Former European title holder Karo Murat has successfully applied for a visa to enter the United States just days after his IBF light-heavyweight title challenge against Bernard Hopkins was scrapped.
The 29 year-old was due to tackle the oldest world champion in history on July 13 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, although doubts surrounding his entry into the US meant promoters Golden Boy cancelled the event.
Promoters Sauerland have now exclusively told WBN that the experienced German’s visa has now been belatedly approved by the US authorities and that Murat will seek to be handed back his IBF mandatory position.
“Today, Karo Murat obtained a non-immigrant working visa for the United States of America,” a senior figure at Sauerland told World Boxing News.
“Chris Meyer, managing director of Murat´s promoter Team Sauerland, has already informed Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions and applied to the IBF to have Karo Murat reinstated as the mandatory challenger to Bernard Hopkins.”
Number four-ranked Russian Sergey Kovalev was pushed up the rankings in the wake of Murat’s original problems, however, who will now be the first in line for Hopkins remains a mystery after these latest developments.
Kovalev, 30, had agreed to face Welshman Nathan Cleverly for the WBO version of the title in Cardiff on August 17, but stalled after learning that a fight with Hopkins could be on the cards. If Murat successfully appeals to regain his status with the IBF, that may mean Cleverly v Kovalev could potentially be back on.
Golden Boy and the IBF both now have a decision to make on the matter and more is expected to come to light on in the next few days on who Hopkins will defend his belt against next.
Check WBN for updates.