By Tom Donelson / Member Boxing Writers Association and has contributed to “dmboxing” since 2008
Bernard Hopkins attempted to be oldest fighter to unite titles after becoming the oldest to win a title and the oldest to defend a title against the young Beibut Shumenov, who was hoping to make his mark.
The first bout saw Peter Quillin defending his version of the Middleweight against Czech Republic fighter Lukas Konecny. The undefeated Quillin started out fast with a left jab that pumped in between the challenger’s guard, who spent the first 1:30 not throwing a punch. Quillin tried to slip a right hand over the jab as Konecny threw body shots. In the middle of the second round, Konecny landed an uppercut for his first big punch of the fight as Quillin landed some vicious body shots but as the second round wound down, Konecny started to land some combinations.
Quillin seemed contented to lay on the rope and this allowed Konecny to attack with body shots and left hooks whereas Quillin used his double jab to set up combinations throughout the third and fourth rounds.
Peter Quillin started to add more pop to his combination throughout the fifth and sixth round but Konecny took those punches and occasionally counter with his own combinations. Quillin hurt Konecny for the first time as the bell ranged to end the sixth round.
Quillin landed some vicious left hooks in the seventh round and a right hand upper cut that stopped Konecny for brief moments but even after those punches, Konecny was still standing. In the final thirty seconds, Quillin rocked Konecny with solid upper cuts but Konecny managed to unleash two combinations.
Quillin seemed to hit Konecny at will but Konecny seemed content to take punches and on occasionally throwing combination back to remind Quillin that he was still in the fight. Near the end of the tenth round, Quillin opened up a cut over Konecny right eyelid. Throughout the eleventh round, Konecny pressured Quillin and near the end of the round, he connected on his best left hook that had some leverage.
Konecny continued to move forward in the twelfth round as he attempted to land a big punch as Quillin played four corners and boxed. Quillin landed a low blow but Konecny simply took a 25 second rest and continued to pressure Quillin.
Quillin connected and threw twice as many punches as Konecny but Konecny landed 43% of his punches and on occasion, Quillin allowed Konecny to pound him. Quillin won an easy decision but this was hardly impressive fight for Quillin, who is looking for becoming recognized as one of the elite Middleweights.
The second bout featured Shawn Porter defending his title against the slick boxer Paulie Malignaggi. The fight started out fast as Porter attacked and Malignaggi counter with quick shots. Porter attempted to turn this fight into a brawl. A Porter left jab opened a cut under the left eye of Malignaggi.
Porter barreled into Malignaggi and threw punches in bunches on the inside while Malignaggi attempted to maneuver out of harms’ way. It didn’t work as Porter exploded a left hook that turn Malignaggi head 180 degree and forced the Magic man to retreat. He followed up with combination and forced Malignaggi to hold on for dear life.
Porter’s jabs proved more effective than Malignaggi and this took away Malignaggi best weapon over the first three rounds. Malignaggi could not hold Porter off with his jab or right hand due to his lack of punches. Porter sent Malignaggi down with a right hand at the beginning of the fourth round and within forty seconds, a left hook exploded off Malignaggi face. Malignaggi reeled into the rope and Porter slammed Malignaggi with two left hooks and one big right hand sent Malignaggi sagging into the canvas. Malignaggi rolled on the canvas under the rope and the referee stopped the fight.
No fighter has ever defeated Malignaggi in this fashion and the key to victory was the Porter jab which jarred Malignaggi and this set up his power punches.
The ageless wonder Bernard Hopkins faced a young, tough Beibut Shumenov in a battle of ageless wisdom versus youth. Shumenov had one advantage, a 5 inch reach advantage and this could allow him to keep his distance from the wise old man of boxing, Bernard Hopkins. The first round saw a cautionary round as neither fight throw many punches and Shumenov allowed Hopkins to dictate pace. The second round was slightly more active as Showtime Al Bernstein quipped, “To say this is a tactical bout would be understatement.” In the third round, Hopkins landed a big right hand in the middle of the round and concluded with some solid jabs but Shumenov did land a right hand at the end of the round.
The fourth round was the most active at this point in the fight and both fighters landed punches but at this point it was a hard fight to score but Hopkins landed some solid right hands cleanly but Shumenov was the slightly more active. The right hand was Hopkins calling card throughout the fifth round as he landed it at will. The sixth round again saw Hopkins landing right hands and with a minute left, a left jab-right hand landed forced Shumenov to retreat.
Throughout the eighth round, Shumenov looked confuse as Hopkins landed right hands and left hook throughout the round. While Shumenov attempted combinations and move forward, he got nailed by counters. Shumenov seemed unwilling to press Hopkins and the end of the ninth round showed why as Hopkins nailed Shumenov with a lead right followed by a left hook. The tenth round witness Hopkins defensive wizardry as he avoided Shumenov’s combinations before countering. Over the first ten rounds, Hopkins rarely got nailed by any serious punches and combinations. Hopkins dropped Shumenov in the middle of the eleventh round with a big right and he hurt Shumenov with a left hook thirty seconds later. The twelfth round saw Hopkins easily dominate the round as he slipped one right hand after another on Shumenov’s face.
The judges had it a split decision but one had to ask the judge who had it for Shumenov,
which fight were you watching. The first three rounds were close but after the fourth round, it became an easy fight to score as Hopkins easily scored with his right and he connected on nearly half of his punches. The more meaningful punches were landed by Hopkins who showed that guile can overcame youth.