Bernard Hopkins turned 48 years old today, and now closing in on AARP status, "The Executioner" and Tavoris Cloud have officially announced a March 9 fight on HBO, when Hopkins will look to break his own record as the oldest man in boxing history to win a world title.
Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 KO) will face Cloud, who just turned 31, for the younger man's IBF light heavyweight belt at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
"Today is my 48th birthday and I feel half my age, so Cloud had better be ready," said Hopkins. "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."
Cloud (24-0, 19 KO) hasn't fought since February 2012, when he received generous scorecards in Texas against Gabriel Campillo. This is the biggest opportunity yet for the Don King-promoted fighter, who has fought on both HBO and Showtime, but has kept an inconsistent schedule.
The Florida native says he'll put an end to the legendary career of his foe. "This will be the last supper for Bernard Hopkins," said Cloud.
A loss to Cloud would almost certainly end the career of Hopkins, who is coming off of a clear defeat at the hands of Chad Dawson. The old man has slowed down without question, but there is some belief that he's still way too cagey for someone like Cloud, an aggressive fighter who makes mistakes and can be countered. Cloud is also the light heavyweight most likely to provide us with a good fight against Hopkins, so the matchup makes sense on both sides.
The promoters, as they always claim to be, are excited for the fight.
"Just when you think you've seen it all, Bernard Hopkins continues to amaze me and I'm looking forward to seeing what he's going to do next at Barclays Center in March," said Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions. "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."
"This is a history-making fight," said Don King. "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."