By Joseph Santoliquito
Philadelphia, PA (CBS) — Bernard Hopkins is getting his wish. The 49-year-old legend and future Hall of Famer has never avoided a challenge, never shied away from facing what many felt was an impossibly-to-beat foe.
Now, Hopkins will be taking another huge step in the twilight of his career against Sergey Kovalev, an undefeated, one-punch power knockout artist who may be Hopkins’ biggest test to date, considering his age.
Hopkins will face “Krusher” Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 KOs), fresh off his second-round knockout of previously undefeated, yet overmatched, Blake Caparello, on November 8 in either Atlantic City of Brooklyn’s Barclay Center.
Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs) was ringside watching Kovalev’s destruction of Caparello.
“I needed Kovalev to get a devastating knockout, because then a lot of people will begin fearing for my life as they’ve done plenty of times before,” Hopkins said. “I’ll be on point on November 8. I set out to be the undisputed light heavyweight champion of the world, but you need some cooperation not only from the fighters, but from everyone. The Kovalev side wanted to make the fight. We got the deal done. They gambled and they lost facing me.”
Kovalev, who came back from a flash first-round knockdown against Caparello, was asked if the Hopkins’ fight was on his mind during the fight.
“I didn’t think about Bernard Hopkins, because I was focused on [Caparello],” Kovalev snapped. “This was a big step for me, because if I didn’t win today, there was no fight with Bernard Hopkins. He’s very smart and very sneaky and I’m surprised he’s 49 years old. For me, though, it doesn’t matter who I fight. It’s a very good fight and a very interesting fight. I am surprised he took the fight. It is one of my dreams to fight Bernard Hopkins.”
Hopkins holds the WBA and IBF light heavyweight belts. Kovalev is the WBO titlist.
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