“I have a history of destroying young champions and you never see them again,” Hopkins said. “I don’t know if you’ll see Tavoris Cloud again.”
Cloud joined the list of young champions that tasted defeat from Grandpa Hopkins, including Pascal and Pavlik.
Hopkins just proved doubters who believed that he is more of dirty tricks now than skills. He probed that he can win real clean. Hopkins throws more often combinations rather that pot shooting which he did in his previous two fights with Chad Dawson. This time he outworked a 17 years junior, strong and hard hitting champion, who was slightly favored to win before the fight.
The fight started very slow in the first three rounds. It seems to me that, Hopkins really gets through the head of Cloud. Many anticipate that Cloud would immediately jump into Hopkins to impose his power and agility. But to the contrary Cloud was just too hesitant to engage.
In the fourth, Cloud tries to dig more to the body but that never stops Hopkins or slows him down to move around the ring to avoid Cloud’s charge.
In the sixth Cloud was cut on left eyelid that the referee ruled out as an accidental head butt. But it turns out from the replay that it was Hopkins left hook that opened the cut.
Hopkins was comfortably ahead of the scorecards entering the second half of the fight. When the final bell sounded, the scorecard reads 117-111, 116-112 and 116-112 all for Hopkins.
With his blockbuster performance I think Hopkins could still continue fighting till he reaches 50 years old. His record will be setting in the history book for a very long time, I believed. He even becomes more popular now than his reign in the middleweights.
Nigel Collins said in his tweet “B-Hop is far more popular now than when he was in his prime & kayoing his foes. I guess he’s mesmerized fans the way he does his opponents”.