The old man is at it again; the old man being Bernard Hopkins.
The 48-year-old IBF light heavyweight champ will become the oldest fighter to make his initial title defense when he takes on No. 1 rated contender Karo Murat (25-1-1) on July 13 at the Barclays Center, Golden Boy Promotions announced Sunday.
The last time Hopkins (53-6-2) fought at the Barlclays Center he had his way against Tavoris Cloud. Should anyone expect anything different against Murat?
"Murat has nothing to lose and everything to gain by fighting me," said Hopkins. "He knows he is fighting a 48-year-old, but he has to understand that there aren't any other 48-year-olds like me.”
Outside of a majority decision loss to Chad Dawson April 28, 2012 and a no-contest against Dawson in October, 2011, Hopkins has been nearly unbeatable since a setback against Joe Calzaghe in 2008.
“I keep saying 'I'm different' because it is true and I'm going to prove it once again on July 13,” Hopkins added. “I don't know a lot about Murat, which makes him a dangerous competitor, but after over two decades in this sport, there isn't anything I haven't seen, so I plan on showing the world that I can face anyone at any time and be victorious."
Murat, whose only loss came against Nathan Cleverly on September 18, 2010, is hoping to take advantage of Hopkins’ age and status in the sport with a surprise victory.
"It's like a dream come true. I'm so happy to have this opportunity,” Murat said. “Bernard Hopkins has nothing else to prove and this will be the first fight in my career where I have nothing to lose.”
Murat, although confident, understands that he’ll need more than a “nothing to lose” attitude to beat Hopkins. Throughout his nearly 25-year career, Hopkins has become a master at frustrating his opponents and forcing them to fight his way.
“I can only win against Hopkins and I plan on retiring him,” Murat continued. “His biggest strength is his experience, but I will reveal his weaknesses at Barclays Center in front of his own fans. I will be in the best shape of my life and will snatch his belt from under his nose."