Found March 10, 2013 on
Bernard Hopkins may be one of Philadelphia’s native sons, but you would have thought otherwise after hearing the roaring chants of “B HOP” that rained down on the 48 year-old fighter on Saturday night at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
The crowd of 12,293 wasn’t shy about showing their support for the “The Executioner” as they watched Hopkins make history once again with a convincing 12-round victory over the previously undefeated Tavoris Cloud. With the win, Hopkins earned Cloud’s IBF Light Heavyweight Title and broke his own two-year old record, becoming the oldest fighter in boxing history to win a world championship.
Contrary to what the 17 year age difference between the boxers may have suggested, Hopkins proved to be the quicker fighter time and time again on Saturday. Indeed, while Tavoris Cloud showed glimpses of why he was so highly regarded in boxing circles, Hopkins’ defense prevented Cloud from sustaining any momentum even when he was able to connect with his punches.
Overall, Cloud landed 21% of his punches (139/650) compared to Hopkins’ 41% (169/417) (ESPN.com via Compubox).
“I was really working on my speed and reflexes. At 48 years old, I wanted to display them,” Hopkins told HBO’s Max Kellerman during his post-fight interview in the ring. “I’m with the 40-and-up club, and it still rules.”
While the crowd was behind Hopkins from the beginning when the Barclays Center television screen displayed a shot of Hopkins warming up during the last undercard fight, they did get a little restless early on in the bout as neither fighter threw many punches through the first two rounds. The proud Brooklynites even tossed a few boos towards the ring.
Moreover, before the action picked up in the third round there were a couple of brief tussles between fans in the audience that drew sarcastic cheers from the crowd as if to imply that the action in the stands was better than the action in the ring.
Despite the slow start, the fireworks didn’t disappoint when they finally came. A few of the better moments included Hopkins connecting with a right hook on Cloud midway through the fourth round and then amusing the crowd by laughing at Cloud after he failed to land a big left swing. Hopkins would later draw a similar reaction in the seventh round when he mocked Cloud after another big miss.
Hopkins probably did his most damage in the sixth round when he opened a gash over Cloud’s left eye that seemed to nag Cloud throughout the rest of the fight. Although the referee officially ruled that the cut was caused by an accidental head-butt, the stadium replays seemed to show that Hopkins caused the gash with a left hook. In fact, when the Barclays’ crowd saw the slow-motion footage of the blow, they responded with their most enthusiastic “B Hop” chant of the night.
Cloud had a few highlights of his own, as he was able to connect on a couple of nice shots in the fourth and eighth rounds, but in the end it wasn’t hard to see why Hopkins won a unanimous decision. After the fight, Cloud seemed to think that his gash may have been caused by an elbow, but overall he sounded like he knew he had just taken a fair loss.
“I was only average tonight. He hit me with that elbow, but I am not complaining,” said Cloud. “It is what it is. The good thing about boxing is we do it inside the ring without guns and everybody lives to fight another day.”
In addition to the age gap between the fighters, the fight’s other storyline involved Hopkins going up against his former promoter Don King who now promotes Tavoris Cloud.
Back in January, Hopkins speculated that Don King’s demise would coincide with Tavoris Cloud’s defeat, saying that “After I beat Cloud, Don King will have to pawn his jacket [to make money], and that jacket is just as old as me. “ At the same press conference, he went on to tell Tavoris Cloud that “Don King is going to make sure you do your business. His empire is on your shoulders. You’re the last horse. There’s no one left in the stable.”
Although he did have what appeared to be a brief, civil exchange with King after the fight, Hopkins didn’t sound like he was backing off of those remarks Saturday night. “I have a history of destroying young champions and you never see them again,” Hopkins said from the ring. “I don’t know if you’ll see Tavoris Cloud again.”
When the fight was formally announced in January, King stated that he had a mini-Mike Tyson in Tavoris Cloud. Now that Cloud has suffered his first defeat, only time will tell if Hopkins’ prophecy will come to fruition.
The fight’s co-main event featured Keith Thurman taking the WBO Inter-Continental Welterweight Title from Jan Zaveck via unanimous decision in a 12-round bout, and highlights from the undercard bouts included impressive TKO wins by Brooklyn’s Frank Galarza and 2012 United States Olympian Marcus Browne. Michael Perez and Lonnie Smith also battled to a 2/3 majority draw in a 10-round lightweight fight.
Overall it was a good night for boxing in Brooklyn, as the Barclays Center proved to be a fresh new venue for premier fights.
