Bernard Hopkins unifies world titles

WASHINGTON - There are few superlatives left to describe Bernard Hopkins, the nearly half-century old fighter still going strong at age 49. But brilliant works.

He added yet another piece of history to his bulging résumé that makes him a shoe-in first-ballot Hall of Famer as he outpointed Beibut Shumenov to unify light heavyweight world titles before 6,823 on Saturday night at the DC Armory.

Two judges had it for Hopkins, 116-111, while the third, Gustavo Padilla, incredibly had it 114-113 for Shumenov, a scorecard that will go down among the worst in modern boxing history.

Nonetheless, it was another masterful Hopkins performance against a man who was 5 years old when Hopkins turned pro in 1988.

In his third reign with a 175-pound title, Hopkins, who dropped Shumenov in the 11th round, retained his belt for the second time and added another belt, making him the oldest fighter in history to unify titles.

It was yet another record for Hopkins. As a middleweight, he set the division record with 20 title defenses. And he also has a slew of age-related records, including oldest boxer to hold a world title (49), oldest to win a world title -- he did that twice, at age 46 and 48 -- and oldest to successfully defend a world title (49).

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