At 48 year-years-old, Bernard Hopkins became the oldest man ever to win a major title Saturday night, breaking his own record, when he beat Tavoris Cloud to capture the IBF light heavyweight title. Back in 2011, he set the record when he beat Jean Pascal for the WBC version of the same championship.
When asked about which of the victories meant more to him, he said, “Tonight was better, because I’m older. (It’s) more gratifying.
“Tonight was one of the bigger fights.”
While he was certainly basking in the glory of his victory, he was also already looking towards the future, which he claims will not keep him in the ring past 50.
“I’m motivated to do it,” Bernard Hopkins said. “I don’t believe anybody in the 175(-pound) weight class and possibly the 168(-pound) class can beat me.”
Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2) was competing in his 19th title fight at the Barclays Center. The loss dropped Cloud to 19-1.
Never very modest, Hopkins said about his performance, “It was great to break (in) the Barclays Center with a (legendary) performance.”
During the fight, Tavoris Cloud was unable to pressure B-Hop, allowing him to fight patiently, circling and landing a steady diet of jabs. Also, a nasty cut was opened over the eye of Cloud by an accidental elbow.
“I have to throw a lot of substance (into fights). I’m fighting old school in a new world. (I) have to learn to adapt to what (the judges) are looking for,” Hopkins said. “We knew a 30-year-old guy was not going to run from a 48-year-old guy.”
A disappointed Tavoris Cloud was not happy with his performance.
“I was only average tonight,” Cloud said. “He hit me with an elbow but I’m not complaining. It is what it is.”
In other action at the Barclays Center, Keith Thurman won the WBO intercontinental welterweight title in a 12-round unanimous decision over Jan Zaveck. The win moved Thurman’s record to 20-0.
However, the better action occurred after the fight when Thurman and Paulie Malignaggi, the WBA welterweight champion, got into a heated exchange. At the post-fight press conference, Thurman had his say.
“(There is a) lot of action in the welterweight division,” Thurman said before taking aim at Malignaggi who was in the crowd. “You better not duck me, son.”
Paulie Malignaggi returned fire, saying “Bring that money. It’s prize fighting, dummy. I’m ducking you because you don’t bring (any) money.”