“Alien” Hopkins downs Murat
Bernard Hopkins defended his IBF light-heavyweight title with a clear-cut points victory over Karo Murat in Atlantic City.
Hopkins, who turns 49 in January, became the oldest man to defend a world title and, despite an increasingly dour reputation, did so in some style.
Before the fight, Murat, 30, had only once tasted defeat- a tenth round TKO loss to Nathan Cleverly in 2010. However, it was instantly clear that Hopkins, despite being old enough to be Murat’s father, had too much ring savy for the challenger.
After a close opening four sessions, Hopkins began to stretch his legs and push towards a first stoppage victory in nearly a decade – his last coming against Oscar de la Hoya in a middleweight unification fight in 2004.
As it was, Murat was able to see out the 12 rounds, however, it was a pyrrhic victory as Hopkins was returned ringside scores of 119-108, 119-108 and 117-110 to retain the title he won against Tavoris Cloud in March.
“I’m a freakin’ alien,” said Hopkins afterwards. The American even talked up the prospect of a potential match-up with undefeated pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr, suggesting that he could fight past his 50th birthday in 2015.
“Aliens don’t have years, months, days or minutes,” he said. “We’re aliens.”