By Bill Emes
IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32KOs) had several other possible candidates in mind for his next fight, but all of them are occupied with their own events - like Lucian Bute, who faces Jean Pascal in a Canadian super-fight on May 25th, or Carl Froch who takes on Mikkel Kessler in a super middleweight unification on May 25, and WBO/IBO middleweight king Gennady Golovkin who faces Matthew Macklin on June 29th.
Hopkins will make a mandatory defense against Karo Murat (25-1-1, 15KOs) on a date in July or August.
Hopkins sees a fighter like Murat as being a dangerous opponent because -"If he beats me then he makes a name for himself, but if I beat him then he's just another victim. Murat is coming over here with nothing to lose and everything to gain. Just that alone, I must be prepared mentally and physically."
If all of the fighters come though with victories, Hopkins wants to face Froch, Bute or Golovkin next.
"I would rather fight a Bute, I would rather fight a Golovkin who called me out, I would rather fight a Froch. But we are all occupied [in other fights] around the same time. If we are all standing, then trust me that 168 and 175, and [those fighters I mentioned] they are all light heavyweights. They all walk around well above 175.That division, 175, is going to be hot in less than twelve months...just watch," Hopkins told BoxingScene.com.