Once again it seemed impossible. A 48 year-old boxing legend, Bernard Hopkins, who had accomplished what no other boxer had ever accomplished in the history of the sport—made history all over again. He stripped undefeated IBF light heavyweight championTavoris Cloud of his championship belt by unanimous decision. Cloud was 17 years younger than Hopkins at age 30 and saw his record fall to 19-1.
The 48 year-old Hopkins broke the record he set by beating Jean Pascal for the WBC light heavyweight title on May 21, 2011. Most experts felt Hopkins beat Pascal the first fight, but was robbed of the title. When asked which fight meant more? Hopkins quickly said, ”Tonight was better.” Then, he went on to say, “Because, I’m older– it’s more gratifying.” ”Tonight was one of the bigger fights in my career.” ”It was great to break-in The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York with a legendary performance,” Hopkins said.
The upset was witnessed before a packed house. It’s amazing how Hopkins has been beating up on these marquee fighters who are young enough to be his sons. In some cases we’re talking him being nearly 20 years their senior. The crowd was stunned at every round and most came out to support Bernard Hopkins with hopes to witness history all over again.
Hopkins was the underdog going into the fight Saturday night. However, in the minds of many including most boxing pundits all around the boxing world; the impossible could still be made possible. If anyone could pull another rabbit out of the hat against all the odds given–it would be none other than Hopkins.
He’s like a sly old fox when it comes to fighting these younger fighters. He has destroyed the careers of many younger fighters. And what’s weird about these fights is—these fighters are usually never the same afterwards. Some on his list of upsets starts with Antwun Echols, Felix Trinidad, William Joppy, Robert Allan, Oscar De La Hoya, Antonio Tarver, Winky Wright, Kelly Pavlik, and Jean Pascal. His record is now 53-(32 by KO) 6-2-2.
Two years ago EA SPORTS installment Fight Night Champion series Fight Night Round 4 gave Bernard Hopkins a high rating of nearly the highest of all their boxers. Hopkins was given a rating of 92. Back in 2005 EA SPORTS Fight Night Round 2 named Hopkins ‘The Cover Man of EA Boxing Title.’ EA SPORTS has always given Hopkins his props and still recognizes him today as a true legend of the sport.
Bernard Hopkins known as ‘The Executioner’ could fight on if he chooses to do so. This past weekend he looked as good as any great boxer fighting in the prime of their career, even though he’s less than a couple of years from hitting the big FIVE-0. It’s amazing. He came out of the fight without a scar or blemish on his face. It looked as if he had been on a slow walk—through the park.