Tuesday, July 16, 2024  |


Wilder eyed for Hopkins-Murat card

Fighters Network


Heavyweight knockout specialist Deontay Wilder could land on the undercard of Bernard Hopkins’ IBF light heavyweight title defense against Karo Murat on Oct. 26 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., on Showtime, according to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer.

Wilder (29-0, 29 knockouts), of Tuscaloosa, Ala., would be added to a card that is supported by Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin‘s WBO middleweight title defense against Philadelphia’s Gabriel Rosado.

Part of the idea of bringing Wilder to the East Coast would be to piggy back on the wave created by Maryland-based heavyweight Seth Mitchell, who is 2-1 in Atlantic City after having stopped Chazz Witherspoon there and split-bouts with Johnathon Banks.

“Deontay Wilder is from Alabama, and Seth Mitchell is from close by. I do think that the Atlantic City, New Jersey and New York fight crowd can certainly fall in love with Deontay Wilder, just like they fell in love with Seth Mitchell,” said Schaefer of Mitchell, who lost his last fight by first-round stoppage to Chris Arreola on Sept. 7.

“I think that the people appreciate the great, young promising American heavyweight. Talk about putting people in the right slots, I do believe that putting Deontay Wilder there in a heavyweight fight will add to the attraction. Suddenly, when you have a Hopkins, Peter Quillin and a Deontay Wilder fighting on the same card, you get a little bit of everything.”

A former undisputed middleweight champion and RING light heavyweight champion, Bernard Hopkins, 48, earned the belt with a unanimous decision over Tavoris Cloud in March, extending his own record as the oldest man to win a significant crown. Hopkins first set the record at the age of 46 in May of last year by outpointing Jean Pascal for the WBC’s 175-pound belt.

In his past two performances at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Quillin dropped Hassan N’Dam six times on his way to a unanimous decision for the WBO belt last October, and he scored four more knockdowns during a seventh-round stoppage of Fernando Guerrero in his first defense of that title in April.

Wilder, a 6-foot-7 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, is coming off back-to-back first-round KOs of ex-beltholder Sergei Liakhovich last month and 2000 Olympic gold medalist Audley Harrison in April.

“You get Bernard, the legend, the oldest man in the sport to win a world title. You get what I consider to be certainly the best American middleweight, with Peter Quillin, who is a young, charismatic guy with deep roots there on the East Coast,” said Schaefer.

“Then, you have the young, emerging American heavyweight star with Deontay Wilder. These are three names which are very well known among fight fans, and they’re all going to be in significant fights.”

Photo courtesy of Deontay Wilder

Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]