Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall will be the site of at least one more big fight this year.
Caesars Entertainment consultant Ken Condon confirmed Monday that 48-year-old IBF light-heavyweight boxing champion Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KOs) will defend his title there against German contender Karo Murat (25-1-1, 15 KOs) on Oct. 19.
ESPN.com first reported the story.
Ticket prices and a release date had not yet been announced.
“Bernard has always been a fan favorite and great draw for Atlantic City,” Condon said Monday in a phone interview. “Caesars Atlantic City is very pleased to welcome him back and sponsor this championship event.”
Hopkins, 48, has fought 17 bouts in Atlantic City, posting a 15-2 record with nine knockouts. He made his professional debut at Resorts Casino Hotel, losing a four-round, majority decision to Clinton Mitchell on Oct. 11, 1988. Some of his biggest victories were earned at Boardwalk Hall. He handed former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik his first loss, a 12-round, unanimous decision on Oct. 18, 2008.
Hopkins’ most recent fight there was a 12-round, majority decision loss to Chad Dawson on April 28, 2012. Nine months later, he became the oldest fighter to win a world title when he pounded out a unanimous decision over then-IBF light-heavyweight champ Tavoris Cloud at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“I’m happy to chance to go back to Atlantic City,” Hopkins told ESPN.com on Friday. “I’ve always done good selling tickets in Atlantic City. I’ve had some of my biggest moments there. Unfortunately, I don’t have a bigger name to fight, but I will be ready to face this guy because he wants what I have.”
Murat, who will fight in the U.S. for the first time, is the mandatory challenger. He was supposed to fight Hopkins at the Barclays Center on July 13 but was pulled out of the fight because of visa issues that have since been resolved.
The Barclays Center is not available for Oct. 19, but Boardwalk Hall happily stepped in. The venue already has hosted two world title fights this year — Adrien Broner-Gavin Rees on Feb. 16 and Lucas Matthysse-Lamont Peterson on May 18.
Boardwalk Hall hoped to bring back Matthysse in Sept. 14 against fellow junior-welterweight champion Danny Garcia, of Philadelphia, but the arena is unavailable because of the Miss American Pageant. As a result, that fight will be held in Las Vegas.
Hopkins, who is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, was in Atlantic City for Matthysse-Peterson and was training in his hotel room for the July 13 bout. When the fight with Murat was postponed, he took a much-needed break.
“I needed the rest,” he told ESPN.com. “And it’s been a long time since I had a chance to enjoy my summer. I got a chance to now with the fight being postponed so I look at it as a positive. The rest can help me. This sounds perfect to me. I get a chance to let the summer go by and not have to train in this murderous heat. I got a chance to enjoy myself for a little while.”
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