IBF light heavyweight titleholder Bernard Hopkins has agreed to make the first defense of the belt he won from Tavoris Cloud last month against mandatory challenger Karo Murat of Germany, according to a report by ESPN.com.
Both Hopkins and Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer were cited by ESPN.com as confirming the agreement, which Boxrec.com lists as being on July 27 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn — site of Hopkins’ victory over the previously unbeaten Cloud.
Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 knockouts), who turned 48 in January, was approved to face Cloud only after agreeing to make his first defense against Murat (25-1-1, 15 KOs), who is 3-0-1 with two knockouts since being stopped in September of 2010 by current WBO beltholder Nathan Cleverly.
With a victory over Cloud, Hopkins extended his own record as the oldest man to win a significant crown, a feat the Philadelphia native accomplished at the age of 46 with a unanimous decision over Jean Pascal for the WBC’s light heavyweight belt in May of last year.
CHAD DAWSON TO FACE ADONIS STEVENSON ON JUNE 8
RING and WBC 175-pound champion Chad Dawson will face hammer-fisted super middleweight contender Adonis “Superman” Stevenson on June 8 in a clash of southpaws on HBO from Bell Centre in Montreal, co-promoters Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) and Gary Shaw Productions announced on Wednesday.
Dawson (31-2, 17 knockouts) is coming off September’s 10th-round stoppage loss to RING super middleweight champ Andre Ward, who floored Dawson three times.
Stevenson (20-1, 17 KOs) is coming off last month’s sixth-round stoppage of Darnell Boone, with his seventh straight knockout win avenging his second-round stoppage loss to Boone in April of 2010.
A resident of the Quebec City of Longueuil, Stevenson has dedicated the bout to the memory of his late Hall of Famer trainer Emanuel Steward, whose nephew, Javan “Sugar” Hill, is now Stevenson’s chief second.
“The goal of Adonis Stevenson is not only becoming a world champion. Adonis Stevenson has everything needed to become a major international attraction in professional boxing,” said Michel.
“But to get there, he needed the platform offered to him on June 8, a crafted and dangerous opponent, a prestigious television presentation, and a world title. The table is set, his future is now in his fists of steel.”
Dawson-Stevenson is included in the Canada Formula One Grand Prix activities, giving visitors to Montreal additional entertainment options, highlighted by a great night of world championship boxing the day before the race, at the centrally-located Montreal Bell Centre area where most visitors will be staying.
TYSON FURY-STEVE CUNNINGHAM TO BE TELEVISED ON UK’S CHANNEL 5
The April 20 heavyweight bout between Tyson Fury (20-0, 14 KOs) and former IBF cruiserweight titleholder Steve Cunningham (25-5, 12 KOs) — already slated to be televised on NBC’s Fight Nights from New York’s Madison Square Garden — will also be broadcast on Channel 5 in the United Kingdom.
Fury-Cunningham will take place over the course of a 90-minute program from 9:30 p.m. in the United Kingdom, while NBC will be airing a special two-hour afternoon presentation.
At 6-foot-9, the 24-year-old from Manchester, England, will indeed tower over his older and smaller opponent in Cunningham, who is 36 and six inches shorter.
Fury will be making his American debut as part of his quest to stake his claim as the heir apparent to RING, IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and his older brother, WBC titleholder Vitali Klitschko.
JI-HOON KIM TO MEET MAURICIO HERRERA ON MAY 2
Welterweights Ji-Hoon Kim (24-8, 18 KOs) and Mauricio Herrera (18-3, 7 KOs) will be featured in a special edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, but on Thursday, May 2, Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing Promotions announced on Wednesday.
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com