Richard Schaefer discusses ‘stacked’ April 19 D.C. card
Porter-Malignaggi will be the second fight on a Showtime-televised triple-header whose main event is a 175-pound unification bout between Bernard Hopkins and Beibut Shumenov.
The broadcast-opening matchup will be Peter Quillin's third defense of his WBO middleweight title against Lukas Konecny on April 19. The card will take place at the DC Armory in Washington.
"You have three world title fights, and I think that it's going to be one of the biggest nights Washington, D.C. has seen for a long time. I'm very happy for the people who are going to be there live. There will be fight fans from around Washington, D.C., and I'm sure that they're going to come from Philly and New York, and New Jersey and all of the surrounding states to witness what I am sure is going to be an amazing card," said Schaefer.
"You've got the middleweight champion Peter Quillin against the European champion, Lukas Knoecny, and then, of course the big showdown between Shawn Porter and Paulie Malignaggi, which we announced today. Of course, the cherry on top for all of us is Bernard Hopkins, as we continue to cheer on the true modern day gladiator, 'The Alien,' in his quest to make history again. So this is a special treat on April 19. It's history, so I'm really happy for everyone — the fighters, the networks and the fans."
Hopkins, 49, will continue his quest to deny Father Time against the 30-yearw-old Shumenov, against whom he has stated that he wants to earn his first knockout since stopping Oscar De La Hoya in the ninth round in September 2004.
In his last fight, Hopkins (54-6-2, 32 knockouts) unanimously decisioned Karo Murat in defense of the IBF belt he won by unanimous decision over Tavoris Cloud to extend his own record as the oldest man to win a significant crown.
Hopkins first set the record at the age of 46 by outpointing Jean Pascal for the WBC’s title in May of 2011 before losing the belt to Chad Dawson by majority decsion a year later.
Hopkins has history in the D.C. area, having made his first attempt at winning a title there, falling by unanimous decision to Roy Jones Jr. at RFK Stadium in 1993.
But Hopkins later won the IBF middleweight title in nearby Landover, by seventh-round knockout over Segundo Mercado in 1995.
Hopkins went on to defend the crown a record 20 times before losing to Jermain Taylor in 2005. He made his last appearance in D.C. with a seventh-round technical knockout of Robert Allen in 1999.
In his last fight in December, Shumenov (14-1, 9 KOs) ended an 18-month absence by scoring a third-round stoppage of Tomas Kovacs for the fifth defense of his WBA belt.
A native of Kazakhstan now living in Las Vegas, Shumenov avenged his only loss by beating Gabriel Campillo for the title in 2009.
In doing so, Shumenov established a record for the light heavyweight division by defeating Campillo in just his 10th professional bout. He made his first defense six months later with a unanimous decision over Vyacheslav Uzelkov, who had knocked out Campillo in 2007.
"You get the history of Bernard Hopkins as you're witnessing one of the all-time greats of any generation," said Schaefer before discussing Shumenov, who is making his debut appearance in D.C.
"Then, you see Beibut Shumenov, who is a big puncher and a world champion who wants to make a name for himself, and he knows that beating Hopkins will be huge, huge statement, and a huge, huge step for his career. "
Malignaggi (33-5, 7 KOs) was last in the ring for a unanimous decision over ex-beltholder Zab Judah as the 33-year-old bounced back after losing his WBA welterweight belt to Adrien Broner by split-decision last June.
Broner represented Malignaggi’s first loss since falling by 11th-round knockout to Amir Khan as a junior welterweight at New York’s Madison Square Garden in May of 2010.
"For Paulie, this just speaks to who he is to have put himself into position to fight for a world title again in the hottest weight class. It shows you, A) that he deserves it, and, B) that he worked for it," said Schaefer.
"So this is an opportunity for him to become world champion again. But he's going against a young superstar who is trying to make a name for himself. I think that this is going to be a tremendous fight and that there is going to be much at stake."
Trained by his father, Kenny, the 26-year-old Porter (23-0-1, 14 KOs) was last in the ring in December, when dethroned Devon Alexander in a phyiscal bout that left both men bleeding from cuts above their eyes.
"For Shawn Porter, this is a great opportunity to put one of the biggest names in the sport on his resume," said Schaefer. "People know Paulie Malignaggi as a big name, and, for Shawn, a young fighter, to do his first title defense against a name like that, I know has really got Shawn Porter very excited."
In his last three fights, including two defenses of the title he won beating Hassan N'Dam in 2012, Quillin (30-0, 22 KOs) has scored a combined 11 knockdowns.
In victory over Konecny, Quillin, 30, also expressed his desire to face RING and WBC counterpart Sergio Martinez, the WBA's Gennady Golovkin, and the IBF's Felix Sturm.
A 35-year-old former title challenger who never has been stopped, Konecny (50-4, 23 KOs) has fought mostly in his home country, the Czech Republic.
Konecny will be after his third straight win since falling by unanimous decision to Zaurbek Baysangurov by unanimous decision in 2012.
"Without question, Peter Quillin is the most colorful middleweight world champion," said Schaefer. "Then, Lukas Konecny, who is a very accomplished guy and a European champion coming over trying to be a world champion."
Tickets are priced at $25, $50, $75, $200 and $300, and go on sale today at 10 a.m. ET. Tickets 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-to-10 p.m. ET.
"What we have done in the last 16 months or so is that we really have loaded up the cards and we have delivered events, and that's what this really is. It's an event," said Schaefer.
"So when people make a commitment to stay at home on a Saturday night and watch boxing that they're not going to have to sit through a bunch of boring fights to get to the main event and then just be disappointed by the main event, too. So we really wanted to deliver truly stacked cards. I'm really happy that this is another example of an unbelievable night."