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Bernard Hopkins, 52-6-2 (KO 32) will try to get once again on top at the age of 48 vying for the IBF Light heavyweight world title held by Tavoris Cloud on Mar. 9 at Barclay’s Center, Brooklyn, New York. The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Don King Productions.
If you look back Hopkins back-to-back losses against Jermain Taylor, you could think that it is the ideal time to quit for a fighter already at his 40 at that time. But that is not the road Hopkins has taken. Instead, Hopkins left the middleweight division where he was once the monarch that ruled for a decade and move up to light heavyweight division with a debut fight against his conqueror‘s conqueror, Antonio Tarver.
“The Executioner” got past Tarver, and kept on fighting. Since then, Hopkins had won five, from his last nine bouts, (defeating the likes of Wright, Pavlik, Pascal, and avenging his loss to Roy Jones Jr.) lost two close decisions, drawn once and one no contest.
Hopkins fighting the undefeated harder hitting champion, Tavoris Cloud, 24-0 (KO 19) is something you will think of; how Hopkins will defy father time with his almost golden age? Tavoris, physically strong that hits harder and perhaps on his prime right now, will definitely will have his hands full come Saturday night. Tavoris with a mission in mind to retire an aging veteran for good, beating him decisively or stopping him in the fight that his previous 62 opponents have failed to do.
It could be easier said than done for Tavoris, because Hopkins might have the physical attrition but the vast experience that he brings to the table could be enough to strip his belt. Not to mention the craftiness and the out of the book tricks that Hopkins for sure may employ once he feel the champion will try to impose athleticism to overwhelm him.
Tavoris has youth with his side and physically stronger than Hopkins but if you look at the tale of the tape, it is Hopkins that has the advantages. Hopkins being the taller and longer reach would capitalize this advantages and look to fight from the outside, keeping Tavoris at bay and impose a one-two-if-miss-hug combination to avoid in-fighting situation that would let Tavoris sneak his short right hook. If this scene will work on Hopkins, my prediction is that once again Hopkins defies father time and cruise to unanimous decision victory.
You may add your prediction below via comment.
Here are the prediction around the web:
Fightinsight.com – Tavoris UD 12
Boxing Philosophy – John Apocalypse – Hopkins UD 12
Bleacher Report Boxing – Hopkins UD 12
Boxing News Online – Tris Dixon – Hopkins
Bleacher Report Featured Columnist – Ralph Longo – Cloud TKO 10
The boxing Tribune – Tim Harrison – Hopkins – 115-113 Split Decision
Bad Left Hook – Scot Christ – Hopkins by Decision
Tom Craze – Cloud UD 12
Kory Kitchen – Cloud UD 12 (Close)
Dave Oakes – Cloud Split Decision 12
The Queensberry Rules – Tim Starks – Hopkins by Decision
Jean Pascal via Twitter – Hopkins by TKO
CompuBox – Cloud by Decision
Saturday Night Boxing – Cloud UD 116-112
ESPN Analyst Teddy Atlas – Cloud UD 12