He's a 48 year old Boxer who I believe is improving with age. My boy, new IBF Middleweight Champion Bernard Hopkins, is giving cable channel boxing clinics on a grand scale. He took the belt from 31 year-old Tavoris Cloud this weekend in commanding style. In Brooklyn!
Hopkins looked as if he just couldn't be hurt by Cloud, while delivering some hurtful punches that opened three cuts over the opponent's eyes. Cloud mistakenly protested to the referree that Hopkins elbow caused one of the cuts. Replay don't lie, it was a B-Hop punch that clouded Cloud's judgment of what actually transpired. The fight ended with Hopkins calling out Oakland native Andre Ward, even before the decision was announced. Ward was sitting at ringside as a guest announcer, I think.
On a night when B-Hop would become the oldest man in history to win a major world boxing title, it looked as if he's just peaking and has a lot more fight in him. Maybe the best is yet to come from Hopkins, who knew. This weekend he wasn't dirty or controversial as many fans know him to be. Instead, he was clever, calculating and consistent as he landed punches on the face of Cloud from every imagineable angle while slipping and sliding like a snake. Most who saw it are still wondering how the heck Hopkins did what he did. And the more unbelievable thing about it is he seemed to do it with class!
For me, seasoned announcer Jim Lampley gave the best highlight quote of the night when he repeated word for word the boxing instructions B-Hop's expressive trainer, Naazim Richardson, gave him in a late round of the fight.
"I need that short Joe Louis then wipe his nose with the hook. Tip your hat, pop the chain, short Joe Louis, then wipe his nose with the hook. It's that simple."
How Hopkins Dismantled Cloud