Bernard Hopkins earns convincing unanimous decision win over Murat

October 27, 2013

Bernard Hopkins (54-6-2, 32 KO's) and Father Time are in a stalemate right now, but at this rate, Hopkins may win in the end.

Hopkins, the current IBF Light Heavyweight Champion and 48-year-old star who now calls himself "The Alien," broke his own record and became the oldest fighter to defend a world title by defeating Karo Murat (25-2-1, 15 KO's) via unanimous decision, 117-110, 119-108, and 119-108.  Hopkins won not only by outsmarting his opponent with defensive craftiness and elusiveness, but also by beating the younger man at his own game and outworking him offensively.

Hopkins weighed-in nearly 3 pounds under the weight limit, demonstrating that he was in excellent shape entering the bout.  His conditioning proved to be the key to the fight, as Hopkins ratcheted up the pace after the first three rounds and Murat could not keep up.

Hopkins used his left jab more often than usual in this bout, and it set up some effective combinations.  He also was more "fan-friendly" than in his recent bouts, as he frequently was willing to exchange with Murat toe-to-toe, and at one point carried on a running conversation with Murat's corner in the middle of a round.

Perhaps that newfound aggression and excitement was a way to entice a big fight with Andre Ward or Floyd Mayweather down the line.

"Richard Schaefer said we needed to be crowd pleasers," said Hopkins, the oldest champion in sports history.  "The crowd wanted to see skill and blood so I had some blood to give them.  I am an entertainer and this is what people want to see... He was a game number one contender."

But the key for Hopkins was his defense.  Hopkins moved laterally, used angles, utilized upper body movement, and got in Murat's head by kissing him at one point. For the most part, he frustrated Murat and made him often miss.

When asked if Murat brought out the best in him, Hopkins answered, "Not really, but he didn't bring out the worst either."

At this point in his career, Hopkins knows his niche. Against the sluggers of this division -- the Jean Pascals, the Tavoris Clouds, and the Murats -- Hopkins knows he can slip their shots, control the pace, and outpoint them.  What is less certain is how he would fare against the faster, higher-volume Chad Dawson-type slick boxers out there.

Regarding the slow start, Hopkins said, "That was the plan. That was the bone on the string so that the dog could follow him into a dark alley and then realize someone was waiting on him. And that dog was me."

The Undercard: Quillin stops Rosada; Wilder wins again

Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin (30-0, 21 KO's) remained undefeated and retained his WBO Middleweight title by defeating Gabriel Rosado via a controversial technical knockout in an otherwise competitive bout.  The fight was stopped at 40 seconds of the tenth round by the referee on the advice of the doctor due to a deep cut on Rosado's left eyelid.

Although the judges had Quillin up big on the cards, Rosado was still pressing the action, coming forward, and landing on Quillin.  Naturally, Rosado thought the stoppage was incorrect.

Of the stoppage, Rosado said, "I felt like that was B.S.  This is a championship fight.  We were going into the championship rounds.  This was a competitive fight.  I never complained  about a cut.  When the doctor saw my eye, I told him that I could see. It was not giving me any problems up to that point."

"I noticed if I backed him up with a jab that I was hurting him and I was doing that.  But then the doctor called me over and stopped the fight. This is boxing. What about Gatti-Ward? They didn't stop that fight. Corrales-Castillo. We are warriors."

Quillin dropped Rosado in the second round with a flash knoockdown when he made a beautiful feint with his jab and then fired off a left hook.  But by the fourth, Rosado pressed forward and took back some of the momentum.

In the ninth, Quillin landed a jab that sliced open Rosado's eyelid, leading to the stoppage.

In other action, heavyweight Deontay Wilder (30-0, 30 KO's) remained undefeated with another knockout, this time in Round 4 over Nicolai Firtha (21-11-1, 8 KO's).  At some point, Wilder will need to end the seasoning process and test himself by stepping up his competition.

By Mike Elliott
Staff Editor of The Daily Sports Herald

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