Hopkins vs. Murat on October 26th; Anthony Dirrell vs. Sakio Bika possible for undercard
By Scott Gilfoid: IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KO’s) will be making his first defense of his title against #2 IBF Karo Murat (25-1-1, 15 KO’s) on October 26th at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The undercard could have Anthony Dirrell (26-0, 22 KO’s) facing WBC super middleweight champion Sakio Bika (32-5-2, 21 KO’s). In addition to that, WBO middleweight champion Peter Quillin (29-0, 21 KO’s) will be making his 2nd title defense against an opponent still to be determined. The card will be televised by Showtime.
The Hopkins-Murat fight was moved from October 19th to October 26th in order to prevent a big conflict from a Top Rank card on HBO headlined by Ruslan Provodnikov vs. Mike Alvarado.
I’m honestly not too excited about seeing Hopkins beat up on Murat. That’s more of an undercard fight than what I would call a headliner bout. I suppose the card will still get good ratings, but only because Hopkins is well known. Murat is not, and this is a mismatch. Murat already exposed by WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly three years ago in a 10th round stoppage loss in 2010.
Murat also looked terrible in fighting to a highly controversial 12 round draw against Gabriel Campillo in 2011 in a fight that took place in Germany. I Murat losing by 6 rounds, and thought it was some of the worst scoring I’d ever seen before. I don’t see Hopkins-Murat as even being a co-feature type quality. I see this as one of the type of fights you bury at the bottom of the card because it’s such a mismatch. Murat is a walking punching bag with arms.
Not expecting much from Quillin either. The guy still hasn’t faced anyone with a pulse in his career, and done zero since capturing his WBO title against Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam last year. Instead of accepting a fight against Gennady Golovkin, Quillin took an easy title defense against Fernando Guerrero in his first defense last April. I expect Quillin to continue to be matched very, very carefully.
This card has potential if the fights were mixed around. Instead of Hopkins fighting Murat, I would prefer Hopkins to fight the talented Dirrell. And I’d prefer to see Bika fight Quillin. I don’t want to see Murat on the card, and I definitely don’t see some over-matched opponent dug up from the bottom of the top 15 to fight Quillin or hapless fringe contender.