Too old for what? Don't disrespect B-Hop
He's heard it all before. Too old. Too boring. Too afraid?
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The last one is rather comical considering all that Bernard Hopkins has accomplished since turning pro in 1988. Still, Hopkins hears what is being said, all of it.
He doesn't hide from it, either. The 48-year-old may have lost a step or two in the ring, but he's still fighting for his reputation after all these years. He'll put his light-heavyweight championship belt on the line Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City against 30-year-old top contender Karo Murat.
"Saying, 'I'm getting old,' is getting old," Hopkins said Tuesday in a pre-fight press conference. "I'm only doing what some of the greats have done before me in any sport. Hit and not get hit. Doesn't mean to run."
"Ray Robinson and Sugar Ray would be considered boring, because they're not TV friendly. Because they're smooth and they don't get hit."
Hopkins, always one to mix it up in the press, is reinventing himself yet again. He's dropped the moniker, "Executioner," for a new one, "Alien." The Philadelphia-born boxer isn't bringing his famed executioner's mask to Atlantic City this weekend. The new Hopkins claims that he is "of this world, but not from this world."
"I'm an alien," he said. "I don't get old if they're waiting for that. I'm coming to defend my title and look for bigger things next."
Then there's Murat, the young German who could easily get lost in the moment. He admitted to day-dreaming about fighting Hopkins at a very early age. Now, with the opportunity in front of him, he's prepared to leave the boardwalk with more than some stale, salt-water taffy.
"I am ready to go," Murat said. "Make sure you are all going to be there, and you are going to witness a young boy from Germany who's going to come here to Bernard's home turf, and he's going to take the title from him, and take it home."
If you go ...
What: IBF Light Heavyweight World Championship
Who: Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KOs) vs. Karo Murat (25-1-1, 15 KOs)
Where: Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City
When: 9 p.m. (Showtime)
Hopkins hasn't had a straight knockout since beating Oscar De La Hoya back in 2004. Here's how Hopkins has fared in his last five bouts:
1. March 9, 2013: Beat Tavoris Cloud, unanimous decision.
2. April 28, 2012: Lost to Chad Dawson, majority decision.
3. Oct. 15, 2011: No contest to Chad Dawson, fouled out.
4. May 21, 2011: Beat Jean Pascal, unanimous decision.
5. Dec. 18, 2010: Draw with Jean Pascal, majority decision.