March 14, 2013 - 10:58 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Bernard Hopkins knew well in advance that a win on Saturday, March 9 over Tavoris Cloud in Brooklyn would mean his phone would be ringing non-stop immediately thereafter, BoxingScene.com reported.
Sure enough, the once-again light heavyweight titlist now has a full voicemail inbox to sift through while deciding his next step. The 48-year old wunderkind became the oldest fighter in boxing history to capture a major belt, breaking his own record set at age 46 following his May 11 rematch with over Jean Pascal.
“There [are] champions that [have] been callin[g] me out after my historic victory,” Hopkins recently said through his Twitter account. “I'm aware that I [have] a mandatory obligation under the IBF rules. My mandatory challenger (is) Karo Murat.”
With the IBF mandatory defense well past due, the camps for Hopkins and Murat have 30 days to negotiate terms for such a fight. If the two sides are unable to reach an agreement, a purse bid will be ordered, after which the fight must take place within 90 days.
Title unification bouts have often been cited as an exception, though not always immediately honored, especially when a mandatory is past due. Carl Froch was recently forced to give up his title in order to pursue a rematch with fellow beltholder Mikkel Kessler, which in turn created a vacant title fight opportunity for mandatory challenger Adonis Stevenson