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Hopkins v Shumenov: B-Hop to school the great pretender

| 17.04.2014

Kazakhstan’s Beibut Shumenov has had more than his fair share of luck during his relatively short career and that perhaps explains why the Las Vegas-based fighter is willing to gamble his titles against the superior Bernard Hopkins this weekend.

Shumenov (14-1-0 9KO) picked up the WBA title in just his ninth professional bout to become the quickest person ever to claim a Light Heavyweight crown.

However, the now 30-year-old has had his accomplishments diminished by his peers – perhaps rightly so – after he was given his first title shot (which he lost) in just his eighth professional fight.

This was only enhanced when he won the WBA strap  – via a controversial split decision against Gabriel Campillo – and despite subsequently adding the IBA belt to his CV there are plenty that still doubt his credentials in the division.

The Kazakh has still only been in 14 fights and was only 11—years-old when his April 19th opponent won his first title back in 1995.

At 49-years-of-age Hopkins (54-6-2 32KOs) is clearly nearing the end of his career, but the calibre of his recent opponents makes him the favourite to unmask Shumenov as a fraud.

The Philadelphia man goes into this bout as the odds-on favourite at 1/2 but despite his class and experience the betting shows an air of caution about his age, with the younger man billed as 7/4 underdog.

Age should only concern those looking to back B-Hop KO win though, as the fight looks destined to go the distance, giving The Executioner ample time to display his superior skills.

Neither man has ever been knocked out so the 1/5 on the fight going the distance looks a licence to print money.

Advice then is to take the slightly better odds of 8/13 on B-Hop becoming the oldest man to ever unify a division via a points win, while those looking to back longer odds can get 10/3 on the reverse outcome.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.