Bernard Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev are ready to clash

Hopkins has become a beloved prizefighter.

Pugilistic marvel Bernard Hopkins will face Russian slugger Sergey Kovalev on November 8 in a light heavyweight unification bout at a venue to be determined.

Hopkins (55-6-2-2, 32 KOs) most recently exited the squared circle in April after earning a split decision over Beibut Shumenov.

Dismissing nearly two decades of seniority, Hopkins bullied the 30-year-old Shumenov (14-2, 9 KOs) for 36 minutes.

Hopkins dictated the pace from the outset and floored Shumenov with a right hand in the 11th round.

If not for a Panamanian judge named Gustavo Padilla, the future first-ballot Hall of Famer would have universally outscored the Kazakhstan scrapper.

Nearly a half-century old, Hopkins continues to defy Father Time and trump the world’s premier prizefighters at 175 pounds.

Although younger, quicker and stronger than the elderly Philadelphian, Shumenov looked ancient and befuddled versus Hopkins.

Despite being a quasi-geriatric, Hopkins remains an elite athlete and modern sensation.

“Everything I do at this point in my career affects my legacy,” said Hopkins, 49, a reformed ex-convict who is also a past two-weight world champion.

“I’ve set and broken many records, but becoming the oldest undisputed light heavyweight world champion is the goal and Kovalev stands in the way of that goal. He’s another young, hungry fighter and just like the ones that came before him, he will leave the ring beltless.”

Conversely, in an utter shellacking, Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 KOs) knocked Blake Caparello onto Queer Street in the second round last weekend in Atlantic City.

“I respect Bernard Hopkins for taking this fight,” said Kovalev, 31, who enjoyed a brilliant amateur career.

“When I came to America, it was dream to fight the best and now I am fighting, I have my chance. He says he is alien. He punch, I punch, then we see who is gonna go to Mars.”

Kovalev possesses cement fists and is blessed with a granite chin.

Meeting any other 49-year-old pugilist, Kovalev would surely emerge victorious.

However, nicknamed “The Alien,” Hopkins is an extremely unique human being.

Hopkins will likely outscore Kovalev this autumn and force the Russian to “leave the ring beltless.”

Still, no matter what occurs in November, Bernard Hopkins deserves to accept the 2014 Sportsman of the Year award.

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