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Hopkins-Murat Back in Play; Cleverly-Kovalev Close

By Rick Reeno

BoxingScene.com has confirmed with Chris Meyer, General Manager of Sauerland Event, that light heavyweight contender Karo Murat has obtained a non-immigrant working visa for the United States. 

Murat was scheduled to face IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins in a Showtime televised main event on July 13th in a mandatory fight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

However, Murat was unable to obtain a visa. Murat filed an appeal to obtain a visa and it was believed that several months would be involved to get his visa. As a result, Golden Boy Promotions was forced to cancel the July event.

After the event was canceled, the IBF designated Sergey Kovalev (21-0-1, 19KOs) as the new mandatory challenger to Hopkins (53-6-2, 32KOs).

Meyer has already informed the IBF that Murat (25-1-1, 15KOs) has obtained his visa and submitted an application to reinstate him as the mandatory challenger to Hopkins.

Additionally, Kovalev's promoter, Main Events, is close to finalizing an agreement for their boxer to face WBO champion Nathan Cleverly (26-0-, 12KOs) in an HBO televised main fight on August 17th from the UK.

Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer has also been informed of the situation.

"I was informed that Murat got his visa. Chris sent an email to the IBF for Murat to be reinstated as the mandatory, so we have to wait and see what's going to happen. I was on the phone with [Cleverly's promoter] Frank Warren this morning and Frank indicated to me that HBO is pushing hard for the fight with Kovalev and Cleverly, and supposedly Kovalev has agreed to the fight. If that's the case, then obviously Kovalev would not be available to fight Bernard and that would further support that Murat would be reinstated as the mandatory for Bernard," Schaefer told BoxingScene.com.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by IronDanHamza on 06-20-2013

It feels like John Lennon has passed away all over again.

Comment by ddangerous on 06-20-2013

Cleverly is fighting Kovalev! Did not see that coming.

Comment by Heru on 06-20-2013

Frank Warren's decisions are predictable... He's content protecting his fighters until they are frustrated by their level of opposition and threaten to leave or his contract is expiring and wants to cash out. HBO's interest and offer must be good…

Comment by MurkaMan on 06-20-2013

[QUOTE=ИATAS;13486818]It all boils down to what the IBF decides. Obviously Murat and his people are going to do what they can to fight Hopkins. But I don't think the IBF will go for it unless Kovalev signs with Cleverly. Btw…

Comment by Light_Speed on 06-20-2013

I see Cleverly getting demolished, it won't be pretty.

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