By David P. Greisman
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Bernard Hopkins and Karo Murat both made weight for Saturday night’s bout between the International Boxing Federation light heavyweight titleholder and his mandatory challenger.
Hopkins came in at 172.5 pounds, while Murat tipped the scales at 174.
This is Hopkins’ first defense of a belt he picked up in March with a unanimous decision over Tavoris Cloud. The 48-year-old future Hall of Famer from Philadelphia — a former lineal champion at middleweight and light heavyweight — is 53-6-2 with 32 knockouts and 2 no contests.
Murat hasn’t fought since June 2012. The 30-year-old resident of Germany is 25-1-1 with 15 KOs. That lone loss came in the form of a technical knockout against Nathan Cleverly in September 2010. The draw came in a rematch with Gabriel Campillo in October 2011, a bout that many observers felt Campillo deserved to win. (Murat and Campillo’s first fight was in 2008, with Murat picking up a majority decision victory.)
Hopkins-Murat is the main event of Showtime’s broadcast from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Also on that show will be middleweight titleholder Peter Quillin vs. Gabriel Rosado, and heavyweight prospect Deontay Wilder vs. Nicolai Firtha.
- Quillin came in at 159.25 pounds, while Rosado was 160 pounds.
Quillin, 30, of Brooklyn, N.Y., is 29-0 with 21 KOs. His last three victories came against Winky Wright in June 2012, Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in October 2012 (earning Quillin the World Boxing Organization belt), and Fernando Guerrero this past April.
Rosado, 27, of Philadelphia, is a former junior middleweight prospect who’s spent his 2013 fighting at 160. In January, he lost a technical knockout to titleholder Gennady Golovkin. In May, he came up short in a disputed split decision against prospect J’Leon Love, though that result was overturned after Love tested positive for a banned diuretic. Rosado is 21-6 with 13 KOs and 1 no contest.
- Wilder came in at 224 pounds and was jokingly eating from a box of strawberry shortcake, while Firtha was 252.5 pounds and, well, wasn’t.
“It was good, too,” Wilder said afterward.
Wilder, a 28-year-old from Tuscaloosa, Ala., who captured a bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics, has won all 29 of his pro fights by knockout. Firtha, 34, of Akron, Ohio, is listed as an inch shorter than the 6-foot-7 Wilder, though that might be all he’ll have going for him on Saturday night. Firtha’s record of 21-10-1 (8 KOs), includes knockout losses to Tyson Fury and Tye Fields and dropped decisions against Alexander Povetkin and Johnathon Banks.
Also on the undercard in Atlantic City:
- Zachary Ochoa, a Brooklyn fighter who is 4-0 (3 KOs), came in at 140.5 pounds.
His opponent, Michael Doyle a 31-year-old from Prichard, Ala., who is 2-5 (1 KO), came in at 137 pounds.
- Braulio Santos, a 23-year-old from Carolina, Puerto Rico, with a record of 10-1 (9 KOs), came in at 123.5 pounds.
His opponent, David Clark, a 29-year-old from Los Angeles with a record of 6-2 (4 KOs), came in at 124.
- Dominic Wade, a 23-year-old from Largo, Md., who is 12-0 (9 KOs), weighed 161.25 pounds.
His opponent, Roberto Ventura, a 34-year-old from Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico, with a record of 12-7 (12 KOs), weighed 166.5.
- Wellington Romero, a boxer from the Dominican Republican but now fighting out of Newburgh, N.Y., weighed 139 pounds for his pro debut.
His opponent, Victor Galindo, a 1-2 fighter from Puerto Rico, weighed 140 pounds.