IBF Light Heavyweight Champion Bernard Hopkins and WBA Super Champion Beibut Shumenov held a press conference on Tuesday at The W Hotel in Washington, D.C., to formally announce their world championship unification on Saturday, April 19, live on Showtime from the DC Armory.
At 49-years-old, "The Alien" Hopkins (54-6-2, 32 KOs), of Philadelphia, is looking to become the oldest fighter in boxing history to unify world titles, while Shumenov (14-1, 9 KOs), of Shymkent, Kazakhstan, is aiming to become the fastest fighter to unify the light heavyweight division with only 15 professional fights under his belt.
In the Showtime Championship Boxing co-main event, undefeated WBO Middleweight Champion Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin (30-0, 22 KOs), of New York,will defend his title for the third time when he meets former interim WBO Junior Middleweight Champion Lukas Konecny (50-4, 23 KOs) of the Czech Republic.
Below is what the participants had to say at Tuesday's presser:
Bernard Hopkins, IBF Light Heavyweight Champion:
"I'm looking to put on something special. Because my thing is, you're only as good as your last fight. Here in D.C. you're only as good as your last vote. At the end of the day, I've realized that you can be a champion yesterday, but if you dwell on yesterday you will never go forward.
"I'm pretty sure that a lot of people don't know who Shumenov is. And I tell them he's a fast guy who is rising in the sport of boxing quickly. He comes to fight and he comes to win.
"You haven't seen guys rise this quickly in boxing for many years. You usually see 30 or so fights before a guy gets a world title. But I'm not reading into all that stuff. All I know is that the guy signed up to fight a world champion. And he has something that I need to be the undisputed light heavyweight champion of the world. He's in the way of that.
"Not only is he in the way, I have to use a lot of other things that motivate me even more to be successful on April 19. This fight is about my legacy. I unified the middleweight division and now my goal is to unify the light heavyweight division.
"I am blessed to be here through hard work and disciplinee. Shumenov will learn from this fight because he's still young and he still has some experience to gain after this fight. But I'm not playing him cheap and I'm not playing him short because anyone who steps in the ring with Bernard Hopkins has the skill to be a world champion.
"I believe I'm the most feared fighter in the world or maybe the last 15-20 years in spite of my age. Love me or hate me, people understand how dangerous I can be to a fighters' career moving forward."
Beibut Shumenov, WBA Super/IBA Light Heavyweight Champion:
"I'm very excited that I'm going to fight one of the greatest fighters ever. I know that I've never faced anyone on his level and I know it's going to be the hardest fight of my life. But I will do whatever it takes to win this fight. And I'll do anything possible and impossible to get the victory.
"People will find out on April 19 that I belong in the elite level. That I am the best light heavyweight champion in the world. I'm looking to make a statement to the world.
"I'm confident, he's confident. You have to be prepared for all styles. I never faced anybody at Bernard's level. I consider him the best light heavyweight champion. And he is in my way to prove that I am the best light heavyweight champ.
"It's a dream of mine to have this kind of opportunity. I've been ready to fight at this type of level for several years and now I have this platform to show off all my skills.
"I was honored to see the ambassador of our country [Kazakhstan] here. I have a lot of fans here in the U.S. and Las Vegas and all over the country."
Nazim Richardson, Hopkins' Trainer:
"When you've been in the game so long that you outlive your nickname ... well, this guy has been in boxing longer than the 'Executioner.' Now he's 'The Alien.'
"It's been an honor and a pleasure to actually watch him culminate into the type of athlete that he is today. A lot of people don't understand our sport and they don't understand that 30 in boxing is old. This guy is ancient. You have to sit back and realize how impressive this is.
"Beibut is just an exceptional athlete. If you look at this fast pace he's been on you have to respect it and the success he's had.
"But no one can ever tell you what you see when you climb into those ropes and you look across the ring and it's not a fighter, it's not a fighter that fights well, it's not a champion, it's not an elite-lever fighter. When you look across that ring and you see an absolute legend, no one can tell you what that's like.
"I hope that we can appreciate this guy [Hopkins] while he's here. Every single thing this guy does in this sport is history. Every press conference he has, every mouthpiece he puts in his mouth. Everything he does in this sport now is absolute history."
Bruce Binkow, COO & CMO of Golden Boy Promotions:
"D.C. is becoming a hotbed for big fights and we're excited to bring this world championship unification to our nation's capital.
"Every time Bernard Hopkins fights it's a historical event and we also have a world champion who is looking to make his mark and history by taking Bernard's belt.
"Shumenov has successfully defended his title five times, and this April he gets an opportunity to add his name to the history books if he can do what very few people have done and beat Bernard Hopkins.
"I could remind you that Bernard won his middleweight title in 1995 and successfully defended it 20 times. But what's really amazing is that Bernard has had a spectacular last couple of years. He's already twice become the oldest man to win a major world championship and in 2013 he had one of his greatest years ever.
"I believe that if a baseball, football or basketball player was performing anywhere near the level that he is performing at his age he would be in a lab being studied by science. It's absolutely unbelievable. "
Scottie Irving, Chairman of D.C. Boxing Commission:
"We're very happy to have this world title fight here in Washington D.C. When we had the Peterson fight back in January we talked to Bernard and Golden Boy Promotions about having another fight back here in D.C., but what we didn't know was that Bernard was going to fight here himself.
"What I think that came from was as he walked around the DC Armory, he saw he had a lot of fans enchanted with his boxing career that wanted to see him fight in D.C. So we're happy to bring this world championship event to D.C. and we're looking forward to a great fight."
Hopkins vs. Shumenov, a 12-round fight for the IBF, IBA and WBA Light Heavyweight Championship, will take place Saturday, April 19, at the DC Armory in Washington, D.C. The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona,AT&T and Casamigos Tequila. The live Showtime telecast will begin at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) and will be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP).
Tickets priced at $25, $50, $75, $200 and $300, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges are on sale now and are available online at http://www.ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations or by calling (800) 745-3000. The DC Armory Box Office will be open on fight night only from 3:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. ET.