IBF light heavyweight titleholder Bernard Hopkins will make the first defense of his belt against mandatory challenger Karo Murat on Oct. 26 rather than Oct. 19, according to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer.
“Bernard Hopkins is a big name, a big star and he’s a crossover name who always generates very solid ratings, and so I wanted to make sure that fight fans are not going to have to choose between what they’re going to watch,” said Schaefer.
“So, whenever that’s possible, I’m trying to accommodate fight fans, and I wish, sometimes, that HBO and Top Rank would do the same. But, being as it is, I’m happy to say that we have locked in the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City for Oct. 26, and Bernard Hopkins against Karo Murat.”
Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KOs) defeated Tavoris Cloud to win the title in March, extending the 48-year-old’s own record as the oldest man to win a significant crown.
A former undisputed middleweight champion and RING light heavyweight champion, Hopkins originally set the mark by outpointing Jean Pascal to win the WBC light heavyweight belt at 46 in May of last year.
A 29-year-old resident of Kitzingen, Germany, Murat (25-1-1, 15 KOs) is 3-0-1 with two knockouts since being stopped in the 10th round by WBO light heavyweight beltholder Nathan Cleverly in September of 2010.
“It will be part of a doubleheader, and, potentially a tripleheader. One of the fights which we are currently discussing is Sakio Bika in his first title defense,” said Schaefer.
“And that would be against Anthony Dirrell, who had a sensational win a couple of weeks ago against Hanshaw. We are discussing the fight, but it is not finalized.”
Schaefer would also like to place WBO middleweight beltholder Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin on the card, according to ESPN.com.
Photo by Rich Kane, Hoganphotos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]