By Rick Scharmberg and Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside
Photos: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
48-year-old IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (54-6-2, 32 KOs) scored a twelve round unanimous decision over mandatory challenger Karo Murat (25-2-1, 15 KOs) on Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Murat was busier early on, but Hopkins became more aggressive in round four and was willing to trade with Murat. Hopkins kissed Murat twice during a clinch in round five. Murat was deducted a point by referee Steve Smoger for hitting on the break in round seven. By round eight, Hopkins seemed to be looking for the KO, showing total distain for Murat’s punching power. Murat landed some good shots in round nine, but Hopkins looked much fresher down the stretch. Hopkins could be heard saying “I need the knockout” in his corner before the final round, and he tried, hurting Murat several times. Murat slowed Hopkins’ attack with some late fouls. Scores were 117-110, 119-108, 119-108.
WBO middleweight champion Peter Quillin (30-0, 22 KOs) retained his title with a tenth round TKO over Gabriel Rosado (21-7, 13 KOs). Quillin got off to a fast start and dropped Rosado in round two, but Rosado rocked Quillin at the end of round four and got back into the fight. The bout turned again when a Quillin jab opened up a cut over Rosado’s left eye in round nine and the fight was stopped due to that cut in round ten. Time was :40. Rosado complained bitterly about the stoppage.
Unbeaten heavyweight Deontay Wilder moved to 30-0 with 30 KOs after demolishing Nicolai Firtha (21-11-1, 8 KOs) in four rounds. A game Firtha came out aggressively, but was dropped twice in round one. Wilder laid him out in round four with a left hook.
Braulio “Unstoppable” Santos (11-1, 10 KOs) dropped David “Thunder” Clark (6-3, 4 KOs) with a brutal right hand – left hook combination in the first round of a scheduled eight round featherweight bout. Clark rose on unsteady legs, and referee David Fields ruled him unfit to continue at the 1:49 mark.
In the opening bout, former National Golden Gloves champion Dominic Wade (12-0, 10 KOs) dropped Roberto Ventura (12-9, 12 KOs) three times, stopping him at 2:08 of the opening round in a scheduled eight round super middleweight bout.
Zachary Ochoa (5-0, 3 KOs) used his reach advantage and his jab to box his way to a unanimous decision over Michael J. Doyle (2-6, 1 KO) in a four round junior welterweight contest. The scores were 40-36 and 39-37 (twice).
Wellington Romero (1-0) won his pro debut, taking a unanimous decision over Victor Galindo (1-3) in an entertaining four round junior welterweight bout. All three judges scored it 40-36.