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Hopkins wants KO win over Murat

By Dan Ambrose: IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KO’s) is hoping to end his nine-year knockout drought this Saturday night by knocking out German-based challenger Karo Murat (25-1-1, 15 KO’s) on Showtime at the Boardwalk Hall, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA. The 48-year-old Hopkins hasn’t recorded a knockout since his 9th round KO win over Oscar De La Hoya in September 2004.

Hopkins has fought 14 times since then, losing 4 of the fight, but failing to get a knockout. One reason why Hopkins hasn’t been stopping anyone in the last nine years isn’t because Hopkins can’t punch, but rather the fact that he’s been facing quality opposition all these years and it’s not easy trying to knockout the guys that Hopkins has been facing. He only had one easy fight during all those years and that was against Enrique Ornelas, and Hopkins messed up his chances of knocking Ornelas out by keeping the fight in close for 12 rounds instead of looking for punching room to try and floor him.

The good news is this Saturday night, Hopkins will be facing a contender that is tailor-made to be knocked out in the 30-year-old Murat. He’s got a come forward style of fighting that is perfect for Hopkins to land his best shots against. In a pretty good indication that Hopkins will end up KO drought in this fight, Murat was knocked out in 10 rounds by the light-hitting Nathan Cleverly three years ago in 2010. If Cleverly was able to score a knockout over Murat, then you’ve got to give Hopkins an excellent chance of doing the same.

Hopkins said this via Fightnews “I’m coming to win Saturday night and move on to bigger things. I don’t want to go twelve all the time. Trust me, I’ve just been on a bit of a drought.”

If the knockout doesn’t happen then Hopkins will need to focus on grinding out the victory like he’s done in his other fights in the past nine years. Murat might be better off if he does get stopped because he’s going to take a lot of punishment in this fight if it does 12, and he tends to mark up a lot when he fights.

Hopkins says he wants to move on to bigger things. It’ll be interesting what Hopkins means by that because the two biggest names in the light heavyweight division right now are Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev and both of them hold world title belts at 175. Hopkins will have a lot of problems trying to beat either of them. I suspect he won’t even try to face Stevenson because this guy is like a more powerful and better version of Jean Pascal. Hopkins beat Pascal, but it was very close and that fight took place two years ago. I doubt that Hop has gotten better since then.

Stevenson is clearly in his prime right now, as we’ve seen recently with his 1st round knockout win over Chad Dawson and his 7th round stoppage victory over Tavoris Cloud. This isn’t a good match-up for Hopkins because he doesn’t have the speed or the power to complete with Stevenson at this point in his career. Even Kovalev will be a really tough task for Hopkins.

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