Bernard Hopkins, the new International Boxing Federation (IBF) light heavyweight champion of the world at 48 years of age, cut another notch in his historical boxing career by defeating Tavoris Cloud, the former IBF light heavyweight champion, at Brooklyn’s spanking-new Barclays Center.
A crowd of over 17,000 filled Barclays Center, coming, as Hopkins had predicted, from Philadelphia, Delaware, Baltimore and from across the city, especially from Brooklyn. While there was no quit in Cloud’s 31-year-old body, he never–during the span of 12 rounds of boxing–figured out how to attack an opponent who will soon enough be knocking on the door of Apartment 50. Hopkins, whose mouth is always running before and after business, took Cloud to school with 19 knockouts. Cloud had entered the ring undefeated at 24-0. I would recommend that Cloud get a taped copy of his argument with B-Hop and study it. He had few, if any, moments where one would think he was the light heavyweight champion of the world. But he can fight and will be a champion once again. He’s a skilled fighter. But as he discovered during his 36 minutes of quality time with Hopkins (especially in the sixth round, when B-Hop was on the verge of closing the show with a two-fisted attack from every angle in the ring), he could hold his own against the middle-aged champ–at least for a while. But from that point on, it was all over, with Hopkins connecting with a total 169 punches to Cloud’s 139, along with Hopkins connecting on 110 power punches to Cloud’s 72.
Now 53-6 with two draws and 32 knockouts, the new IBF light heavyweight champion of the world still has no intention of retiring. As we left the arena, the crowds were still buzzing along Flatbush and Atlantic avenues, departing and catching transportation on the subways and busses. Hopkins’ words were still buzzing in my ears.
“I still have some things to do,” Hopkins said. “The mindset I have is to keep making history until I retire.” That can only mean one thing–Bernard Hopkins still wants to continue rumbling. Next!