Not even a worldwide pandemic will stall comeback plans for Karo Murat.
It will, however, dictate where his ring return will now take place.
The 36-year old from Kitzingen, Germany remains on course to take the ring, although a planned appearance in his nation’s capital is no longer in play. Event handlers were forced to scrap plans for a March 21 show at the Titanic Convention Center in Berlin, following suit with thousands of other sporting events around the world which have been forced to postpone or cancel outright due to ongoing health concerns with the spread of COVID-19.
The exact date remains forthcoming for the relocated event, which will take place three hours away and sans fanfare at the ECB Boxgym in Hamburg, Germany.
“We were really looking forward to the event in Berlin, it would have been a great night of boxing,” said promoter Erol Ceylan, head of EC Boxing whose in-house gym will now the host the intimate event. “However, at the moment no event in the world is safe and there is nothing you can do about it.
The team at EC Boxing actually did something about it, although it won’t be quite the same experience as playing to a packed ballroom.
Still, it means a payday kept alive for ten boxers, and a comeback tour for a light heavyweight hopeful.
Murat (32-4-1, 21KOs) has not fought since suffering a surprise loss to Sven Fornling in their December 2018 clash, also in Hamburg. The defeat snapped a five-fight win streak after being stopped by then-unbeaten light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera in December 2015.
The lone two other defeats on Murat’s ledger have come at the title level, dropping a 12-round decision to then-light heavyweight champ Bernard Hopkins in October 2013. Three years prior, Murat was stopped in nine rounds by then-unbeaten Nathan Cleverly, who went on to claim a light heavyweight title.
Murat’s placement on this card marks a significant downgrade in competition, as he faces Berlin’s Mazen Girke (15-108-6, 2KOs), who hasn’t won a fight since January 2016. The 36-year old southpaw is since winless in his last 44 starts, including a 5th round stoppage loss just two months ago.
Given current circumstances, it’s better than no fight at all.
“It is now important for our boxers to know that they can still fight,” notes Ceylan.
The five-fight card is topped by a 10-round heavyweight bout between Munich’s Michael Wallisch (20-3, 13KOs) and Chemnitz’s Kai Kurzawa (38-9, 26KOs). The event will be closed to the public.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox