Prior to Bernard Hopkins vs. Karo Murat last night (Sat., Oct., 26, 2013) from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., the boxing world was in agreement about two things:
- Bernard Hopkins would defeat Karo Murat.
- It would be excruciating to watch.
Luckily, only the first one proved true, as Hopkins survived some solid work early and late from Murat to earn an entertaining unanimous decision at the head of last night's Showtime triple-header.
Murat took the first few rounds on the strength of a surprisingly-aggressive attack, his left hook in particular finding its home on a rather docile Bernard. In the fourth round, however, things started to swing in Hopkins' favor, his signature lead right landing regularly as he roughed up Murat at close range.
From there, Hopkins took increasing control, landing solid combinations and that right hand almost at will. His mind games were in full effect as well, bending the rules quite a bit in the clinch and frustrating Murat enough for Karo to lose a point for hitting on the break and get sternly warned for swinging at Bernard while he was on the mat after a slip.
The seventh round in particular featured one of the craziest sequences I've ever seen in the fight game: after Murat nearly fell out of the ring courtesy of a clinch, Hopkins willingly walked over to Murat's corner and started trash-talking his cornermen. Karo pursued and flurried; Hopkins not only avoided almost all damage, he turned his head back to keep taunting in the middle of it. Even more ridiculously, Hopkins then hurt Murat badly with combinations and chased him all the way across the ring with power shots.
Not something you're likely to see again.
Hopkins' output dropped after the eighth, leading to some very closely-contested championship rounds with Karo landing his fair share of heavy punches. In the end, however, Hopkins walked away with too-wide scores of 117-110 and two 119-109s.
It was a solid effort by Murat, but he was just outclassed here like so many others. Still, he gave Bernard a great fight and should be proud of that.
Bernard, now 48, has two intriguing opponents left at 175: Adonis Stevenson, set to fight Tony Bellew in December, and Sergey Kovalev, who will face Ismayl Sillakh on the same card. Both are absolutely terrific punchers and should also be capable of dragging a good performance out of B-Hop.
For quick results and round-by-round coverage of the night's proceedings, which also included Peter Quillin retaining his undefeated record by cut stoppage and Deontay Wilder once again nuking an unworthy foe, click here.