Bernard Hopkins again played the ageless wonder, taking Tavoris Cloud's IBF 175-pound crown on Saturday and breaking his own mark as the oldest man to win a title in any sport.
Hopkins, from Philadelphia, won by scores of 116-112, 117-111, 116-112 at Barclays Center. He did so with superlative ring generalship. Sometimes he moved, sometimes he stayed firm, sometimes he slid right and sometimes he threw a lead right. But he was always in control of his domain, the ring. He has elevated himself another notch or two among the all-time greats in the sport.
Hopkins went 169-417, to 139-650 for Cloud, according to CompuBox.
"(Trainer) Naazim (Richardson) told me what to do, I stuck to the gameplan, it was trying to throw combination punches, and throw them often," Hopkins said after the fight. He said he knew Cloud couldn't adjust to combos. Hopkins found his rhythm around Round 4 or 5, and "things became easy."
"I have a history of destroying young champions," he said, "and then we don't see them again. Not sure if you'll see Cloud again.
"I wanted to show the forty-and-up club still rules," he said.
He gave a shoutout to James Toney and Roy Jones, but said he is alone and above them.
Cloud afterwards said that he told Hopkins he respected him.
“I was only average tonight,” Cloud explained before complaining about an elbow. "It is what it is.”
Cloud said the good thing about boxing is that they do what they do in the ring, no guns, and they live to fight another day.