Hopkins is 53-6-2, with 32 knockouts, and Murat, 25-1-1 with 15 stoppage wins.
The Showtime broadcast began at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Hopkins vs. Murat
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Referee: Steve Smoger
Judges: Julie Lederman, Joe Pasquale, Benoit Roussel
Round 1: Uneventful opening round as Murat outworks a slow-starting and tactical Hopkins, who kept his distance by moving and sporadically jabbing. [Murat’s round]
Round 2: Murat tries to start round fast but Hopkins makes him miss and ties him up inside. Hopkins lands his jab in spots but does more grappling than boxing. Hopkins lands two foul body shots after a break before the end of the round. [Hopkins’ round]
Round 3: Murat lands two hooks early in the round but isn’t about to follow up. Hopkins makes Murat miss with most of his other power punches during the round, but doesn’t do more than jab in return. [Murat’s round]
Round 4: Hopkins lands a counter hook after Murat landed a left uppercut. Hopkins picks up the pace a bit. Hopkins drops 1-2 combinations whenever Murat misses with his wide shots. They trade hard punches in the final 30 seconds. [Hopkins’ round]
Round 5: Hopkins lands a lead right hand as Murat backed away. Hopkins’ punch activity has increased as he gets into his rythm. Murat worked when in close but doesn’t land clean punches. Murat is inactive when on the outside. Hopkins, who kissed Murat’s back and the back of his neck during a clinch, lands a right hand after the bell. [Hopkins’ round]
Round 6: Hopkins backs Murat up as the challenger lands shots. Hopkins is thrown to the canvas while trying to smother Murat, who was warned by referee Steve Smoger for pushing. [Hopkins’ round]
Round 7: Hopkins mauls Murat to the ropes and then lands a series of shots that backs the challenger up. Smoger takes a punch from Murat for a punch on the break. They trade shots in the center of the ring in the final minute of the round. Murat lands harder single shots but Hopkins, the busier fighter, lands more punches. [Hopkins’ round, 10-8]
Round 8: Hopkins lands clean single shots between the holding and grappling. Murat lands a good right hand during a clinch but Hopkins nearly shoved Murat out of the ring. Hopkins gets a rise out of the crowd by backing himself into a corner and daring Murat to hit him as he talked to Murat’s corner. Murat did land a few shots but Hopkins came back with his own in the final 30 seconds of the round. [Hopkins’ round]
Round 9: Murat and Hopkins exchange on even terms for the first half of the round. Hopkins stayed close to the challenger and outworked Murat. But Murat landed the harder punches during an extended exchange in the final 20 seconds of the round. [Murat’s round]
Round 10: Both light heavyweight tried to carry the aggression from the previous round. Murat seemed busier than Hopkins, who is more accurate. Murat does a better job of staying on top of Hopkins. [Murat’s round]
Round 11: Hopkins goes back to his lateral movement to resume control of the fight pace. The champ mauls Murat along the ropes in the final minute and lands rights to the cut above the challenger’s eye. [Hopkins’ round]
Round 12: Hopkins attacks mid-round after Murat turned his back after absorbing a low blow. Murat’s form has fallen off in recent rounds and Hopkins takes advantage of the challenger’s sloppy swings, landing two consecutive lead hooks with a minute to go. Murat lands a hook off the break with 15 seconds left but Hopkins gets in the final shots of the fight. [Hopkins’ round]
Hopkins won on the official cards by scores of 119-108 (twice) and 117-110.
RingTV.com scored the bout for Hopkins eight rounds to four, or 116-111 (due to the penalty point taken from Murat).
Photo by Tom Casino, Showtime
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com