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Boxer Hopkins eyes more age records

10:24 Wed Mar 12 2014
AAP

Bernard Hopkins, already boxing's oldest-ever world champion at 49, is looking to keep rewriting the record books when he faces Beibut Shumenov of Kazakhstan in April.

First he wants to become the oldest unified champion, then the oldest undisputed champion and finally the first ever 50-year-old world champion.

The age-defying light-heavyweight International Boxing Federation champion faces a unification title fight against World Boxing Association laureate Shumenov in Washington on April 19.

"I've got a chance to do something very special," Hopkins said Tuesday. "I'm not done yet. That's where I draw my motivation, my inspiration. I'm trying to make history write another book on me."

The American, who defended the IBF middleweight crown 20 times from 1995-2005, was overlooking US President Barack Obama's residence at the White House as he pondered his ring legacy.

"It makes me feel just as important as Obama," Hopkins said. "I understand the significance of this. I want to defend the title at 50.

"I believe I'm the most feared fighter in the world despite my age. People know how dangerous I can be to a career."

Hopkins, 54-6 with two drawn and 32 knockouts, wants to own two titles to force a showdown for an undisputed crown with Haitian-born Canadian southpaw Adonis Stevenson, the World Boxing Council champion who is 23-1 with 20 knockouts.

"Stevenson is the motivation to beat Shumenov, not just to win but to perform well," Hopkins said. "I can't win and look old."

That's why Hopkins, who turns 50 next January, says he wants his first knockout win since he stopped Oscar de la Hoya in 2004 to be against Shumenov, 14-1 with nine knockouts.

"I'm not looking past him. I'm looking through him," Hopkins said. "He has something I need to be the undisputed champion of the world. He's in my way.

"I'm not selling him cheap. I'm not selling him short."

But Hopkins is already playing mind games, positioning Shumenov for photographs and a staredown at a news conference as he might lead a child.

"There is a way of not knowing they are playing into your dictatorship," Hopkins said. "I've got to translate that into the ring, to hypnotise them into not knowing they are under the spell."

Shumenov dismissed any idea of mind game trickery.

"Not going to affect me for sure," Shumenov said. "We were just posing for cameras. I didn't see anything, didn't try to show him anything."

Then he answered Hopkins' talk of unifying the crowns at 50.

"A lot of people underestimate me," Shumenov said. "Soon they'll find out I'm the best light-heavyweight in the world."