This week SecondsOut’s big fight prediction is the IBF light heavyweight title clash between champion Tavoris Cloud and former multi weight world champion Bernard Hopkins at the Barclays Center in New York on Saturday night.
See below who our army of writers think will be victorious this weekend.
I really would not be surprised if Bernard Hopkins fiddled Cloud out of his title via a points decision and at age 48 he is still an incredible athlete. He’s got all the tricks in the book and more. But Cloud I believe is a deceptively hard puncher if he can keep whacking away at Bernard’s trademark cross arm defence and make him lower his guard then he can hurt Hopkins. I’m going for Cloud to finally break Hopkins down late after a slow start and nick a close points win.
Editor In Chief
This is certainly an interesting matchup in the mere sense that each side has so much to lose. Bernard Hopkins won’t want his last outing in the ring to end by way of an embarrassing shutout, while Tavoris Cloud cannot allow himself to rush himself into believing that his age advantage gives him the upper hand. There’s not much difference in height & reach between these two. In order to conclusively beat Hopkins, Cloud must find his range and rhythm early and let his jab work for him. Bernard will look to counter with his right whenever Tavoris slips up. The early rounds are usually not the blossoming period for Hopkins. Don’t expect this to change as he may actually be too old to do so. Cloud gets an early lead because of his movement and overall level of output. In the middle rounds, Hopkins looks to press the action and counter more. Over time, the old warhorse outsmarts the younger fighter and does enough to keep him away and also tag him in the process. The Florida fighter becomes slowly and visibly frustrated as the Philly legend closes him down.
Bernard Hopkins W12
Bernard Hopkins, the ageless wonder will yet again battle for belt against a younger, faster Tavoris Cloud. The two will fight for the IBF Light Heavyweight Title currently in the possession of Cloud. Many are saying Hopkins is to old, to slow to beat cloud. Hopkins has been fighting for 25 years and may be slower, maybe not the fighter he once was, but Hopkins has experience and enough in his guns on his side to have a legitimate chance to win. Cloud has speed and youth on his side and without a doubt a great fighter. How many more years can Hopkins be a threat in the ring? Only time will tell. Cloud will have to be very aggressive and use his speed, keeping Hopkins from fighting inside. Hopkins can and will use his experience in this fight. He will have to fight inside and take Cloud out of his rythym and be prepared to take some shots in doing so. It’s hard to say if age or youth will win this fight, both are great fighters. In my opinion I think Hopkins will win this fight, and this why, so many times Hopkins has been counted out yet he keeps coming back. He is one of the greatest fighters of all time and one of the few that has mastered the ability to let experience dictate the way he faces a fight. His mind knows he doesn’t have the speed or power he once had, but he does know he has enough left of both to carry him 12 rounds. Hopkins will again prove the critics wrong by winning by decision. For Cloud, having your only loss being to Bernard Hopkins on your record isn’t half bad and nothing to be ashamed about.
Hopkins pts 12
I think this could be one fight too many for Hopkins, the younger, stronger man will prevail. Hopkins will still be tricky and durable but ultimately the pace of the fight will be too much for him.
Cloud pts 12
With every Hopkins fight I say the same thing, if B-Hop suddenly becomes the age as depicted on his birth certificate, he will lose. That is if he fights like a 48 year old man he’ll lose. The Hopkins that we have seen in recent years will win. If, on the other hand, Cloud comes in smokin’ like Joe Frazier, and makes the old man work/fight as opposed to boxing, Cloud wins. Tough call but the feeling here is that Cloud will press Hopkins to make him fight, but will probably not maintain that for twelve rounds and Hopkins will win a close verdict.
