Photos: Frank Bleydorn
Karo Murat (25-1-1, 15 KOs) has been waiting a long time for his shot at a world title. But it seems like his wait could finally be over. The 29-year-old light heavyweight has been named the mandatory challenger for the IBF Champion back in 2011. Ever since then, Murat was hoping to square off with then-champion Tavoris Cloud (24-1, 19 KOs). But things have changed quite a bit over the weekend as Cloud lost a unanimous decision against Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KOs). Therefore it is the 48-year-old Hopkins who has to defend his newest championship against the mandatory challenger and prodigy of Coach Ulli Wegner. The IBF has already ordered both parties involved to hold immediate negotiations.
“This fight will be huge”, said an excited Murat. “I was rooting for Hopkins throughout the whole night, so I could fight him instead of Cloud. He better not shy away from a clash against me.” By winning the IBF Title, the American has also rewritten the history books. At the age of 48, Hopkins broke his own record as being the oldest ever boxer to win a world championship – an achievement which hasn’t gone by Murat. “He is a living legend of the sport. But that will not affect my performance.”