Bernard Hopkins/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions
Bernard Hopkins is 49 and will be 50 on Jan. 15. Before that happens he’ll be facing yet another challenge in a long line of them. Although the actual date and site have yet to be determined, Hopkins will put his two light heavyweight championship belts on the line against hard-hitting Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev of Russia in a title-unification bout in November in either Atlantic City or New York City (on HBO).
“Everything I do at this point in my career affects my legacy,” said Hopkins, who is 55-6-2 with 32 knockouts. “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.
Hopkins is off just a bit in this statement. He will not be undisputed champion if he beats Kovalev. Hopkins has two of the four major belts, Kovalev has one. Adonis Stevenson has the other one, which means Hopkins would only have three of the four belts with a victory, and that would not quite make him undisputed champion.
That said, Hopkins should be applauded for taking on a killer like Kovalev, who is 25-0-1 with 23 knockouts and is coming off a second-round TKO of Blake Caparello on Saturday in Atlantic City.
“I respect Bernard Hopkins for taking this fight,” Kovalev, 31, said. “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.”
Bernard Hopkins/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions
Providing Sergey Kovalev successfully defends his light heavyweight title Saturday night against Blake Caparello at Revel Resort in Atlantic City (on HBO), Kovalev will next take on fellow champion Bernard Hopkins in a title-unification bout sometime in November in either Atlantic City or New York City, according to reports out of several outlets.
Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs) is 49 and will be 50 Jan. 15. The hard-hitting Kovalev (24-0-1, 22 KOs), of Russia, is 31.
Sergey Kovalev graphic courtesy of Main Events Inc.
Light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev of Russia and challenger Blake Caparello of Australia both weighed in at 174 pounds for their title fight that will be contested Saturday at Revel Resort in Atlantic City (on HBO).
The limit is 175.
Kovalev, 31, is 24-0-1 with 22 knockouts. He’ll be looking to make his third successful title defense. Caparello, 27, is a light-hitter by comparison. The southpaw is 19-0-1 with just six knockouts. This will be his first shot at a major championship.
Manny Pacquiao (left) and Brandon Rios pose at a news conference ahead of their Nov. 24 fight that took place in Macau, China/Photo by Associated Press
Brandon Rios of Oxnard has lost his past two fights, and that’s enough to ruin anyone’s groove. It almost doesn’t matter that the two losses came to a good fighter in Mike Alvarado and a Hall of Fame fighter like Manny Pacquiao. Bottom line is, Rios can ill-afford a third consecutive defeat when he takes on Diego Gabriel Chaves of Argentina in the welterweight main event Aug. 2 at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas (on HBO).
He knows that.
“It’s do or die for me and I will do what I have to do to win this fight,” said Rios, 28, and a former lightweight world champion.
After losing handily to Pacquiao by eight, 10 and 12 points on the scorecards, Rios might have taken on an easier opponent than Chaves (23-1, 19 KOs), who took tough Keith Thurman to 10 rounds before being stopped by Thurman in his only loss last July 27 in San Antonio.
Rios wanted noting resembling a patsy, though.
“I know I could have fought an easier opponent, but I want to show everyone what I am still capable of doing against a top level guy," he said.
Rios is 31-2-1 with 23 knockouts.
Chaves, 28, is ranked as high as the No. 6 welterweight by one governing body. Rios is unranked.
Daniel Geale and his promoter Gary Shaw (right)/Photo by Associated Press
You really have to like a guy who has the attitude of Daniel Geale as he prepares to challenge the very dangerous Gennady Golovkin for his middleweight championship Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York City (on HBO).
Geale was asked during a recent conference call to explain what it is about Golovkin that makes him want to fight him so badly. His response was classic.
“To be honest, Gennady has got titles and I want titles,” said Geale, a former world champion. “That’s my main goal here. I want to fight the best fighters and I want to win some titles and there is only one way to do that, whether he has a great record or not. You have to get in there and test yourself against the best fighters in the world.”
Exactly what you want to hear from a world-class fighter heading into the lion’s den that is the heavy-handed Golovkin, who is 29-0 with 26 knockouts.
Geale is 30-2 with 16 knockouts. He lost his title to Darren Barker via split-decision in August 2013. He has fought once since and stopped Garth Wood after six rounds in February in his native Australia.
Mike Tyson/Photo courtesy of San Jose Mercury News
None other than Mike Tyson will give the presentation to induct Evander Holyfield into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame on Aug. 9 at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas.
Tyson, who was inducted in the inaugural class in 2013, bit off a piece of Holyfield’s ear during their second fight in June 1997 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Tyson was disqualified in the third round.
The two have since mended fences.
In a statement, Tyson said it will be “a privilege and high honor.” Holyfield’s response was, “That is great.”
Tickets are still available for the induction dinner. They can be purchased online at www.nvbhof.com.
Floyd Mayweather Jr./Photo by Associated Press
Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Marcos Maidana of Argentina on Thursday at 1 p.m. will play host to a news conference at Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive St., in Downtown Los Angeles and it will be open to the public.
The two will be formally announcing their rematch slated for Sept. 13 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The Golden Boy Promotions/Mayweather Promotions event will be televised on Showtime pay-per-view.
Mayweather (46-0, 26 KOs) and Maidana (35-4, 31 KOs) tangled May 3 at MGM Grand with Maidana giving Mayweather a tough go, Mayweather coming away with a 12-round majority decision.
Aside from the interested parties, expected to be on hand for the proceedings are Jarret Stoll and Alec Martinez of the Stanley Cup-champion Kings.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. (left) and Marcos Maidana/photo by Associated Press
Floyd Mayweather Jr. will put his two welterweight championship belts on the line Sept. 13 when he squares off against Marcos Maidana at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, it was announced Thursday.
The two tangled May 3 at MGM Grand with Maidana giving Mayweather his stiffest test in years, Mayweather coming away with a majority decision.
The rematch, as with the first fight, will be available on Showtime pay-per-view.
Golden Boy Promotions will be the lead promoter, even though Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe initially said they would no longer work with Golden Boy once longtime CEO Richard Schaefer resigned in early June.
But De La Hoya pointed out to this newspaper a couple of weeks ago that Mayweather had reserved that date and site under the Golden Boy banner and that, basically, Mayweather would have to use Golden Boy if he wanted to keep that.
Golden Boy has promoted Mayweather’s last nine fights, even though Mayweather has never been under contract to De La Hoya’s company.
Erislandy Lara/photo by Associated Press
Cuba’s amateur program has always been top-notch, so one has to wonder how many of its great amateurs would have been fine pros here in the States had they been able to freely come here to fight.
Sure, some have defected. But not everyone who tries succeeds. Erislandy Lara, a Cuban defector, first tried to defect in 2007. He was caught and returned. He defected again in 2008, that time successfully.
Lara, who Saturday will take on Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Showtime pay-per-view), agreed we have missed out on a lot.
“Absolutely,” he said. “Obviously, Cuba’s a very strict country. It’s a country that you’ve got to do a lot of things to get over here to be free. And there are a tremendous amount of fighters in Cuba that would be world champions or very good fighters over here that are never able to make it.”