Bernard Hopkins has released an official statement in which he addresses his next potential opponent, following his triumphant performance over Tavoris Cloud, and the continuing bolstering of his status as one of the best over-40 fighters of all-time. Take a look at what Hopkins has to say about who he could be fighting next below.
There are numerous champions that have been calling me out after my historic victory on Saturday Night.
I am aware that I have a mandatory obligation under the IBF guidelines to fight Karo Murat, the mandatory challenger. Out of respect to the IBF, it is my intention to honor my commitment to the mandatory challenger at this stage of the game just as I have done throughout my twenty-five year career, namely, through twenty straight defenses of the middleweight title.
However, the fans, including, my supporters, have made it very clear that at this point of my career, they want the Executioner in big fights. In fact, 12,300 fans in Brooklyn have sent that message very loud and clear across the boxing world.
I look forward to getting back in the ring and continuing my legacy.
That statement certainly was much more at the IBF itself than Hopkins, and puts some of the behind the scenes politics of boxing out in the public and at the forefront.
In other words... Bernard Hopkins is not fighting Karo Murat. If the IBF wants Hopkins to fight for their title, they need to make an exception to the mandatory defense, or delay that mandatory defense for a while longer, allowing Hopkins to take any fight of his choosing, or finally, name somebody else the mandatory challenger for the time being.