Hopkins set for latest light heavyweight defense

PHILADELPHIA. By now, Bernard Hopkins has burned through storylines at about the rate he’s disposed of title contenders.
Bernard Hopkins, left, and challenger Kora Murat, pose for photographers during a news conference on Wednesday in New York. Net photo.
Bernard Hopkins, left, and challenger Kora Murat, pose for photographers during a news conference on Wednesday in New York. Net photo.

Sunday

IBF Light Heavyweight Title

Hopkins     vs     Murat (12 Rounds)     03am SS4

PHILADELPHIA. By now, Bernard Hopkins has burned through storylines at about the rate he’s disposed of title contenders.

Even for the undisputed word-for-word champion on the boxing scene, Hopkins knows there’s not much left to say.

He’s old. He’s frugal. He went to prison. He carries his prison ID card. He became one of the great middleweights. He might retire. He might not.

All those warmed-over stories have had the lifespan of his one his bouts of late, one of the byproducts of fighting at a championship level for so long.

Hopkins realized it, too. If he wants to get fans excited to tune into Showtime on Saturday or take another shot at headlining a pay-per-view, Hopkins had to mix up his combinations like it was the decisive 12th round of a title bout.

So, say long to ‘’The Executioner.’’ ‘’The Alien’’ has landed. Hopkins insists he has retired ‘’The Executioner’’ persona that has defined him for most of the last two decades.

‘’I am an alien,’’ Hopkins said, ‘’because I am of this world, but I’m not from this world.’’

The 48-year-old Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KOs) will descend from the mothership Saturday night and extend his own record as the oldest fighter to defend a major championship when he puts his share of the light heavyweight title on the line against Karo Murat (25-1-1, 15 knockouts) in Atlantic City, N.J.

Hopkins has started making noise about fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. early next year.

That’s a long shot for Hopkins, though his role as a promoter for Golden Boy could work toward his advantage, but he can ill-afford to slip against the little-known Murat.

Hopkins rebounded from a pair of ugly fights against Chad Dawson to defeat Tavoris Cloud in March and win the IBF light heavyweight championship.

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