Hopkins' title defence against Murat is off

14/06/2013 11:48

IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins' title defence against Karo Murat next month has been called off after the German was denied a US visa.

The bout was scheduled to take place in Brooklyn on July 13 but now the entire card has been canceled after the US State department declared Murat ineligible to receive a US entry visa.

Hopkins, 48, became the oldest boxer to win a major world title with a victory over Tavoris Cloud last March - breaking his own record by nearly two years - and this was to be his first defence.

Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer said "This is an extremely disappointing development as we were anticipating Bernard making history once again. Since the administrative that would of been undertaken in order for Murat's visa petition to be reconsidered takes longer than six months, we're exploring several options with respect to Bernard's next fight."

Hopkins said "I'm extremely disappointed about the fight being cancelled. I was already in the gym, sparring and preparing for the fight. But things happen. I stay in shape so being ready is never a problem and I look forward to whatever fight is made in the future." 

Murat, a 29-year-old of Armenian heritage, said "Obviously I'm very disappointed as I have been in training for almost three months now, but I understand my promoter's representative, Chris Meyer, is in talks with Richard Schaefer to discuss the possible alternatives."