Three months away from his 49th birthday, boxing's oldest ever world champion Bernard Hopkins extended his incredible record with a unanimous decision win over Karo Murat.
It was a fight punctuated by the typically eccentric moments that come from the man who has now dubbed himself "The Alien". Hopkins stuck his tongue out at Murat after surviving a heavy combination, kissed him on the back of the head after he had turned his back during a clinch, turned his back on Murat after the referee had called break and talked to the ringside crowd mid-fight during an entertaining, if bizarre, sequence of events.
When he did focus on fighting, he put in a typically obdurate and frustrating performance, stifling Murat's creativity and using his elusiveness to avoid suffering any telling blows.
Murat flirted with a points deduction throughout the first half of the fight, including twice striking the reigning champion when he slipped to the canvas in the sixth round. In the following round, the German finally had a point taken away after clearly jabbing Hopkins after referee Smogler called "break".
The ill-tempered nature of the fight continued, and it threatened to boil over in every clinch and when the bell sounded to end rounds. And as the challenger grew increasingly frustrated, Hopkins stuck to his gameplan to bore out a unanimous decision.
And so the scorecards returned 117-110, 119-108, 119-108.
Boxing oldest ever world champion, 48-year-old Bernard Hopkins, returns to BoxNation for an IBF World Light-Heavyweight title defence against Armenian Karo Murat.
Hopkins is a truly remarkable boxer and a future hall of famer. Records have tumbled at the feet of the Phildelphia resident, who once racked up 20 straight defences of his IBF World Middleweight title in the nineties.
Now he holds the IBF's Light-Heavyweight crown, and he's looking to defend it against mandatory opponent Karo Murat.
Murat, who will be 30 when the two men meet, has an impressive 25-1-1 record. His only career defeat came at the hands of Welshman Nathan Cleverly in 2010 as he challenged for the WBO World title.
The Armenian fighter has since defeated Christian Cruz, Otis Griffin and Sandro Siproshvili and drawn an IBF title eliminator against Gabriel Campillo, and will look to become a world champion for the first time when he faces Hopkins in Atlantic City LIVE on BoxNation.
26 October 2013, 23:59:00
Deontay Wilder blew away yet another opponent to move 30-0 with all 30 of his wins coming by knockout. The Bronze Bomber came out swinging and was always looking to end the contest, but exposed some of the flaws in his defensive technique and decision-making.
The first round was as explosive as the last. Firtha came surging out of the blocks and caught Wilder with a stinging jab immediately on the first bell, but from then on it was all about the American knockout machine. The powerful but raw and rugged Wilder sent Firtha to the canvas twice in the opening stanza.
Firtha and Wilder settled into the second round as Wilder maintained his distance and didn't allow Firtha to rough him up close. The former Olympian looked like he might have burnt a lot of energy in the first, but grew into the third and scored his third knockdown of the evening.
And as he moved into the fourth round for only the third time in his career, Wilder took a minute and 26 seconds before landing flush on his man and sending him down for a fourth and final time.
America's great heavyweight hope Deontay Wilder - who has knocked out all 29 of his opponents in a dazzling career so far - faces "The Stone Man" Nicolai Firtha.
Wilder, 27, will look to extend his remarkable career record to 30-0 against a man who has a 21-10-1 record with four knockout losses. Known as "The Bronze Bomber", Wilder is a potential future opponent for Brit Dereck Chisora, who will no doubt be an interested spectator for this one.
The Alabama resident is a familiar face to BoxNation fans, after obliterating Audley Harrison with a first round TKO in April and then winning the WBC Continental Americas title against "White Wolf" Siarhei Liakhovich in August.