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Hopkins vs. Cloud: Tavoris will test how much 48-year-old Bernard has left

Bernard Hopkins Tavoris CloudBy Allan Fox: Bernard Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 KO’s) is going to have a big test on his hands against IBF light heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud (24-0, 19 KO’s) on March 9th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. This is a different kind of test for the 47-year-old Hopkins compared to the guys he’s been facing lately. Hopkins has been fighting guys like Chad Dawson, Jean Pascal and Roy Jones Jr. for the past three years, and none of those guys throw a lot of punches.

The only thing that Hopkins had to worry about in those fights was an occasional flurry from them, and this made it easy for him to conserve energy for his aging body. However, Cloud is a much busier fighter, who likes to throw nonstop punches to wear down his opponents, and it’s going to be tough for Hopkins to be able to stay in there with that kind of guy.

The last time that Hopkins fought someone with a high work rate was in his loss to Joe Calzaghe in 2008. Hopkins couldn’t keep up with Calzaghe and it eventually cost him the fight when he slowed down in the 2nd half. Hopkins helped himself with his constant clinching that shut down part of Calzaghe’s offense. However, Hopkins couldn’t clinch enough to shut Calzaghe’s offense down and completely and he ended up still losing the fight.

Cloud is probably look to do exactly what Calzaghe did by letting his hands go and daring Hopkins to try and match his work rate. I expect Hopkins to clinch a lot in this fight, but it’s not going to be enough for him to shut Cloud down completely. Hopkins is going to have to take the fight to the inside and try to get Cloud against the ropes in order to get a win this fight, because he’s not going to able to match him punch for punch in this fight.

Hopkins lost his last fight to Chad Dawson last April by a 12 round decision. Hopkins didn’t throw enough punches and he spent too much time out the outside where he was ineffective.

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