Advertisement
Advertisement

Cleverly: Kovalev Would Beat and Overpower Hopkins

BoxNation viewers get to witness one of the most remarkable fighters ever to lace up when Bernard Hopkins opens the defence of his IBF World Light-Heavyweight title against Karo Murat at The Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City this Saturday.

Incredibly, the ex-con from the mean streets of Philadelphia has been hustling at the highest level for over 20 years now. In 30 world title fights he has been mastered just four times. Last March, he extended his own record as the oldest fighter to ever win a recognised world championship by comprehensively schooling Florida’s Tavoris Cloud.

It was Hopkins’ sixth world title belt with one of the ‘Big Four’ sanctioning bodies, and accomplished at the ripe old age of 48 years and 53 days! Known as ‘The Executioner’, he is an absolute ‘shoe in’ to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota as soon as he becomes eligible.

The latest young buck chancing that ‘B-Hop’ finally grows old overnight is mandatory challenger Murat, a 30 year old Iraqi born German who has lost just once in 27 and formerly reigned on the European super-middleweight throne.

Watch Hopkins v Murat live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546) as part of a huge double-header starting at 7pm with live coverage of Arthur Abraham’s WBO Intercontinental Super-Middleweight title defence against Giovanni De Carolis.

To assess his chances, and secure an expert synopsis of the great champion, boxing writer Glynn Evans called up ex WBO World Light-Heavyweight king Nathan Cleverly.

“This is a very interesting fight for me personally, because it’ll be a big figure in the sport against an opponent that I’ve beaten convincingly. It’ll be a good gauge of where I stand in comparison to Hopkins. I did a real job on Murat when I was just 23.  Let’s see how Hopkins copes with him.

Love him or loathe him, you have to give Hopkins massive respect, not just because of his ring smarts but also because of the Spartan lifestyle he leads. At his age, after all he’s achieved, I’d want to be chilling on a white sandy beach, on an ‘all inclusive’, yet he’s still fighting the top contenders. Mad!

Because of his longevity at the highest level, and the manner in which he has moved through the divisions facing and beating all the top class fighters, you have to consider Hopkins to be one of the all-time greats. He’s very good technically and just so knowledgeable. He’s never in wars which might shorten a career, never in high intensity, action fights. He always manages to conserve a lot of energy. That’s why he’s flourished for as long as he has. He’s a master.

That said, I’ve always felt that I’d have given him a good run if I’d been presented with the opportunity. You’re never going to outsmart Bernard or better him technically because he’s the best out there. But I believe that, being a fast, sharp, energetic light-heavy, my style was something he’d have disliked. I think there was only myself and (Sergey) Kovalev who’d have had any chance of beating him.

Personally, at this stage, I think that Kovalev would now beat Hopkins; too hungry, too fearless, too heavy-handed.   He’d be too active for Bernard and would overpower him. Kovalev represents the new era of the light-heavyweight division.

There’s hope for Murat. Hopkins has definitely slowed of late, eased off the gas. He only does just enough to win the rounds. If Murat can really put it on him, take Bernard out of his comfort zone, you never know.

When we fought three years ago, I found Karo to be very compact defensively. He didn’t waste much, always threw to land. But other than that, he was quite limited. I felt I exposed him quite badly. I pretty much won every round and bashed him up.

I didn’t think he was world class but he’s come back and is unbeaten in four including a stoppage of Otis Griffin and a draw with (Gabriel) Campillo, the former WBA champion from Spain, to earn himself another opportunity.

Personality wise, Murat wasn’t a feisty one and Hopkins likes to dominate the opposition with his mind games in the build up. I found Murat quite arrogant. Before fighting me, he was talking a good fight. He had an unbeaten record before we met (22-0) and thought he was far better than he was. He lacked the tools to back it up and I exposed him, made him look like a bum, really.

I’ve seen glimpses of him in his fights since we fought but I’ve not paid huge interest. Once you’ve seen him once, you know what he’s about. He’s not an exciting type and I’ve left him behind. I doubt he’ll come onto my radar again. I don’t believe his strengths are sufficient to see him win a world title.

Murat will be young and hungry, he’ll come to give it a go. He’ll try to cut the ring off, advancing behind a high guard and it’s conceivable he could cause Hopkins some problems.  Bernard’s getting on a bit.

