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IBF to reinstall Karo Murat as Hopkins’ mandatory challenger

By Eric Thomas: With unbeaten Sergey Kovalev electing to face WBO light heavyweight champion next on August 17th, the IBF will be making a move to reinstall #2 IBF Karo Murat (25-1-1, 15 KO’s) as the new mandatory challenger for IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KO’s), according to Steve Kim.

Murat was previously Hopkins’ mandatory challenger and they were supposed to be fighting in July, but Murat had visa problems that wiped out the fight. However, he’s now taken care of his visa and can travel to the U.S to fight Hopkins. It looks like the IBF will make it so.

Hopkins, 48, likely won’t be too upset about it because the Murat will give him the opportunity to get an easy title defense in before he tackles what will likely be a unification bout later this year against WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson on HBO.

That fight, if it happens, is going to be an exciting one because it matches one of the most dangerous punchers in the light heavyweight division in 35-year-old Stevenson against one of the most skilled fighters in that weight class in Hopkins.

Stevenson has been knocking everyone out and it’ll be a real test to see if he can do the same thing with Hopkins. If Stevenson can’t, he’s going to be for a long night because Hopkins has the skills to make it a tough fight for him.

Murat is a pretty simple fighter and it’s hard to figure out why the International Boxing Federation has him ranked so highly. Murat lost to Nathan Cleverly by a 10th round TKO in September 2010, and he was given a questionable 12 round draw against Gabriel Campillo in October 2011. Murat’s best wins of his career have come against Otis Griffin and Otis Griffin.

This is too easy of a fight for Hopkins. Murat should be ranked near the bottom of the IBF’s rankings instead of the top. Hopefully, they get their rankings straightened out after Hopkins beats Murat.

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