Bernard Hopkins turns 48 today, faces Cloud on March 9th in Brooklyn
By Dan Ambrose: Former two division world champion Bernard Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 KO’s) turned a ripe 48-years-old today, January 15th, and he’s scheduled to fight for the IBF light heavyweight world title against champion Tavoris Cloud (24-0, 19 KO’s) on March 9th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Hopkins will have been out of the ring for over a year when he steps inside the ring to face the unbeaten 31-year-old Cloud on 3/9, and there are now a lot of questions about whether Hopkins still has it. Hopkins is hoping to become the oldest fighter to ever win a world title. No ones ever done it at 48, so it would be a big deal if Hopkins can wrestle the IBF title away from the much younger Cloud.
It’s been two years since Hopkins last won a fight in defeating WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal in May 2011, and that’s a long time for a fighter Hopkins’ age to be going between victories.
What we do know is that Hopkins didn’t look good in his last two fights against a very beatable Chad Dawson in October 2011 and April 2012. You can’t blame Hopkins for not shining in the first fight because it was over too quickly for him to show what he’s got after Dawson picked Hopkins up and dropped him to the canvas in the 2n round. Hopkins fell on his left shoulder and separated it.
The two fought again at the end of April last year, but Hopkins failed to throw enough punches to win the fight. Dawson looked poor and the fight was there to be won by Hopkins, but he just couldn’t seem to pull the trigger on his punches in the same way that a faded Roy Jones Jr. couldn’t pull the trigger on his own shots in his loss to Hopkins in their rematch in April 2010.
Could that be age that is causing Hopkins not to let his punches go or was it respect of Dawson? Who knows? But we’ll find out on March 9th when Hopkins and Cloud get it on. This is a fight where if Hopkins doesn’t let his punches go, he’ll get beat. Cloud throws a lot of punches and he never stops coming round after round. Hopkins will have to up his work rate considerably if he wants to win this fight.