By KEVIN DUNLEAVY, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Already the oldest boxer in history to win a world championship, Bernard Hopkins became the oldest to win a unification bout Saturday night as he captured a split 12-round decision over Beibut Shumenov of Kazakhstan.
The announcement of the decision drew boos from the pro-Hopkins crowd. Two judges scored the fight 116-111 for the 49-year-old Hopkins. One judge scored it 114-113 for the 30-year-old Shumenov.
Hopkins rocked Shumenov with a chopping overhand right midway through the 11th round for the only knockdown of the fight, igniting chants of "B-Hop! B-Hop!" from the crowd of 6,823 at D.C. Armory.
After a slow start, Hopkins controlled the action, growing confident, aggressive and playful as the fight progressed. Hopkins was a decisive statistical winner, landing 49 percent of his 383 punches, while Shumenov connected on just 20 percent of his 608 blows.
Hopkins, already the IBF champion, adds Shumenov's WBA and IBA titles to his collection. Hopkins is in line for a fight with WBC champion Adonis Stephenson, perhaps after he turns 50 on Jan. 15 of next year. Though, after the fight, he told fans and a television audience that he wanted to become the undisputed champ before he turns 50.
Hopkins-Shumenov was one of three world title fights on Saturday. In the first, Peter Quillin of Brooklyn, N.Y., retained his WBO middleweight belt and improved to 31-0 with a unanimous 12-round decision over Lukas Konecky of the Czech Republic.
In the IBF welterweight title match, Shawn Porter of Cleveland also remained undefeated with a fourth-round knockout of Paulie Malignaggi of Brooklyn, who took time off from his job as an analyst for Showtime, which carried the night's action.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.