Bernard Hopkins def. Karo Murat by unanimous decision (117-110, 119-108, 119-108)
Bernard Hopkins vs. Karo Murat was a lot of things, but it certainly wasn't boring. Instead of the more tactical outings we often get from the 48 year old Hopkins these days, this was a wild affair. Hopkins was, at first, his usual self. But as the fight progressed, things evolved into much more of a brawl, with Hopkins fighting wildly and less conservatively than we typically see from him. That aggression made the difference as Hopkins took home the decision win.
One point that must be brought up in this fight is the fouls. Both men committed a lot of fouls - a LOT. There were low blows, a rabbit punch, showboating, late shots, punches to a downed opponent and much more. Though it was Hopkins frequently initiating these fouls, the referee gave Murat much more frequent warnings, including taking a point away from Murat in round 7. Wild fight, but definitely a fun one.
In the semi-main event, Peter Quillin defended his Middleweight title against Gabriel Rosado. This was a very interesting fight, with two normally aggressive fighters coming in a bit more strategic. Quillin took an early lead with a 2nd round knockdown, but after that, Rosado upped the aggression and seemed to be turning things around. In round 9, Quillin caught Rosado with a perfect jab, slicing open Rosado's left eyelid. Forty seconds into round 10, the doctor looked at the cut and waved off the fight, giving Quillin a TKO win. It was an unfortunate ending to an intriguing stylistic clash.
The ending did however save us from judging controversy, as one judge had the fight 90-80 through 9 rounds - a scorecard that does not do justice to this close battle.
Opening the show was a Heavyweight battle between the undefeated Deontay Wilder and Nicolai Firtha. Firtha came out very aggressive, but Wilder quickly found his rhythm and dropped Firtha twice in the opening round. From there, Firtha managed to stay in it for a few rounds, but in round 4, Wilder landed a clean 1-2 combo that put Firtha down and out. Wilder is now 30-0 with 30 KOs.
Gifs of the action here, courtesy of Zombie Prophet:
HOPKINS vs. MURAT:
The BHop rabbit punch
Some showboating from both men:
Beautiful straight right from Hopkins:
Hopkins delivers a kiss mid-fight:
Murat gets an official warning (but no lost point yet):
Nice punch from Murat:
The ending of the fight:
Some questionable referee work here:
QUILLIN vs. ROSADO:
The round 1 knockdown:
The jab that led to the finish:
WILDER vs. FIRTHA:
Action from round 1:
The KO from round 4: