The July 13 scheduled fight between IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins and light heavyweight contender Karo Murat is off because Murat was declared ineligible to receive a visa by the United States Department of State.
A press release stated that Murat can not enter the United States because of the visa denial. Showtime was scheduled to air the bout from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Murat (25-1-1, 15 KOs), of Germany, was scheduled to be fighting in the United States for the first time. Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KOs) hinted at planning a bigger fight to replace Murat bout.
"This is an extremely disappointing development as we were anticipating Bernard making history once again on July 13 at Barclays Center," said Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer. "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."
"I'm extremely disappointed about the fight being cancelled," said Hopkins. "I was already in the gym, sparring and preparing for the fight, but things happen. I know Richard Schaefer and the staff at Golden Boy Promotions are already working on something bigger and better. 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.""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," Murat said.