hopkins murat

Bernard Hopkins and Karo Murat square off during the weigh-in on Friday at Caesars Atlantic City.

ATLANTIC CITY - For some reason, boxing weigh-ins always draw a crowd.

Ultimately, it's just two fighters stripping to their underwear - and sometimes to their birthday suits - and stepping on a scale. But the pre-fight antics are almost always interesting.

Friday's weigh-in in the lobby of Caesars Atlantic City for Saturday's Bernard Hopkins-Karo Murat card produced its share of humor and intensity.

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Heavyweight contender Deontay Wilder (29-0, 29 KOs), who is fighting Nicolai Firtha, drew laughs from the crowd that had gathered by shoveling forkfuls of strawberry shortcake into his mouth as he stood on the scale.

"Most guys wait until after the weigh-in to start eating," Wilder said. "I didn't want to wait. I'm exciting and entertaining and I wanted to show that today. I picked strawberry shortcake because strawberries are my favorite and boy was it good!"

Firtha showed up wearing the same sweat-stained shirt and dirty khakis that he was wearing during Thursday's press gathering.

"I wore them on purpose," said Firtha, who currently works as a caddie at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. "There was a time when I worked in fire and water restoration. That was a dirty, grimey job. I wore these clothes to remind myself of what I went through to get to this point."

Next up, WBO middleweight champion Peter Quillin and Gabriel Rosado exchanged insults while standing chin to chin during the traditional post-weigh-in staredown.

Naturally, both predicted a knockout.

"It's not going the distance, I can guarantee you that," Rosado said. "I'm going to put him on his (butt)."

Murat shocked the fans by directing a throat-slashing gesture at Hopkins during their staredown.

They both did a lot of talking, but I'm thinking it was wasted, since Hopkins doesn't speak German and Murat doesn't understand English.

Let's hope the fights tomorrow night are half as exciting.

Predictions: Hopkins by decision, Quillin by 10th-round TKO, Wilder by 2nd-round knockout.

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Member of The Press sports staff since 1986, starting my 25th season as The Press Eagles' beat writer. Also cover boxing, MMA, golf, high school sports and everything else.

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