Hopkins defence is called off

  • Last Updated: June 15 2013, 17:00 BST

Bernard Hopkins' fight against Karo Murat next month has been called off after the German was denied a US visa.

Bernard Hopkins: Brooklyn defence called off
Bernard Hopkins: Brooklyn defence called off

American veteran Hopkins was due to defend his IBF light-heavyweight crown against mandatory challenger Murat in Brooklyn on July 13, but the entire card has now been cancelled after the US State Department declared Murat ineligible to receive a US entry visa.

Hopkins, 48, became the oldest boxer to win a major world title with a victory over Tavoris Cloud last March - breaking his own record by nearly two years - and this was to have been his first defence.

Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer said: "This is an extremely disappointing development as we were anticipating Bernard making history once again.

"Since the administrative process that would have to be undertaken in order for Murat's visa petition to be reconsidered takes longer than six months, we're exploring several options with respect to Bernard's next fight."

Hopkins said: "I'm extremely disappointed about the fight being cancelled.

"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."

Murat, a 29-year-old of Armenian heritage, said: "Obviously I'm very disappointed as I have been in training for almost three months now, but I understand that my promoter's representative, Chris Meyer, is in talks with Richard Schaefer to discuss possible alternatives."

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