The 48-year-old Hopkins (52-6-2-2, 32 KOs), a reformed ex-convict who outclassed Jean Pascal in May 2011 to earn a unanimous decision victory and become, at 46, the oldest man to capture a major belt, will break his own feat with a triumph over Cloud (24-0, 19 KOs) next month.
Although unblemished and owning a solid amateur background, the 31-year-old Cloud, a 5-foot-10 native of Tallahassee, Florida, has primarily battled unknowns and Hopkins is undoubtedly the biggest test of his professional career.
Mike Cappiello, a standout pugilist from “The City of Champions” who once fought for the IBO super featherweight crown and retired with an impressive mark of 33-6, has the utmost respect for Hopkins.
“Hopkins is not in it for the money,” said Cappiello, the owner of Cappiello Brothers Boxing gym in Brockton. “He loves to fight.”
“The Executioner,” who safeguarded his middleweight championship a record 20 straight times from 1995 through 2005, is an active prizefighting legend.
Despite being a geriatric, Hopkins remains a defensive virtuoso with an insatiable appetitive for winning.
In a rollercoaster, yet somewhat boring, affair, Bernard Hopkins will continue adding to his legacy by outscoring Tavoris Cloud to again become a titleholder two weeks from this evening in Gotham.