Saturday, March 9, Bernard Hopkins (52-6-2) will take on Tavoris Cloud (24-0) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. The bout will be for Cloud's IBF light heavyweight title and will be televised on HBO.
For Cloud, the bout is an opportunity for him to add a future Hall of Famer to his resume and take his career to the next level. Though, Cloud is coming into the fight as the champion, Hopkins will be the biggest test of his career and should serve as measuring stick as to whether Cloud is ready to take on some of the other champions in his division such as Chad Dawson (31-2) and Nathan Cleverly (25-0).
As for Hopkins, at 48 years old, will have the opportunity to break his own record as the oldest person to ever win a world title. Even more, a victory would put him back in place for a major fight against a top contender in the division.
However, a loss for Hopkins would likely enhance the idea of Hopkins retiring as it would be his second consecutive loss for a world title.
Strategically, Hopkins will try to outbox Cloud as he is expected to possess the greater boxing skills amongst the two. Conversely, Cloud will certainly be looking to hurt Hopkins and make it an early night as 19 of his 24 victories have come by way of knockout.
From a risk standpoint, Cloud is taking on the greater amount of risk due to the fact that Hopkins already has a legendary career which will not be tarnished due to a loss. On the other hand, Cloud is still on the rise and a loss would be detrimental to his career and momentum towards becoming a fighter with "star power" in the boxing world.
Nevertheless, the match up is an intriguing one as the boxing world will get two notable fighters going head to head for a world title. It should be interesting to view the outcome of this match up as it will have many implications for the light heavyweight division.