IBF Light Heavyweight Champion Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins is a living legend. Hopkins has turned over a new leaf as of late facing any and all challengers. Since the fiasco of a fight between he and Roy Jones Jr., Hopkins has taken on the top tier in his division facing number one rated and world champion Chad Dawson twice. Jean Pascal was the unified champion after beating Dawson, and Hopkins beat Pascal twice even if the judges didn’t think so in the first fight.
Come July 13th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Hopkins will again attempt to defy the odds and Father Time by continuing to break his own records. Hopkins will become the oldest fighter in history to make his initial title defense when he faces number one rated IBF light heavyweight contender Karo Murat. Hopkins is now fighting for sheer love of the sport, his legacy cemented his name in carved in stone amongst the greats.
Think about it, what it is we are bearing witness to? Think back when Evander Holyfield was 48 how we cringed our face at the thought of him still fighting in fear for the man’s safety. Yet with Hopkins, it’s hard to find 5 people in a room full of boxing media or fans that would dare to be so bold as to pick against “The Executioner.”
For those out there that claim he should retire, well my answer is this why should a man at 48 retire, when the men half his age do not pose a threat? Hopkins needs to be beaten to retirement and I just don’t see anyone capable of doing that. Many will rush to say Andre Ward, but I don’t know if that is the answer. Also, they have both expressed no interest in fighting one another, yet this past Saturday at the Lamont Peterson vs. Lucas Matthysse fight I asked Hopkins about the subject. My question was simple, did he continue to say there’s no amount of money that can get both he and Ward into the same ring an attempt at tricking the networks to buy something they feel is taboo because Hopkins eludes it is?
Well this past Saturday, Hopkins finally put a number on the impossible fight while making it even more impossible with the price tag of 25,000,000. We all know boxing now, we all have a number. It’s up to the networks to work that price tag down to a feasible amount.
Hopkins will first be busy with the task of first selling Karo Murat to the public then beating him before any super fights can be made.
“Murat has nothing to lose and everything to gain by fighting me,” said Hopkins. “He knows he is fighting a 48-year-old, but he has to understand that there aren’t any other 48-year-olds like me. I keep saying ‘I’m different’ because it is true and I’m going to prove it once again on July 13. I don’t know a lot about Murat, which makes him a dangerous competitor, but after over two decades in this sport, there isn’t anything I haven’t seen, so I plan on showing the world that I can face anyone at any time and be victorious,” said Hopkins.
The 29-year-old Karo Murat (25-1-1, 15 KO’s) has the chance to solidify himself as a champion in a division barren of true champions. Murat has been in the ring with some named opposition but like any Hopkins opponent, lacks the resume and experience to garner a win against the legend, “It’s like a dream come true,” said Murat. “I’m so happy to have this opportunity. Bernard Hopkins has nothing else to prove and this will be the first fight in my career where I have nothing to lose. I can only win against Hopkins and I plan on retiring him. His biggest strength is his experience, but I will reveal his weaknesses at Barclays Center in front of his own fans. I will be in the best shape of my life and will snatch his belt from under his nose,” expressed Murat.