On Saturday night, March 9, inside of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, living legend Bernard Hopkins once again dethroned a younger champion in out slicking Tavoris Cloud over twelve rounds.
Seeming as relaxed as ever, the 48-year-old Hopkins picked his spots against Cloud and prevailed by score of 116-112 on all three scorecards. With the victory, Hopkins improves his record to 53-6 with 32 knockouts while claiming the IBF light heavyweight title.
“I just wanted to use my speed and reflexes, which I still have at 48 years old,” Hopkins stated in the post-fight interview with HBO’s Max Kellerman.
“I stuck to the plan and I just took a little time to get warmed up,” Hopkins continued. “Like I said in the HBO meeting yesterday, I was going to work on combination punches and it’s hard to get adjust to it when you’re throwing one or two punches like I had my whole career.”
Always one to play mind games during the lead up to his fights, Hopkins gave Cloud his due and feels he can still be a player at 175 pounds.
“Once I found that rhythm, things became easy and I seen a lot of telegraphing punches coming from Cloud,” Hopkins explained. “But he’s a gutsy, strong, young champion. I told him that I won’t be here too long, only five more years. He will definitely be a champion again.”
Once again, another grand night for the marvel Bernard Hopkins.
In the evening’s co-feature bout, welterweight prospect Keith “One Time” Thurman kept his unbeaten record intact after pulling out a tough, 12-round decision over brave former champion Jan Zaveck.
Thurman carved up Zaveck early with shots to the body and head, and looked as though he was possibly headed towards a stoppage via TKO or cuts.
To his credit, Zaveck was very game and made things interesting over the second half of the fight.
Thurman improves his record to 20-0 with 18 knockouts and will surely continue to call for a championship fight at 147 pounds.
Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com