Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
Washington – Bernard Hopkins, boxing’s ageless wonder at 49, is one victory from becoming the undisputed world light-heavyweight champion and already daring unbeaten pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather to a showdown.
Hopkins, the oldest major world champion in boxing history, won a split decision over Kazak fighter Beibut Shumenov to take the World Boxing Association title and keep his International Boxing Federation crown.
“The only thing I want to know before I leave this game is that I gave it all,” Hopkins said.
“It’s another page. Every page is history. Money is great but history is something you can’t get rid of.”
Now Hopkins, who turns 50 in January, wants to meet Haitian-born Canadian southpaw Adonis Stevenson, who defends his World Boxing Council belt this month against Poland’s Andrzej Fonfara.
Hopkins, who made 20 defenses of his middleweight crown and ruled that division for a decade, says he would even fight Montreal-based Stevenson in Canada, where nearly all of his fights have been staged.
“I want to be the undisputed champion by the end of this year. Between now and January 2015, let’s do it,” Hopkins said.
“I set out to be the best in the light-heavyweight division. I’m thirsty for that like I was at middleweight.”
But when pondering what could be the final act of a career that began in 1988, Hopkins made it clear he hopes welterweight star Mayweather would answer his challenge to jump up in weight while he drops and they meet at middleweight.
“I’ll give anybody a run for their money. If they are unbeaten I will take their 0, give them their first loss,” Hopkins said. “I could make 165, 168 (pounds) real comfortably.”
Mayweather, 45-0, is nearing one of boxing’s most iconic numbers, the 49-0 career record of the late heavyweight legend Rocky Marciano.
“If I do a fight, it would be one of the biggest in the world. We will do it in a stadium somewhere,” Hopkins said.