IBF Light Heavyweight Champion Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins will become the oldest fighter in history to make his initial title defense when he faces highest rated light heavyweight challenger Karo Murat in a rescheduled championship event taking place Saturday, October 26 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
The 12-round title fight, which was postponed from July 13 due to visa issues experienced by Murat, will air live on Showtime. With those issues cleared up, Murat has his sights set on ending the reign of the 48-year-old future Hall of Famer.
"I'm happy this fight is back on," said Hopkins. "Karo Murat is my mandatory and he is coming here to take down this 48-year-old champion, except he's coming three months late. He gave me extra time to spend time with my family, stay in the gym longer to get ready for this fight. I'm going to be so physically and mentally prepared come October 26, Murat will know he is facing a great champion regardless of my age. I feel like a fighter in my 20s not my 40s."
"This fight has been a long time coming," said Murat. "I had some issues with my visa but those are finally solved. I felt ready in July and in October, I will feel even more ready. I've been awaiting the chance to fight for the IBF title since late 2011 so three months extra is nothing to me. Bernard Hopkins is 48 years of age - I guess he has enjoyed the summer. Will he be ready for me? I do not know. What I can say is that I will be at my best on October 26. When I am messing up his old bones it will make me a star in an instant."
"One of the most charismatic and accomplished fighters in recent generations, Bernard Hopkins continues to defy the odds with each record-setting performance," said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. "Not only does he keep winning, but he is doing so in impressive, often dazzling fashion. But make no mistake, this is no showcase fight. Karo Murat is a dangerous opponent. His only loss is to a current world champion in Nathan Cleverly and he holds a win over former World Champion Gabriel Campillo. You can't underestimate an experienced and hungry fighter like Murat."
"Like any Bernard Hopkins bout, this October 26 Boardwalk Hall match has drawn considerable buzz throughout the entire region," said Kevin Ortzman, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Caesars, Bally's, and Showboat Atlantic City. "The public and the boxing community have waited in anticipation and now they will finally get their wish as the stage is set for Hopkins vs. Murat."
Hopkins vs. Murat, a 12-round bout for Hopkins' IBF Light Heavyweight World Championship, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Caesars Atlantic City and supported by Golden Boy Promotions sponsors Corona and AT&T. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins live at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is available in Spanish on secondary audio programming (SAP).