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Hopkins-Murat fight now off; Karo can’t get visa

By Allan Fox: The scheduled July 13th fight between IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins and challenger Karo Murat is off for the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York due to Murat having visa problems that will prevent him from traveling to the United States for the fight. In addition to the Hopkins vs. Murat fight being off, the entire July 13th fight card has been cancelled as well.

Hopkins’ promoter Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions said in a press release that “we’re exploring several options with respect to Bernard’s next fight.”

Hopefully one of the options would be for the Hopkins to face newly crowned WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson (21-1, 18 KO’s), who defeated previous WBC champion Chad Dawson by a 1st round knockout last Saturday night in Montreal, Canada. Stevenson said after the fight that he’d be interested in facing either Andre Ward or Bernard Hopkins next. Ward hasn’t responded in the media whether he’d be interested in facing Stevenson, but perhaps Hopkins might see something in Stevenson’s fighting style that he thinks he could exploit.

Stevenson is similar to Jean Pascal with his hand speed, but he’s a better puncher and it would be a tough fight for Hopkins. However, if Hopkins were able to crowd Stevenson and force him to fight an inside war, I don’t think Stevenson can win that kind of fight. He’s a good outside fighter but when he’s in close, Stevenson’s power is very average and he’s not skilled on the inside at all. The trick would be for Hopkins to be able to smother Stevenson for 12 rounds because that’s what he’d have to do to win the fight.

Aside from Stevenson, there’s not a lot of appealing options for Hopkins at 175 right now, unless he wants to fight WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly. I’m not sure that fight would interest American boxing fans more than Hopkins fighting any other obscure opponent at 175. It might not be worth making that fight. Hopkins says he wants to fight IBF/WBA super middleweight champion Carl Froch, but that fight won’t likely be happening anytime soon because Froch’s promoter Eddie Hearn is talking about wanting to put Froch back in with Mikkel Kessler in third fight.

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