Hopkins w pts 12
Tavoris Cloud, from my perspective, has been a huge disappointment since defeating Clinton Woods back in 2009. He’s fought only four times since and two were highly debatable wins! I think a savvy
boxer is all wrong for Cloud. Hopkins brings too much to the table on the end of ring generalship to lose this one. Cloud relies to heavily on his power, which I am no longer certain is as prominent as it has been given
credit. Cloud fights at a relatively slow pace and I expect Hopkins to slow the pace of this fight even further. Very few punches will land each round, but Cloud will waste more. He very well could get another bad decision based on come forward aggression, but I think Hopkins will land the more effective punches while countering early and then turning up his own attack in the later rounds to break his previous record as the oldest man to win a world title. The real question is: what will Hopkins do to get in Cloud’s head? Sit-ups? Hopkins by Majority Decision.
Hopkins w pts 12
The run that Bernard Hopkins has been on post the age of 40 has been nothing short of amazing. I was one of the fortunate members who received the "Graterford Stare" after he dismantled Kelly Pavlik in Atlantic City in 2008. Hopkins’ boxing IQ is unrivaled which is why he was able to become the oldest fighter to win a major title when he outfought and outthought Jean Pascal. Many feel he will be able to do a similar Jedi-mind trick on Tavoris Cloud on Saturday Night. The last time we saw Cloud he was being out-classed by Gabriel Campillo for much of a fight after he scored multiple knockdowns in the opening round. Campillo was able to use movement to get Cloud off-balance and then counter him when he moved forward. The difference is that Hopkins doesn’t use movement. I feel at 48 he will not be able to punch and grab the much stronger Cloud for 12 rounds. Cloud will be busier and I think his brawn will eventually take the legs away from Hopkins. It’s never wise to bet against Hopkins, but in this case I’m siding with Father Time. I’ll take Cloud by a comfortable decision 117-111. I will also add that if Hopkins were ever to be violently knocked out, it will happen on Saturday night.
Cloud pts 12
Frankly, as a forty eight year old, Hopkins shouldn’t win this fight but I think Cloud is on borrowed time as champion. The Floridian was the beneficiary of a horrible home town decision over Gabriel Campillo last time out and Hopkins has forgotten more about boxing than Campillo will ever know. If the younger man thinks he simply needs to apply pressure to win a decision over Hopkins then he could be making a serious mistake. You must possess serious smarts to take down The Executioner, even now, and I do not think Cloud has the finesse or boxing acumen to succeed.
Hopkins w pts 12
This is one of the more intriguing bouts of the year, without question. It’s the typical old geezer versus young buck that boxing, more than any other sport, is known for. Without going into all the usual trappings of a Bernard Hopkins fight regarding his age, this one boils down to one thing: style. Since I doubt "The Executioner" will look a day over 36 on Saturday, I’m picking him to win a close unanimous decision. My logic? Hopkins is an all-time great and Cloud, as good as he is, has never wowed me. Maybe it’s because he hasn’t been in the ultimate spotlight yet, but he hasn’t shown me that he has the ability or style to become a superstar in the sport. That’s not to say he won’t eventually become a star or one of the best, but Hopkins is and has been for a long time. Hopkins will use every trick in his arsenal and will confound Cloud throughout. Hopkins will get dirty when he needs to and his guile inside the ropes is among the best in history. He’ll slowly take Cloud out of his gameplan and jab/clinch/counter/maul the younger man for twelve rounds, some of which being entertaining. Hopkins wins it 116-112 (twice) and 115-113.
Hopkins w pts 12
Bernard Hopkins is clearly the better boxer in this matchup. Tavoris Cloud is a tough customer with a relentless pressure style. While Hopkins may be aging, he still has enough in the tank to compete with and defeat the division’s best. Cloud was given a gift against Campillo and had a close fight with Mack until the stoppage. I don’t think a peformance comparable to those will be enough to defeat Hopkins. Cloud will have to apply clever ring tactics along with smart pressure to win this one. While I expect to see a competitive, gritty fight, I think Hopkins pulls it off in the end.
Hopkins W Pts 12
Hopkins = 7
March 8, 2013