Middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin could soon defend his WBO title against promotional stablemate Danny Jacobs.
Who wins Hopkins-Murat? The experts weigh in
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Karo Murat says he's confident of victory over IBF light heavyweight titleholder Bernard Hopkins, whom he considers to be too old and as evidence points to "his gray hair and his gray beard."
Challenger Karo Murat is 18 years younger than Bernard Hopkins, and was just over a month past his fifth birthday when the now-48-year-old IBF light heavyweight titleholder lost his professional debut on Oct. 11, 1988, to Clinton Mitchell in Atlantic City, N.J.
Hopkins has gone on to become an undisputed middleweight champion with a division record 20 defenses, and, later, earned the RING light heavyweight championship. In his last fight in March, Hopkins dethroned previously unbeaten Tavoris Cloud by unanimous decision to extend his own record as the oldest man to win a significant crown.
Meanwhile Murat, a resident of Germany, will be ending a nearly 16-month ring absence since a seventh-round knockout of Sandro Siproshvili, which followed a draw with ex-beltholder Gabriel Campillo in October of 2011. Murat is 3-0-1 with two knockouts since being stopped in the 10th round by former WBO beltholder Nathan Cleverly in 2010.
When Murat (25-1-1, 15 knockouts) challenges Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KOs) on Saturday at Boardwalk Hall, not only will he be making his U.S. debut in his first title bout just a few miles from Hopkins' native Philadelphia, but he will do so in a city where Hopkins has triumphed over such notables as Kelly Pavlik, Antonio Tarver, William Joppy and Simon Brown.
"It defies belief, but if the 30-year-old Karo Murat upsets the 48-year-old Bernard Hopkins, then it would be a colossal upset," stated Tom Gray, of RingTV.com. "There is nothing on Murat’s record to suggest he can live with Hopkins from a technical standpoint, so a decision win looks unlikely and a knockout, all but impossible."
Still, Murat believes that Hopkins' age, not his own relative inactivity, will be the difference in his favor on Saturday.
"You can see the mileage on him," said Murat, in part. "To me, he looks like a 48-year-old. He doesn't have the speed anymore that he may have had when he was 30 years old. He tries to clinch a lot, and to get over in the fights with his experience. That's it.
"I saw a dumb fighter when Cloud fought Hopkins, and that's why he lost to a 48-year-old man. As a person, you see that he's growing old because of his gray hair and his gray beard...He was just trying to get off one punch or a one-two combination, and then, he would clinch. Clinching is a state of his game."
Below are the opinions of 21 boxing insiders who were polled by RingTV.com regarding Hopkins-Murat.
Bernard Hopkins UD 12 Karo Murat: I like Bernard Hopkins by a wide unanimous decision over Karo Murat. Hopkins beats Murat down and wins just about every round. I can see it by about a 119-109 score.
Record: 1-2 [Last pick: Marquez KO Bradley]
Bernard Hopkins UD 12 Karo Murat: I know that B-Hop is battling two opponents every time he steps into the ring -- the other guy in the ring and Father Time -- but I don't think Father Time will get much of an assist from Karo Murat, who is a solid lower-top 10 contender but also very ordinary.
Record: 10-9 [Alvarado close UD 12 or MD 12 Provodnikov]
Bernard Hopkins UD 12 Karo Murat: Bernard Hopkins can't defy time forever. That's a sure thing. Less certain, perhaps, is a victory over Karo Murat. If Murat is a threat, it's because he's virtually unknown. Murat is fighting for the first time in the United States.
He hasn't fought in nearly 17 months. He’s never fought anybody like Hopkins. Hopkins, the old man, has been the busier man. It’s been seven months since he confused Tavoris Cloud in winning a decision in March.
If Murat were fighting Tavoris Cloud instead of Hopkins, the pick here would be Cloud. Hopkins has the experience, smarts and bluster to baffle and beat Murat as thoroughly as he did Cloud.
Record: 19-8 [Alvarado TKO 9 Provodnikov]
Bernard Hopkins TKO11 Karo Murat: Never one to do what's expected of him, Bernard Hopkins turns bully in this one and instead of cruising to a crafty decision, look for the defending IBF light heavyweight champion to fight more aggressively against the hopelessly outclassed, tough talking German, Karo Murat.
When "The Alien" scores his first stoppage win in nearly a decade, boxing fans will be surprised but they shouldn't be. Hopkins has been surprising us all for much longer than that.
Record: 16-8 [Provodnikov TKO 10 Alvarado]
Bernard Hopkins UD12 Karo Murat: It defies belief, but if the 30-year-old Karo Murat upsets the "48-year-old" Bernard Hopkins then it would be a colossal upset.
Bernard Hopkins UD 12 Karo Murat: Karo Murat is a good fighter but Bernard Hopkins is a great fighter and there's really nothing that Murat has to offer that Hopkins hasn't seen. Murat should be given more credit than he has thus far.
Record: 4-1 [Alvarado UD 12 Provodnikov]
Bernard Hopkins UD 12 over Karo Murat: About the only uncertainty heading into this one seems to be whether Bernard Hopkins can finally win by knockout for the first time since he stopped Oscar De La Hoya nine years ago.
Record: 14-6 [Alvarado UD 12 Provodnikov]