Don’t make the mistake of telling Bernard Hopkins that age is anything more than a number. On Tuesday, BSO was on hand as Hopkins celebrated his 48th birthday with a press conference at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center to promote his March 9th fight against IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Tavoris Cloud. Cloud, 31, is undefeated in his professional career and has been dubbed “a mini-Mike Tyson” by famed promoter Don King. Nevertheless, Hopkins likes his chances at becoming the oldest fighter in history to win a world title with a victory over Cloud. “I understand that I have a blessing to not only make history once but two, three and four times. I understand you will miss me when I’m not here.” said Hopkins.
“People will always tell me, ‘You can’t do this. You can’t do that.’” Hopkins continued. “When I hear that, it gives me motivation. I know there are some things in life that are out of reach. Some people are not capable of doing certain things. I have been doing this half of my life. I know what I am capable of.”
Cloud (24-0, 19 KO’s) has held the IBF Light Heavyweight title since 2009 when he defeated Clinton Woods. Most recently, he successfully defended his title on February 18, 2012 against Gabriel Campillo. Cloud is a household name amongst most boxing enthusiast, but he doesn’t hold the same status in the mainstream sports media. However, this upcoming bout with Hopkins could change that for the Tallahassee, Florida native. Nevertheless, Cloud still seemed to take issue with the perception held by some that he’s the one who has something to prove in this fight. “I want to thank Bernard Hopkins for calling me out for this fight,” Cloud said. “It’s weird when a champion gets called out, but like he [Hopkins] says, he’s different.”
Cloud’s verbal jab at Hopkins was probably the mildest piece of trash talk thrown by either fighter at the presser. Cloud wisely left most of the heavy hitting smack talk to his promoter Don King, who didn’t disappoint anyone seeking a good sound bite. “Hello Brooklyn!” King proclaimed. “Bernard is in foreign territory. I’m at home here in Brooklyn. He doesn’t know the half of what it’s going to mean fighting here. Brooklynites know what time it is. It’s time to put you [indicating Hopkins] out to rest and reside.”
King went to say that Hopkins once had a “Superman body”, but now he has a “Spiderman body”. He then motioned towards Hopkins and said that Team Cloud was coming to Brooklyn to “help Bernard”.
Hopkins, who said that his theme song is “I’m Different” by 2 Chainz, countered saying that “If there’s a projects around the corner, I’m home”, in response to King’s remarks about Brooklyn being foreign territory for Hopkins. “After I beat Cloud, Don King will have to pawn his jacket [to make money], and that jacket is just as old as me.” Hopkins stated before looking towards Cloud and saying: “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.”
That remark prompted King to shout ”He’s Secretariat!”
Hopkins went on to tell King “Enjoy your day because after March 9, there will be a big celebration of your long-lasting promotional legacy as I send you into retirement.”
The 12-round fight for Cloud’s IBF Light Heavyweight World Championship will take place Saturday, March 9 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Don King Productions and sponsored by Corona and AT&T. HBO’s telecast of the fight will begin at 9:30 p.m.
Stay with BSO for updates on what is shaping up to be a night to remember in a few short weeks in Brooklyn.