Hopkins says Shumenov, April 19 opponent, no 'cream puff'

Bernard Hopkins works out at Danny Garcia's gym in preparation for his fight next Saturday.
Bernard Hopkins works out at Danny Garcia's gym in preparation for his fight next Saturday. (DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff)
Posted: April 12, 2014

Bernard Hopkins, who won't turn 50 years old until next January, had a Thursday morning workout at Temple University, hitting the track at Geasey Field.

"Doing some 880s," Hopkins said, maybe showing his age only when he measured the distance in yards instead of meters. "It was a good 40-minute run. A good blowout. If anybody knows 880s, you've got to be moving."

For part of it, Hopkins added, he dribbled two basketballs, working on rhythm and coordination. "Breaking the monotony of just running. You've got to have some fun with it."

On April 19, Hopkins will be in the ring in Washington taking on Beibut Shumenov in a light-heavyweight title unification fight, with Hopkins' IBF title on the line against Shumenov's WBA belt.

"This ain't a cream puff," Hopkins said. "I'm not digging nobody up, saying: 'Hey, this is the Senior Tour.' This ain't the bum-of-the-month club. I'm fighting some real dudes."

The 30-year-old Shumenov calls Hopkins one of his idols. Maybe that's why Hopkins spoke respectfully of his opponent, in addition to the need to sell the fighting public of the legitimacy of this fight and its consequences.

"I set the rules," Hopkins said Thursday at Danny Garcia's gym on Jasper Street. "I hit you. You don't hit me. You follow those rules, you're going to have a career."

Hopkins said he's having more fun than he used to years ago. He made it clear he's not entirely kidding about those rules. His game plan hasn't varied too much over the years.

"I know when it's all over and done, I don't want you all talking about me when I'm walking past, 'Look at him stumbling.' Somebody else counting my money because my brain's all scrambled.''

If you want that, he said, turn on UFC.

"Go at 12th and Dauphin, that bar, at 12 at night, you'll get many fights, if you want to see bloodthirsty," Hopkins said.

Naazim Richardson, Hopkins' trainer, wrapped his hands before a workout while Hopkins talked.

"What happened to the sweet science?'' Hopkins said. "The game is to hit and not get hit."

"Swim without getting wet," Richardson said as he wrapped.


mjensen@phillynews.com

@jensenoffcampus

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