Bernard Hopkins’ first defence of the IBF light-heavyweight title will now take place on October 26 as Showtime reshuffle their schedule following the formal announcement of Mike Alvarado v Ruslan Provodnikov on HBO.
48 year-old Hopkins was due to face mandatory challenger Karo Murat from Germany in the summer, before visa issues pushed the fight back to October 19 with the fight finally settling at this new date a week later.
The bout will still take place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City as Hopkins bids to keep hold of the belt that extended his record as the oldest world champion of all time when ‘The Executioner’ out-pointed Tavoris Cloud in March.
Philadelphian Hopkins goes into the clash as a big favourite to see off the challenge of Murat who was stopped in ten rounds by WBO champion and ‘B-Hop’ target Nathan Cleverly in September 2010.
Murat, 29, was also held to a split decision draw against highly-ranked IBF challenger Gabriel Campillo on home soil two years ago and could seal a rematch if both come through their respective contests.
Campillo fights Andzrej Fonfara in an IBF eliminator on Friday week in Chicago. The victor will then be next in line for the aging Hopkins once his delayed match-up with Murat finally goes ahead in the autumn.
The undercard for Hopkins v Murat is yet to be put together by promoters Golden Boy but should begin to trickle off in the next few weeks.