Bernard Hopkins to fight Tavoris Cloud for light heavyweight belt

January 15, 2013

Ageless wonder Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins will face undefeated IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Tavoris "Thunder" Cloud at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on March 9.

"Today is my 48th birthday and I feel half my age, so Cloud had better be ready," said Hopkins, who will be participating in his 29th world championship fight. "People can say what they want.  I have broken records, quieted doubters, and solidified my legacy.  Now, I am going to do all of that again, but this time at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn in front of a large crowd of people that understand and appreciate the sport."

Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 KO's), a future Hall of Famer, was the longest reigning middleweight champion ever with 20 successful title defenses over ten years. He made history again in 2011 by becoming the oldest fighter (48 years, 54 days) to win a world championship when he beat Jean Pascal for the WBC Light Heavyweight belt.

Such accomplishments did not seem to faze his younger opponent.

"This will be the last supper for Bernard Hopkins," said the 30-year old Cloud, who will be making the fifth defense of his title. "I will retain my IBF Light Heavyweight World Title."

Unbeaten as a professional, Tavoris "Thunder" Cloud (24-0, 19 KO's) has proven to be heavy-handed as seen by his 79 percent knockout ratio.  He has successfully defended his title four times.

Both men are looking to rebound from lackluster performances in their recent bouts. Hopkins labored through two dull fights with "Bad" Chad Dawson, as Dawson's length, athleticism, and boxing skills gave Hopkins trouble.

Cloud, meanwhile, seemed on track to stardom with his aggressive style and punching power, but then received a gift decision when he struggled against Gabriel Campillo.

Nevertheless, this matchup should prove to be a fascinating contrast in styles, as Hopkins' defensive mastery and timely counterpunching will clash head-on with Cloud's aggression and youthful energy.

The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Don King Productions and will be televised by HBO.

"Tavoris Cloud is a tough test and a proud champion and with his aggressive style and power, he's going to push Bernard like never before," said Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions.

"This is a history-making fight," said Don King, President of Don King Productions. "I made history with a guy from Brooklyn by the name of Mike Tyson. Now I have a mini-Mike Tyson in undefeated IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Tavoris Cloud who will fight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on March 9.  It will be an exciting evening."

By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald and news services

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