Bernard Hopkins wants to take on Floyd Mayweather Jr.
But not just yet.
First, the 49-year-old boxer wants to beat World Boxing Council light-heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson. And he also wants Mayweather (45-0) to get a few more fights under his belt as well.
Hopkins has his reasons for wanting to delay what he feels would be an epic bout for just a bit.
First of all, he wants to be the undisputed light-heavyweight champion of the world at the time, which would likely be the case if he beats Stevenson (that's assuming Stevenson successfully defends his World Boxing Council belt next month against Andrzej Fonfara).
Hopkins defeated Beibut Shumenov by split decision on Saturday in a unification bout that allowed him to keep his International Boxing Federation belt and claim the World Boxing Assn. title.
Next, Hopkins would like to see Mayweather, 37, on the brink of surpassing the hallowed 49-0 career record of the late Rocky Marciano.
The final step in this plan would be for everything to take place before Jan. 15, 2016 -- that's the day Hopkins turns 51.
And why is all of this so important?
"After I become the undisputed light-heavyweight champion of the world, if there was one big fight out there, I know what I would call it -- 50-50," Hopkins said. "He wants to pass Marciano. He wants to get to 50 and I [will be] 50. That would be huge."
Hopkins said he'd be happy to drop to middleweight (which, of course, would require Mayweather to bulk up from welterweight) for the opportunity to give the world's greatest boxer his first loss.
But all in due time.
"I would love to do that," he said. "But let me get past Stevenson first."
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