Bernard Hopkins, 48, retained his light heavyweight title with a convincing unanimous-decision victory over Karo Murat of Germany on Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Hopkins won by scores of 117-111 (Benoit Roussel), 119-110 (Julie Lederman) and 119-110 (Joseph Pasquale). The cards of Lederman and Pasquale seemed a bit off the mark as Murat seemed to deserve better than a nine-point deficit.
The excitement in a Hopkins fight has waned as the years have gone by, but this was very action-packed at times, particularly in the middle rounds when there were several toe-to-toe exchanges.
Murat was cut twice over the left eye.
Hopkins (54-6-2) recently changed his nickname from “The Executioner” to “The Alien” and he entered the ring wearing a green alien outfit complete with mask. In the fifth round, he kissed Murat on the back of the head when Murat got turned around during a clinch.
Murat (25-2-1), who is 30, was later deducted a point for hitting on the break.
Bernard Hopkins and others Wednesday played host to the final news conference for Hopkins’ light heavyweight title defense Saturday against Karo Murat of Germany at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City (on Showtime).
During the proceedings, Hopkins, 48, had many things to say. But one short line was perhaps the best of his dialogue.
“Saying, ‘I’m getting old,’ is getting old,” he said.
When Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KOs) steps into the ring Saturday, he’ll be less than three months away from his 49th birthday, which is Jan. 15.
Murat, 30, is 25-1-1 with 15 knockouts. He has never fought in the U.S.
“It’s the first time for me to ever be in the United States,” Murat said. “It was (a) dream of mine to come and actually fight one day here, particularly against someone like Bernard Hopkins.”
Ageless light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins is in a tough spot. He fights for Golden Boy Promotions, so he might feel almost obligated to pick stablemate Saul “Canelo” Alvarez to beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their junior middleweight title fight Saturday at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Showtime pay–per-view).
Then again, he might want to pick Mayweather because he is favored and most think he’ll win. Well, Hopkins took the easy way out, and that’s understandable.
“This fight is 50-50,” Hopkins said. “It can go either way. Floyd has speed and wisdom. ‘Canelo’ is strong and big. This is a massive fight and the outcome will impact both of their careers in a major way.”
Hopkins, 48, will defend his title against Karo Murat on Oct. 26 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City (on Showtime).
Karo Murat has never fought in the U.S. up to now and has fought more than half of his fights in his native Germany, so he is not exactly a household name. But he claims he’s going to be the fighter who finally convinces Bernard Hopkins it’s time to hang up the gloves.
Hopkins, 48, is the oldest man to win a world title. When Hopkins takes on Murat on July 13 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on Showtime), he’ll be making the first defense of the light heavyweight belt he won with a decision over Tavoris Cloud in March.
Murat apparently is unfazed by stepping into the ring with a boxing legend.
“It’s like a dream come true,” Murat said. “I’m so happy to have this opportunity. Bernard Hopkins has nothing else to prove and this will be the first fight in my career where I have nothing to lose. I can only win against Hopkins and I plan on retiring him. His biggest strength is his experience, but I will reveal his weaknesses at Barclays Center in front of his own fans. I will be in the best shape of my life and will snatch his belt from under his nose.”
Hopkins is 53-6-2 with 32 knockouts. Murat, 29, is 25-1-1 with 15 knockouts.