Bernard Hopkins-Karo Murat title bout cancelled due to visa fiasco

June 16, 2013

Can the incompetent U.S. immigration officials do anything right?

On the heels of the absurd and unjust months-long detention of middleweight Alfredo Angulo, boxing again has seen yet another foul-up by American immigration officials, as second-ranked IBF Light Heavyweight contender Karo Murat was declared ineligible to receive a visa by the U.S. Department of State.

As a result of Murat's inability to enter the United States, his scheduled July 13 fight against IBF Light Heavyweight champ Bernard Hopkins in Brooklyn has been cancelled, along with the entire event.

Not only is the fight's cancellation a disappointment for boxing fans, but it also amounts to a loss in revenue for the people of Brooklyn, as the event certainly would have injected significant dollars into the local economy.

"This is an extremely disappointing development as we were anticipating Bernard making history once again on July 13 at Barclays Center," said Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer.  "Since the administrative process that would have to be undertaken in order for Murat's visa petition to be reconsidered takes longer than six months, we're exploring several options with respect to Bernard's next fight."

Perhaps the genius government bureaucrats believe that a relatively high-profile athlete, such as Murat, would attempt to overstay his visa and somehow hide himself among the public, despite performing in front of television cameras on a prominent network against one of the more famous fighters in the sport.

"I'm extremely disappointed about the fight being cancelled," said Hopkins.  "I was already in the gym, sparring and preparing for the fight, but things happen.  I know Richard Schaefer and the staff at Golden Boy Promotions are already working on something bigger and better.  I stay in shape so being ready is never a problem and I look forward to whatever fight is made for me in the near future."

Karo Murat, speaking from his training camp in Mallorca, Spain stated, "Obviously I'm very disappointed as I have been in training for almost three months now, but I understand that my promoter's representative, Chris Meyer, is in talks with Richard Schaefer to discuss possible alternatives."        

By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald and news services

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