Executioner makes history, Hopkins Champion at 48
By Cutman’s Stool: Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KO’s) did again what many people claimed could not be done. Hopkins defeated Tavoris Cloud (24-1, 19 KO’s) in a dominating display off textbook boxing talent. At 48 Hopkins has broken his own record to become the oldest ever champion in boxing history. At the Barclay’s Center, New York, Hopkins won the IBF light-heavyweight title.
Bernard Hopkins just didn’t win the fight, he convincingly defeated the 31 year old Cloud without taking any great punishment throughout the entire 12 rounds. Hopkins used great movement and perfect foot-work to avoid getting into a brawl with Cloud from the very first round. As usual Hopkins controlled the pace off the fight and like many other opponent’s in the past, Hopkins was able to make Cloud look bad.
Many people predicted before the fight, that if Cloud was to win the fight he would have to fight with a high work-rate, throw lots of punches and stay on top of Hopkins to tire him down. The “Executioner” had different plans, using his vast experience to avoid a brawl and wasted little of his punches. Hopkins used his footwork and movement around the ring, never allowing Cloud to set his footing. Hopkins was always on the move and despite his age showed great reflex’s when slipping punches and also when countering with his own. Cloud couldn’t cope with his opponents movement and often looked off balanced in stages during the fight. This was Hopkins key tactic to not allow Cloud come aggressively at him, Cloud was unable to pin Hopkins down and offload attacking punches, which he can do very well. Hopkins again showed how great he is at using feints and half-steps to disrupt his opponents rhythm to control the fight.
In round 6 Hopkins was able to hurt Cloud by inflicting a cut above his left eye, Cloud complained that the blow was from an elbow but the referee deemed that the cut was from an accidental headbutt. However, replays showed that the cut was caused from a clean left hand from Hopkins. It was a beautiful move, Hopkins was able to slip a left jab from Cloud and then deliver with his own left hook causing the damage. Hopkins was selective and efficient with his punching and targeted the cut for the reminder of the fight.
There were a few moments during the fight when Cloud did come at Hopkins, but the veteran was able to battle through these times, successfully avoiding any danger and was able to trade with his own punches. Hopkins was able to shake off whatever Cloud threw at him and never looked to be having any great problems during the fight.
Hopkins was able to keep up his performance throughout the entire fight and continued to boss Cloud in the latter rounds of the fight with his superior movement and punch selection. The Judges awarded the fight to Hopkins and scored it 116-112, 116-112, and 117-111 in an unanimous decision.