Bernard Hopkins vs Tavoris Cloud
Bernard Hopkins defeats Tavoris Cloud by unanimous decision (116-112, 117-111, 116-112)
Bernard Hopkins may not always be everyone's favorite fighter, but he turned in an absolute clinic tonight. Over the course of 12 rounds, Hopkins showed what makes him great, using brilliant movement and skills to defeat Tavoris Cloud. And he did it all at the age of 48 years old. With this win, Hopkins becomes the IBF Light Heavyweght champion, breaking his own record as the oldest man to win a major world title in boxing.
Hopkins managed to do what he does best - draw Cloud into his style of fight. The younger Cloud saw his punch output significantly reduced by Hopkins's style, but the real difference maker was the defense from Hopkins. In the end, Cloud managed to land only 21% of his punches, compared to 41% by Hopkins. Still, Cloud had his moments, landing some solid punches on Hopkins at times. He just couldn't put them together enough to get things consistently working.
A bit of drama came in round 6 as Cloud suffered a cut just above his left eye. Cloud called it an elbow, referee Earl Brown ruled in an accidental headbutt, but replays showed it was a legal punch. Luckily, Cloud's corner took care of the cut and it became a non-factor as the fight progressed.
In his post-fight speech, Hopkins mentioned fighting for 5 more years, which would place him at an astonishing 53 years old. That sounds absurd. And yet when you watch him put on this kind of performance - a boxing clinic for the ages - it suddenly isn't absurd at all.