But I still expect Hopkins will have far too much class and movement for Murat. He’ll dart in and out, nicking points on the move, stealing rounds doing the bare minimum, constantly conserving energy. He’ll be conscious not to be caught flat footed and will refuse to play into Murat’s hands by having a ‘tear up’. I don’t expect he’ll win every round but he’ll probably be about five rounds up after another cagey 12 rounder

That said, it’d be very good for my situation if Karo could spring an upset on Saturday evening. Because of Father Time, all of Hopkins opponents at this stage have an outside chance of being the one to catch him at the right time.”

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by MDPopescu on 10-23-2013

[QUOTE=Koba-Grozny;13867242]I'm with you. BHop is already a sure fire HOFer and ATG (or should be) in anyones book based on his longevity at the top alone. Yeah he should beat able to be the relatively limited Murat, and Cloud's limitations…

Comment by Koba-Grozny on 10-23-2013

[QUOTE=MDPopescu;13867232]Youngsters should show more respect... Hopkins isn't who he used to be anymore, but he still represents a role model in the sport. I hope he retires after this one -- he proved himself beyond any expectations.[/QUOTE] I'm with you.…

Comment by MDPopescu on 10-23-2013

Youngsters should show more respect... Hopkins isn't who he used to be anymore, but he still represents a role model in the sport. I hope he retires after this one -- he proved himself beyond any expectations.

Comment by Pain~Lucy on 10-23-2013

[QUOTE=MANIAC310;13867223]meh at least that fight wasn't on PPV... oh wait[/QUOTE] uh oh..........

Comment by LeG00N on 10-23-2013

[QUOTE=Pain~Lucy;13867221]fakes injury doe[/QUOTE] meh at least that fight wasn't on PPV... oh wait

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (21)
Top Headlines Derry Mathews Confident: I'll Dig Deep With Luke Campbell! Upton Brothers Leave Ricky Hatton Over "Turbulent Private Life" Dillian Whyte, Dereck Chisora Could Collide in December Smith Backs Froch: Kovalev is Best Pound For Pound Fighter! Amir Khan Says Land For Boxing Academy is Now in Dispute Team USA: Olympic Postmortem De La Hoya on Canelo-GGG: We Can't Afford To Wait Beyond 2017 Chocolatito: Cuadras Talks A lot, But I'll Prove it in The Ring! Golovkin: No Big Fights at 168, I Make 160 Easy - I'm Not Big 160 Juanma: Business Opportunity Made Me Return, Not Vazquez Morrison, Golub, Baranchyk, Peterkin Head To 9/23 ShoBox Robert Guerrero: I'm Ready For a World Title Shot Right Now! Photos: Gennady Golovkin, Roman Gonzalez Big Bear Media Day Saunders Still a Possibility for Canelo, Golden Boy Focused on Smith Jon Fernandez, Jose Roman Ink Pacts With Lou DiBella De La Hoya: Canelo a 154-Pounder, Will Fight Golovkin When Ready! Jarrell Miller's Promoter: He's Ready For Any World Champion Canelo: Margarito Fight Will NEVER Happen, He Should Retire Ramiro Carrillo, Achour Esho Return on October 1, UIC Pavilion Joshuanthony Ortiz, Edgardo Laboy Ink Pacts With Miguel Cotto Canelo Admits Move To 160 is Likely Next For His Career Mason Menard Puts a Target on The Back of Terry Flanagan Anthony Joshua-David Price Ruled Out For The Fall By Hearn James Kirkland Arrested Over Child Support Beef Photos: Anthony Crolla, Jorge Linares Go Face To Face Photos: Glowacki, Usyk - Go Face To Face at Open Workouts Jessie Vargas: "On November 5th I Will Shut The Critics Up!" Daniel Jacobs: Brook Just Too Small To Survive Against Golovkin Golovkin Laughs at Froch, Eubank: Those Clowns Won't Fight Me! J'Leon Love Will Face Dashon Johnson on September 16 Marlon Tapales vs. Paul Butler in The Works For The Fall De La Hoya: Canelo-Smith Will Have Up To 60,000 Fans at Venue! Frampton: The UK Has 14 World Champions - Not All Are Legit! Gerard Carroll To Fight Twice In Eight Days De La Hoya: Canelo-Golovkin Won't Take 6 Years, But Not Now Daniel Geale vs. Renold Quinlan, Vacant IBO 168 Belt on 10/14 Tom Brown Reflects on The Lost Art of Building a Fighter Amir Khan Plans To Fight in January, May and December Caleb Plant Dominates De Angel in PBC on FS1 Main Event Jhonny Gonzalez vs. Hirotsugu Yamamoto Card Coming Together
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement