Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Bernard Hopkins-Karo Murat: The Post-Fight Report Card

By Cliff Rold

For six rounds, it sucked.

It was really just, well, terrible.  Challenger Karo Murat might have won 3 of the first four rounds through sheer hustle, but none of what was going on was entertaining.

Then, in round seven, Bernard Hopkins dug in, Murat swung back, and suddenly there was a fight going on.  It lasted most of the rest of the way.  Fists, fouls, and a referee having a bad night made for an odd piece of theatre and another day in the office for an old man who isn’t getting any younger but isn’t ready to go away yet either.

Let’s go to the report card.

Grades
Pre-Fight: Speed – Hopkins B; Murat B/Post: B; B-
Pre-Fight: Power – Hopkins B; Murat B/Post: B; B-
Pre-Fight: Defense – Hopkins A+; Murat B/Post: B+; C-
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Hopkins A+; Murat B/Post: A+; B

Hopkins is 48 years old. 

Think about that.

Karo Murat wasn’t just a sanctioning body top ten guy.  All the various top tens in the media also had him somewhere in the top ten.  That doesn’t mean he’s a great fighter or anything, but he’s a good solid win for anyone in the Light Heavyweight division.

He will be barely be a footnote in the career of Hopkins and yet this was still an interesting outing for “The Executioner.”

At 30 years old, he was the man who looked like he struggled to the finish line at times.  He was the man who was rocked a few times.  Yet the evidence in the ring suggested he might not have belonged in the ring with the Hopkins of even five years ago.  He made it a decent scrap on this night and still lost decisively.

Hopkins doesn’t have the speed he used to, can uncork his best power shots and not score a knockout anymore, and it doesn’t matter.  Outside of certain names at the elite level, he is still almost as impossible to beat as ever. 

Even for the elite, he’s a pain in the rear to fight.

In round seven, he went on the offense against Murat and never really looked back.  Murat might have hustled enough to win the ninth, but outside that it was a strange go.  Murat had some decent rally points but he seemed to lack stamina to sustain late.

To his credit, there looked liked a couple moments where he might quit as the fight wore on.  He didn’t and turned to fire back.  It made for some fun exchanges as he worked through a cut as well.

Now to the fouls…

…man, there were a lot of fouls.  Hopkins hit Murat in the back at the beginning of the fight.  There would be more from both men.  There were rabbit punches, attempted flops that referee Steve Smoger ignored both ways, punching on the break both ways.  Murat in the final round landed at least a half dozen cup shots and finished with a double (yes, double) head butt. 

Smoger only seemed to call it one way. 

Always an action fan’s ref, Smoger made himself a little too apart of the action on this night and was unprofessionally aggravated by Murat.  He’s been around long enough to know Hopkins is no innocent and yet he acted like Murat was initiating all the fouls.  He put his hands on Murat more than once, shoving him in the face at the close of the fight.

A double head butt merits a stern warning.  That was over the line.  Pernell Whitaker shoved an over intrusive ref or two in his day (and got away with it).  Wonder what he might have done with that?

All of that was ultimately a sideshow to the main event.  Hopkins talked about moving down for Floyd Mayweather but one should probably hope that’s a pipe dream.  Nothing about that sounds watchable.  Hopkins struggled for activity late in his Middleweight run as he boiled down.  Mayweather, given his speed, would be a lopsided favorite. 

Then again, if the HBO/Showtime divide can’t be bridged, what else can Hopkins do?  He might have an IBF belt, but if he wants the real Light Heavyweight title back, it’s in Montreal.  Adonis Stevenson beat the man who beat Hopkins for the lineal crown.  Hopkins can call the other Light Heavyweight champions frauds, but his belt is a fraud compared to what Stevenson holds.

If anyone can thaw the Cold War enough to make a fight happen, Hopkins should be able to.  Stevenson has said he wants it.  Does Hopkins really want to tangle with someone who has the size, speed, and power of Stevenson at this point?

He’s 48 years old.  He can say no and it doesn’t really matter.  It’s nice to be in a place where the only thing a fighter can do is add to his legend.  Beating Murat didn’t do much of that but it was at least a reminder of how rare a force Hopkins really is.

Report Card Picks 2013: 44-24

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by JamesEarl on 10-30-2013

It's obvious the Smoger is a GBP employee and favored Hopkins. That midget Smoger is a loser and should be investigated. Something stinks in boxing and Smoger has a stench on him. Investigate Smoger and follow the money?

