Bernard Hopkins retained his IBF light heavyweight title with a one-sided unanimous decision over Karo Murat on Saturday in Atlantic City, N.J. The 48-year-old Hopkins, who won by scores of 117-110 and 119-108 (twice), was often the busier boxer.
“I’m a freakin’ alien,” Hopkins (54-6-2, 32 knockouts) said after the fight when asked how he continues to do what he does at such an advanced age.
In truth, he took advantage of an average mandatory challenger. Murat (25-2-1, 15 KOs) was game and he started the bout fast, but his basic skill set and style — as well as his mediocre speed and power — opened the door for Hopkins to become the aggressor in spots during the second half of the fight once he got into his rythm.
“He didn’t bring out the best in me but he didn’t bring out the worst,” said Hopkins, who controlled the fight with his usual ring generalship and stalling tactics but also more antics and rough stuff than usual.
In rounds eight and nine, the two light heavyweights engaged in many heated exchanges that got a rise out of the crowd. Murat stepped up his aggression and activity in the 10th round, forcing Hopkins to stand his ground, but the veteran resumed control of the bout with lateral movement in the 11th round and won the final round soundly as the 30-year-old German challenger was clearly out of gas.
Hopkins said he would look for “super fights” next and indicated that he’s willing to go down in weight to make them happen.
A full ringside report will follow shortly.