Tonight, from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, future Hall of Fame boxer and multi-time world champion Bernard Hopkins defends his current IBF Lightheavyweight title as a huge (-1000) favorite over challenger Karo Murat, who returns at (+650). The big story here is that Hopkins is 48 years old, and he still competes at a high level. For years now, Hopkins and crew have carefully selected their opponents to match up favorably with Hopkin’s masterful technique. The result you get is matches with these lopsided lines. On an intersting note, the match odds say the fight will go the distance, but Hopkins is promising otherwise. In the media he has been vocal about looking for a KO, which would be his first in almost 10 years. Murat is 25-1 and he has 15 KO’s, though only 3 have come since 2010. He has a good competition level and has several European championships, but he has faced nobody on the skill level of Hopkins. The risk in betting Hopkins is that father time will show up. It is hard to question a legend like Hopkins, but his promise of a KO is unlikely to come off against Murat. He has been in a rut of going the distance now for nearly a decade, and against a guy almost 20 years his junior, he is unlikely to break that snide. If he starts to show his age and Murat is able to catch up to him and wear him out, he might have a chance. The truth is that he is 2-1-1 in his last 5 outings (with a NC added). Going to the judges on 4 fights, he lost one and got a draw in another. It is safe to say that Hopkins, though still a brilliant fighter, has already started to slip a bit. And that is what we are betting on here – that Murat can break through and win, either by hurting an old man, or by outworking the methodical Hopkins over twelve rounds. The books are probably right on this one – Hopkins will likely win the decision, meaning no KO. As good as he is however, it is hard to lay out that kind of money on a 48 year old in boxing.
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