However, the evening ultimately belonged to the 48-year old Hopkins, who became the new IBF Light Heavyweight Champion and solidified his status of one the better athletes competing in any sport today.
BEST OF MAXIM
Bernard Hopkins became the oldest man to ever win a major world boxing title after he scored a 12-round unanimous decision over Tavoris Cloud to win the IBF light-heavyweight title at the Barclays Center on Saturday night.
The frisky 48-year-old Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KOs) pulled out a collection of tricks from his three decades of experience to school the 31-year-old Cloud (24-1,...
Bernard Hopkins unanimously outscored Tavoris “Thunder” Cloud to earn the IBF light heavyweight title and, again, become the oldest fighter to ever win a major world belt on Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. A former two-weight world champion and reformed ex-convict, Hopkins (53-6-3-2, 32 KOs) broke his own feat by overwhelming over Cloud (24-1, 19...
Bernard Hopkins has another belt around his waist and a slice of boxing history to his name. He just might not have another bout.
The oldest boxer to win a major title, the 48-year-old Hopkins said he could retire a champion if he's no longer inspired and the right bout doesn't materialize.
''If I'm not motivated, and the competition is not there, if it'...
The oldest boxer to win a major title, Bernard Hopkins says he could retire a champion.
But hanging up the gloves is not the first choice for the 48-year-old Hopkins. He says he would like to keep fighting if the right opponent and network home can be found.
Hopkins scored a 12-round unanimous decision over Tavoris Cloud to claim the IBF light heavyweight championship Saturday...
Hopkins vs Cloud weigh in
Bernard Hopkins is chasing history as boxing's oldest champion.
The 48-year-old Hopkins will try to prove he's still championship material when he fights undefeated Tavoris Cloud for a piece of the 175-pound light heavyweight title Saturday night at Barclays Center in New York.
Hopkins dethroned George Foreman as the oldest boxer to win a world title when he beat Jean Pascal...
Bernard Hopkins became the oldest boxer to win a major title on Saturday night, scoring a 12-round unanimous decision over Tavoris Cloud to claim the IBF light heavyweight championship.
The 48-year-old Hopkins broke the record he set by beating Jean Pascal for the WBC light heavyweight title on May 21, 2011.
Hopkins improved to 53-6-2 in the main event of an eight-fight card at...
NEW YORK CITY - - Boos greeted Tavoris Cloud as he began his ringwalk into the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. East Coast legend Bernard Hopkins enjoyed a much warmer welcome to New York, one of his most famous stomping grounds.
Greeted like a hero, the 48 year old Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KO) came out in Executioner’s mask, swathed in a purple robe with a large “X” on his back...
After growing up with very little, in a rough neighborhood, living in a small house that sometimes housed as many as 15 other people, and beating those odds, having a boxing legend in the opposite corner does not seem as daunting a task for Tavoris Cloud.
Still, Saturday night's IBF Light Heavyweight title fight against 48-year-old Bernard Hopkins is the biggest challenge of...
Bernard Hopkins has never been a taciturn figure, so that he would crow loudly over taking Tavoris Cloud's IBF belt and pushing his own record as boxing's oldest world champion forward a notch isn't surprising. However, only boxing fans with long memories and a keen interest in the sport might have understood why he was boasting about "putting Don King out of business...
Bernard Hopkins is Champ once again breaking his old record that he set to become the oldest Champion at the age of 48 years old. They say you can not teach an old dog new tricks, but when the dog’s name is Bernard Hopkins he needs no tricks because he already mastered them all. Hopkins [...]
Bernard Hopkins became the oldest boxer to win a major title on Saturday night, scoring a 12-round unanimous decision over Tavoris Cloud to claim the IBF light heavyweight championship., http://juicedsportsblog.com/sports-news/news/hopkins-defeats-cloud-to-become-oldest-champ
If spoil sports aren't your flavor, perhaps a pair of refreshing counter left hook knockouts from the past weekend can cleanse the palate? Edgar Sosa did in Ulises Solis with one in a meaningful flyweight bout, finally scoring a victory over his thrice-rival. Junior lightweight Argenis Mendez, too, got his revenge in a rematch against Juan Carlos Salgado. It was the snazzier...
All Times Eastern
World Championship Boxing, Brooklyn, NY
Light Heavyweight Championship, Tavoris Cloud vs. Bernard Hopkins -- HBO, 9:30 p.m.
College Basketball Viewing Picks
Paris-Nice, Stage 6: Manosque to Nice -- NBC Sports Network, midnight (delayed)
PGA Tour, Doral, FL
WGC-Cadillac Championship, 3rd Round -- Golf Channel, noon/NBC...