Hopkins vs. Murat set for July 13, in Brooklyn

Updated: May 21, 2013

“The Executioner” Bernard Hopkins will break his record as the oldest fighter to defend a world title on Saturday, July 13, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KOs) defends the IBF light-heavyweight championship against mandatory challenger Karo Murat (25-1-1, 15 KOs).

In Hopkins’ previous bout at the Barclays Center in March, he defeated Tavoris Cloud; breaking his own record as the oldest fighter to win a world title. Hopkins previously set the record at age 46 by outpointing 27 year-old, Jean Pascal for the WBC light-heavyweight title in May 2011.

“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.”

Hopkins was the longest reigning world middleweight champion in history for more than 10 years. Hopkins was the first to unify the WBC/WBA/IBF and WBO titles. He has earned the title of ‘legend’ and it’s amazing to see Hopkins beat guys up that are nearly half-his age.

Next is the 29-year-old Karo Murat. The German native has fought professionally since 2006, but aside from his lone loss to Nathan Cleverly, the WBO champion in 2010, Murat’s resume is not really impressive. Murat might be in way over his head against a guy, champion, and history mark like Hopkins. 

“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.”

Tickets priced at $200, $100, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes, are currently on sale at www.barclayscenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations or by calling 800-745-3000.

“Every Bernard Hopkins fight is a historic event and an opportunity for fans to see one of the all-time greats in action,” said Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. “On July 13, he’ll look to keep his remarkable streak going, but Karo Murat is a hungry challenger and he’s coming to Brooklyn to win, so I expect a great fight.”

Matthysse batters Peterson, approaches ‘Swift’ Garcia

Interim WBC super lightweight champion Lucas Matthysse engaged IBF junior welterweight champion Lamont Peterson into a slugfest last Saturday at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Unfortunately for Peterson, Matthysse left the fallen champion to a battered pulp.

The increasingly extraordinary power of Lucas Matthysse (34-2, 32 KOs) produced a devastating knockout against a high-quality and efficient fighter in Peterson (31-2-1, 16 KOs). Matthysse scored brutal knockdowns in rounds two and three, en route an impressive TKO victory.

“The first round I was trying to find out what I was bringing to the fight,” Matthysse said. “After the second round I started connecting with more force. I had two and a half months of preparation for this fight and that was the difference.”

Matthysse added: “Now I know I am the best at 140 pounds because no one has ever dominated Peterson the way I did tonight.”

A dejected Peterson was disappointed. It surely was a disappointment to see Peterson, having worked so hard to survive the streets of Washington, D.C. alongside his brother Anthony, severely pounded into submission.

“I feel good,” Peterson said. “There is nothing physically wrong with me right now. Of course I am upset that I lost, but so far I feel good. I think I got a little lazy with the jab. I started relaxing a little bit…I guess he hit me with a good shot. He did a good job. I recovered from that first knockdown and I was okay for a while and then, eventually, he hit me again and he hurt me again. I still thought I could have fought through it but the ref did the right thing. I guess tonight he was (the better fighter). He won the fight fair and square tonight. He’s a good fighter.”

Lamont Peterson took the boxing world by surprise when he lifted the unified WBA/IBF junior welterweight championship from Amir Khan in December 2011. However, a failed post-fight drug test for performance enhancers led Peterson to be stripped of the WBA title. Peterson only fought once since the Khan fight, a eight-round TKO of Kendall Holt in February.

Peterson, although he remains IBF champion at 140 pounds, suffered a major setback.

The victory positions Matthysse into an attractive showdown with unified WBC/WBA super lightweight champion Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia on September 7.

“Golden Boy and Al Haymon will get me that fight.” Matthysse said. “I’m ready for that fight. I want to fight him.”

A fight between Matthysse and Garcia would be a perfect match at this point. Both fighters are beating excellent opposition. Garcia, in his last four fights, twice defeated future Hall of Famer Erik Morales, knocked out Amir Khan, and in April battered Zab Judah for nine of the twelve rounds fought. Matthysse has an impressive six-fight knockout streak to complement a 94% career victory-by-knockout percentage. His two losses to Judah and Alexander were both controversial decisions. Matthysse sent both fighters to the canvas in each fight.

Garcia is a technician, a very skilled boxer with underrated power. Garcia is tough and he can take a solid shot. If Garcia can withstand the punishment he endured against Khan and still figure out a way to batter Khan before knocking him out, he can figure out Matthysse. It will not be an easy fight for either man. Matthysse applies a lot of pressure and is relentless, but so is Garcia. 

Alexander punishes Purdy

In the co-feature: IBF welterweight champion Devon Alexander (25-1, 14 KOs) successfully defended his title for the first time since beating Randall Bailey at the Barclay Center last fall. Alexander stopped Lee Purdy (20-4-1, 13 KOs) in the seventh round of an awfully one-sided bout.

Originally Alexander was supposed to have fought mandatory challenger Kell Brook, but that fight was postponed three times since February because, Brook had injuries. The IBF finally dropped Brook from its mandatory position and awarded the fight to Purdy Unlike Brook, Alexander fought on even when he was injured.

I hurt my left hand in the first round actually,” Alexander said. “I hit him on top of the head. I hurt my hand, but I had to get that out of my mind. I had to fight to win. I wanted to impress tonight. My left hand was on point in camp. When I hurt my biceps, that strengthened my left hand so it would have been popping real hard, but I hurt it. I had to set it up softly. I wanted to use my hook and my upper cut but I couldn’t.”

He continued, “There are going to be a lot of critics saying Purdy wasn’t all that anyway, but he’s a good fighter. Over in the U.K. he beat some good guys and I think he was very suitable. He came to fight and he gave me a good fight. I got the win. I got the technical knockout.”

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