Comment by Russian Crushin on 10-29-2013

[QUOTE=amayseng;13884367]i though smoger let Murat get away with a lot. Murat threw 2 punches to an already floored Hopkins on the mat, they were so delayed hopkins had time to put his hands up to defend them. Abraham got disqualified…

Comment by crold1 on 10-29-2013

[QUOTE=MDPopescu;13884432]I don't think B-Hop would go to fight Stevenson in Canada. The Stevenson-Cloud sold only about 7,000 tickets at the Bell Centre... B-Hop would rather cross the Pond to the UK... But Hearn knows better...[/QUOTE] I don't mean he has…

Comment by amayseng on 10-29-2013

[QUOTE=MDPopescu;13884414]Smoger "let get away" almost everything in that fight -- Smoger was the most entertaining... ... and Dirrell never recovered from the "brain injury" he suffered in the AA fight...[/QUOTE] exactly, AA was disqualified immediatley after one single blow, not…

Comment by MDPopescu on 10-29-2013

I don't think B-Hop would go to fight Stevenson in Canada. The Stevenson-Cloud sold only about 7,000 tickets at the Bell Centre... B-Hop would rather cross the Pond to the UK... But Hearn knows better...

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (8)
Top Headlines An Opportunity for Jerwin Ancajas To Impress on Pacquiao Card UK News: Scott Fitzgerald, Ryan Burnett, Ted Cheeseman Roach Warns Horn: This is Going To Be a Short and Sweet KO! Hassan N’Dam vs. Ryota Murata Rematch - Purse Bid on July 7 Jamie Cox, Erik Skoglund Join World Boxing Super Series WBC Prez Smiles To Canelo: We Will Still Sanction Golovkin Bout! Romero Duno Heads To United States To Train For Next Fight Photos: Pacquiao, Horn - Go Face To Face at Final Presser! Ryan Martin: Time To Prove That I'm a Real Deal Fighter Giovanni Santillan is Aiming To Knock Sammy Valentin Out Hopkins on GGG: There Will Be Blood, Mostly on Canelo's Shorts Miguel Cruz Drops Alex Martin Twice, Wins Decision in Rematch Nacho Believes Golden Boy Won't Allow Cotto-Marquez Clash Abel Sanchez: Shafikov Has "Extremely Tough" Task With Easter Horn: I Like Being Told I Stand No Chance Against Pacquiao Bob Arum: Blame Me if Pacquiao-Horn Isn't a Competitive Fight! Diego De La Hoya Ready For Battle in San Luis, Argentina Povetkin Back in Good Graces of The WBA, WBO, Says Ryabinsky Smith: Don't Think I'm Getting Deserved Credit for KO of Hopkins Pacquiao Not Looking Past Horn, But Wants Mayweather Rematch Charlo-Heiland, Washington-Miller Set For Broner-Garcia Card Mikey Garcia: Unless a Lucky Punch, I Don't See How Broner Wins Antoine Douglas vs. Bruno Sandoval Set For July 14th Roach: To Get Mayweather, Pacquiao Must Impress With Horn Sergey Kovalev Eyes New Trainer, Move To New Weight Class Photos: Vijender Singh, Zulpikar Maimaitiali - Go Face To Face Marco Huck is Pumped To Join World Boxing Super Series Uzcategui's Agent on Dirrell Rematch Order, Lawson Court Case Arum: Pacquiao-Horn on ESPN is "a Gift" for Boxing Fans Pacquiao's Future, Beyond Horn, is Uncertain at The Moment Broner Wishes He Had Always Trained as Hard as Mayweather Tyson Fury: Klitschko Let Joshua Off The Hook After Knockdown Roach: If Pacquiao Struggles With Horn, Might Be Time To Retire Tim Tszyu Will Now Face Chris Khan, Nathan Webber is Out Photos: Manny Pacquiao Grinding Hard in Brisbane For Horn Chavez Sr: Today My Brother Was Killed, Tomorrow it Could Be Me Horn: Getting a Marquez KO of Pacquiao Has Been Our Main Point Micki Nielsen Returns on July 8 in Ludwigshafen, Germany Feel free to hate Mayweather-McGregor, but for the right reasons Andre Ward Mulling Next Move, Doubts Stevenson Will Fight
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement