NEW YORK (AP) — Bernard Hopkins’ defense of his IBF light heavyweight title against Karo Murat has been canceled because Murat could not get a visa from the State Department.
Germany’s Murat, the No. 2-ranked light heavyweight, was training in Spain when he was told Friday that the July 13 bout was off. The bout was scheduled for the Barclays Center.
Hopkins, the oldest boxer to win a championship, says he is “extremely disappointed about the fight being canceled. 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 for me in the near future,” added the 48-year-old Hopkins.
Hopkins has a career record of 53-6-2 with 32 knockouts. Murat is 25-1-1.
Murat indicated his promoter is in talks with Golden Boy Promotions.
“Obviously I’m very disappointed as I have been in training for almost three months now,” he said, “but I understand that my promoter’s representative, Chris Meyer, is in talks with Richard Schaefer to discuss possible alternatives.”