Father Time. That’s why me and Father Time really have no problem. There’s no war going on.
“So at the end of the day, Father Time says to me, “Have fun, you’ve got time.” Everyone asks me about my age because their stomach is out this big. Because they’re eating bagels. Because they’re drinking wine. Enjoy yourself. That’s what you want to do. But when you see me, don’t be envious, be motivated. Be energized, woman or man. And say to yourself: how can I start to be like him? How can I take a page out of his book and have a long life and play with my grandkids?
“When you see me April 19in D.C. on SHOWTIME, be inspired. Be inspired that if you’re near 40, if you’re over 40, if you’re over 50, over 60, that it’s never too late to change your lifestyle. It’s only too late when you’re dead.”
BEIBUT SHUMENOV, WBA Super and IBA Light Heavyweight World Champion:
“I’m very excited that I’m fighting one of the greatest fighters ever. That’s the way for me to show the world that I am the best in the world. Don’t miss out on April 19. It will be a history-making event.
“Bernard has his legacy, but I am looking to build my own legacy. But don’t forget that I am here to make history, too.
“This is a great opportunity to show the world that I am one of the greatest champions in boxing. He’s considered the best light heavyweight champion but this is my opportunity to show the world that I am the best light heavyweight.
“My main goal is to unify all the titles, but right now I’m 100 percent focused on my fight with Bernard Hopkins. It’s the most important fight in my life and it will be the hardest fight in my life.
“Bernard is a boxing genius. He is a legend. He has the highest boxing IQ and skills ever.”
PETER QUILLIN, WBO Middleweight World Champion:
“Preparation for this fight has been awesome. I believe in being in the best shape.
“Some people say that I shouldn’t be on undercards, but I’m on Bernard’s undercard and I am working to be a legend like him.
“B-Hop is a legend. Every time he steps into the ring he creates a legacy and history. I’m working toward that.
“I do this to be the best I can be. My father came from Cuba in 1980 and came here for opportunity and now he is able to see his son live out his dreams and be the middleweight champion.
“I do this every day to be an inspiration.
“A lot of people need an inspiration. I’m going to go out there and try my best no matter what.
“If I need to take a loss to learn about myself then I’m willing to do so. Until then, I’m just going to keep on winning. We’re going to keep on putting on awesome fights and keep on fighting on SHOWTIME.
“I want to be the best fighter, the best father, the best husband and the best son I can be and I hope you all keep on supporting me.”
NAZIM RICHARDSON, Hopkins’ Trainer:
“I agree that this is a historic fight. Everything Bernard does now is historic. Every interview, every walk out is history. Every move he makes is history, not just inside the ring, but outside of the ring.
“He could walk out tomorrow, beat Beibut Shumenov and say I’m done. He owes us nothing and gives us everything.
“I have a lot of respect for Mr. Shumenov. Shumenov is a young 30. He did everything with such a fast learning curve. He’s not someone who is worn down.
“He is already a champion and a guy who is moving that fast and has that kind of enormous focus to be in the front and be the best. But now, not throwing the word around, you’re dealing with a legend.
“Come out to the fight because you’re going to see two men on two different paths that are going to collide onApril 19.”
“Training camp is great, Beibut is incredible. Beibut is ready because of his intelligence. He’s an attorney. He’s highly intelligent and he studies more than anyone ever. His fight IQ is through the roof.
“You will see how prepared Beibut is. He’s ready to do it.
“B-Hop is great; he has tremendous longevity in the sport. He’s a wizard. But everything comes to an end and that duration will be April 19.”
BRUCE BINKOW, COO & CMO of Golden Boy Promotions:
“Any time Bernard Hopkins steps into the ring it’s a historic event.
“I think this is a great opportunity for a young champion like Beibut to make his mark on history as well by attempting to take down a legend.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, Executive Vice President & General Manager, SHOWTIME SPORTS:
“We’re very proud to be hosting and televising another Bernard Hopkins fight. The word icon is used quite a bit — thrown about very casually — within sports, within entertainment and music. Bernard is one of the few personalities, the few athletes where the term accurately applies.
“He is a legend in the sport. His accomplishments speak for themselves. Any time Bernard fights it is an event, it’s an occasion, and ‘History at the Capitol’ is a very accurate term.
“Having said all of that, Beibut is a young, hungry, strong challenger – a champion in his own right. Those of you who saw him on SHOWTIME in San Antonio had to be impressed. He’s a very intelligent young man, a very intelligent fighter, a very strong fighter. I would dare to say that he’s going to be one of the toughest challengers that Bernard has faced in quite a while. So I’m looking forward to a very strong main event onApril 19.
“I’m also excited to have Peter Quillin back on the network again fighting Lukas Konecny. I think it’s particularly appropriate that we have Quillin on the undercard here, in that Peter is attempting to follow in the rather large footsteps that Bernard Hopkins has started. That is, to start and campaign as a middleweight, where Bernard spent so many years and defended his title for a world-record number of times.”
GREGORY A. O’DELL, President & CEO of Events DC
“On behalf of fight fans in Washington, D.C., we are honored to have a championship experience come back to the District. This fight validates the quality of Washington, D.C. as a fight capital.
“This is the third championship fight we’ve had in 14 months. Thank you for recognizing that D.C. is a fight town.
“Over 20 years ago, a slightly younger fighter fought on the RFK campus. We are thrilled that he will be returning on April 19 and we hope to see more fights in Washington, D.C.” [On Bernard Hopkins]