‘Old soul’ Bernard Hopkins still defying time

 
 
Boxer Bernard Hopkins puts on an alien mask with the help of assistant trainer Danny Davis during a media workout Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in Philadelphia. Hopkins is scheduled to fight Karo Murat at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Boxer Bernard Hopkins puts on an alien mask with the help of assistant trainer Danny Davis during a media workout Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in Philadelphia. Hopkins is scheduled to fight Karo Murat at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke / AP

Coming up

Saturday (9 p.m., Showtime): Bernard Hopkins vs. Karo Murat, 12, for Hopkins’ IBF light-heavyweight title; Peter Quillin vs. Gabriel Rosado, 12, for Quillin’s WBC middleweight title.


Special to the Miami Herald

Seven months after yet another milestone, Bernard Hopkins returns to the same setting and seeks to add more accomplishments in his Hall of Fame-bound career.

Still not ready for retirement, Hopkins, 48, will defend his light-heavyweight title against Germany’s Karo Murat on Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“How many people get a chance to prove how special they are over and over and over again?” Hopkins said last week. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s not about how much money you can make when you’re fighting that makes you special.”

A part-time Miami Beach resident, Hopkins proved his value to the sport again on March 9, when he won a solid decision against defending champion Tavoris Cloud for the International Boxing Federation belt.

The victory over Cloud helped Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KOs) reset the mark of oldest fighter to win a world title that he previously established a year earlier.

In addition, the win began a second reign as 175-pound titleholder for Hopkins, who also enjoyed a 20-fight middleweight championship run from 1995 to 2005.

“I am of a new era with an old soul,” Hopkins said. “I represent the old soul of doing things the right way — thinking the right way, treating my mind, body and soul the right way.”

Murat (25-1-1, 15 KOs) will make his first in the United States against Hopkins.

“He is coming to fight the guy that is 48,” Hopkins said of Murat, 30. “Just because the car is a 1965, doesn’t mean it’s old. Check the mileage, check the engine and then check the wear and tear. The year is old but if you check the engine, is like new.”

As he continues to bask in his age-defying feats, Hopkins also will feature a new gimmick for his ring entrance Saturday night. Gone is the executioner’s mask that Hopkins wore as he walked toward the ring for his previous fights.

In fact, Hopkins has abandoned the Executioner moniker for Alien.

“You won’t hear the Executioner, you won’t see me with my hands crossed,” Hopkins said. “The Executioner is retired. I’m an alien because I am of this world, but I’m not from this world.”

The Hopkins-Murat bout will be televised by Showtime. The card and telecast also will feature a middleweight title fight between defending champion Peter Quillin and Gabriel Rosado and a bout matching heavyweight contender Deontay Wilder and Nicolai Firtha.

Around the ring

• Lacking a boxing show all year, Seminole Hard Rock Live Arena in Hollywood is making up for idle time.

Days after the announcement of a fight card on Nov. 12, Seminole Resort and Casino officials disclosed that a separate show will be presented at Hard Rock Live Arena three days later.

Mike Tyson’s promotional company will present the Nov. 15 card.

Two-division world champion Joan Guzman, whose weight issues have marred his stops in three different weight classes, will fight on the show’s main event.

Guzman, now fighting as a welterweight, is scheduled to face New York’s Simeon Hardy.

The card also will feature a scheduled 10-round bout between featherweights Claudio Marrero and Romulo Koasicha.

Cuba native and junior-featherweight Alexei Collado, who has won 16 of his first 17 professional bouts by knockout, also is announced to fight on the show.

• Late Saturday, Russia’s Ruslan Provodnikov scored a technical knockout victory over Mike Alvarado, when Alvarado failed to answer the bell to the 11th round of their title fight in Denver.

Provodnikov (23-2, 16 KOs) maintained the relentless attack that nearly earned him a knockout win in a close decision loss against Timothy Bradley seven months ago.

Displaying an effective display of power punching, Provodnikov solidified his victory, dropping Alvarado (34-2) twice in the eighth round.

The victory earned Provodnikov the World Boxing Organization junior-welterweight belt.

Read more Boxing stories from the Miami Herald

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