"A distraction would be to just sit here and put Karo Murat in front of him," said his longtime trainer, Naazim Richardson. "They need some other thing to come in and take the edge off. I'm glad that he could manufacture one."
Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 knockouts) is so off the cuff that Richardson said he just shakes his head. The trainer said he is focused on making sure the Philadelphia native "still had wheels on the car."
"The car don't move without wheels," Richardson said. "You can put wheels on a car with no engine and you can still push the car down the hill. Without wheels, you're just sitting there in danger."
On the undercard, North Philadelphia's Gabriel Rosado (21-6, 13 KOs) will fight World Boxing Organization middleweight world champion Peter Quillin (29-0, 21 KOs). The Showtime telecast starts at 9 p.m. with top heavyweight prospect Deontay Wilder (29-0, 29 KOs) against journeyman Nicolai Firtha (21-10-1, 8 KOs).
A win over Murat would make Hopkins the oldest fighter to successfully defend a world title. He will turn 49 in January and said he has no plans to stop.
Hopkins enters as a heavy favorite and said he is "looking for bigger things next." A convincing win keeps him in the running to meet Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May.
The 30-year-old Murat (25-1-1, 15 KOs) fights with a stiff European style and boxes with his gloves in front of his face. The German fighter wants to lure opponents into a close-range slugfest, not exactly the fight Hopkins is out for.
"You are going to witness a young boy from Germany who's going to come here to Bernard's home turf, and he's going to take the title from him and take it home," Murat said.
The champ will look to take advantage of Murat's short arms - he has just a 70-inch reach - and box from a distance without allowing the challenger to hit back. Hopkins has not fought an opponent with arms that short in more than 10 years.
"I'm not letting this joker fly over here, get a visa, and beat my guy," Richardson said.