Ho-hum, Bernard Hopkins won another fight.
Though it’s patently unfair to diminish what the Philadelphia veteran has been doing in the ring over the last several years, the fact is that the 48-year-old has beaten foes young enough to be his kids for so long that it’s starting to become old hat.
Case in point, Hopkins entered his Saturday night IBF light heavyweight title defense against 30-year-old Karo Murat—a fight he won by wide decision at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.—as a bigger favorite (a $900 wager was required to recoup $100 at Bovada) than Filipino star Manny Pacquiao ($450 is needed to win $100) is for his November return against Brandon Rios.
Nonetheless, the one-sided defeat of the IBF’s unheralded No. 2 contender did precisely what it was supposed to do: Keep Hopkins active, successful and in position to continue a remarkable run of late-career relevance that seemed all but impossible when he dropped the second of two straight decisions to then-unbeaten Jermain Taylor nearly eight years ago.
Regardless of how long he chooses to continue—Hopkins claimed a desire earlier this year to unify the 175-pound belts by the time he turns 50 in 2015—the fighter now rechristened as “The Alien” will have no shortage of potential foils for as long as he’s a main event commodity.
Here are the men who warrant top consideration for the next go-round.