Relying on the sport’s “art and the skill,” pugilistic marvel Bernard Hopkins predicted Friday that he will outclass Russian slugger Sergey Kovalev.
The 31-year-old Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 KOs) will face Hopkins (55-6-2-2, 32 KOs) on November 8 in a light heavyweight unification bout at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Kovalev, who enjoyed a brilliant amateur career, last vacated the squared circle on August 2 after knocking Blake Caparello onto Queer Street in the second round.
“The man has a record and he has a ninety percent plus knockout ratio,” said Hopkins, 49, a reformed ex-convict who is also a past two-weight world champion.
“We can forget names and what faces that he knocked out. They don’t look at that when they see that. Boxing is no different than what makes people be led from one thing to another because they are so used to the wham bam thank you ma’am and not looking at the art and the skill that can defuse, take from, cut off and stop from being what it used to be or what it likes to be. Haven’t they learned yet? No.”
In comparison to Kovalev, Hopkins most recently earned a split decision over Beibut Shumenov in April.
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.
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.
Accordingly, expect Bernard Hopkins to somehow “defuse” and “take from” Sergey Kovalev in another triumphant effort on points this autumn.by