Hopkins Turns Back Clock...Again!
Breaks his own record by beating Cloud in Brooklyn!
March 9, 2013 - Brooklyn, NY
Ringside Report: Matt Richardson and Mariano A. Agmi
Photos: Ed Mulholland
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Turns out, the old dog still has some tricks left.
In yet another unbelievable performance, former two-division champion Bernard Hopkins became the oldest man to ever win a major title in boxing history with a wide unanimous decision Saturday night against IBF title-holder Tavoris Cloud at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The fight was the main event of an HBO World Championship boxing telecast.
The 48-year-old Hopkins, who previously beat the record in 2011 with a decision win against Jean Pascal, won by tallies of 117-111 and 116-112 (twice). Fightnews scored the bout 115-113 for the new belt-holder.
It was, in many ways, a typical Hopkins fight. Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KO's) didn't throw many punches, but the ones he did throw, landed. Final punch statistics showed Hopkins almost double the connect percentage of his opponent, 41-percent to 21-percent. Cloud was aggressive early in the bout but had difficulty establishing any sort of sustained momentum and by the second half of the fight it was Cloud (24-1, 19 KO's), not Hopkins, who looked the worse for wear. Cloud was cut over his left eye and looked generally winded at the bout's conclusion. Hopkins, meanwhile, looked essentially the same as he did when the bout began.
Hopkins started the fight by throwing single shots followed up by automatic clinches. Cloud punched in the clinches, though, and landed a decent right in the final minute of the round. Hopkins landed some sneaky counterpunches in the second round and he caught Cloud after Cloud walked away from missing a wide punch. In the third, Cloud scored well with lefts and rights. Hopkins landed a quick counter overhand right after Cloud landed a combination. Hopkins landed a flush right in the fourth that had Cloud shaking his head in response. Hopkins landed well in the final minute of the round but Cloud punched right back.
Hopkins did better in the fifth as Cloud couldn't seem to get his shots off. The referee called a halt in the sixth to inspect a cut over Cloud's left eye. The punch was ruled the result of an accidental butt and Cloud came out aggressively right after and pinned Hopkins on the ropes. Hopkins was unfazed, though, and later landed a quick jab-right combination. Cloud pinned Hopkins along the ropes with body shots in the seventh but Hopkins called back for more. Cloud missed a big shot and Hopkins taunted him from behind, winging a fist behind Cloud's head to illustrate what he could have done if he wanted to. Hopkins took a hard right in the final minute of the eighth that had him moving back but he landed a wide shot in the final ten seconds.
Neither fighter did much of note in the ninth, though Hopkins won it on two of the three judges' cards with a combination that seemed to land. By the tenth, Hopkins was clearly sensing the fight in his favor and he began laughing and smiling in between the spurts of action. Cloud came out a bit more active in the eleventh but it was Hopkins who was getting the better of the exchanges between the two fighters. Cloud charged forward in the twelfth but was clearly exhausted as Hopkins just picked his shots from the outside, knowing that the victory was already in the bag.
Final punch statistics illustrated the difference in the fight: Hopkins landed 169 punches of 417 shots while Cloud landed a dismal 139 punches out of 650. Cloud averaged 54 punches per round, but had averaged 72 in his previous five fights.
Hopkins vs Cloud Photos
Thurman Goes 12 for 1st Time Against Zaveck
In the co-feature, Keith "One Time" Thurman (20-0, 18 KOs) was extended beyond eight rounds for the first time in his career, winning a one-sided but tough twelve round decision over former IBF welterweight champion Jan Zaveck (32-3, 18 KOs). With the win, Thurman picked up the WBO Inter-Continental welterweight title.
The 24-year-old Thurman started the bout landing stiff left jabs and his signature heavy right hands. Zaveck, the first and only world champion out of Slovenia, looked to counter with a right hand over the top of Thurman's jab, right hand combinations.
Zaveck landed a counter right hand in round two that momentarily knocked Thurman off balance, but One Time stormed back with blistering shots that reddened the Slovenian's face.
Sensing that Zaveck had a solid chin, the heavy handed Thurman turned his attention to Zaveck's mid-section in round three, landing stinging left hooks and right hands to the body. The Slovenian bravely plodded forward and returned fire with right hands at the end of Thurman's combinations, but he took hellacious punishment in return for his efforts.
Zaveck had a better sixth round, catching Thurman with a left hook and later a counter right hand, but Thurman continued to land the bigger shots in rounds seven and eight.
"One Time" landed a counter left uppercut in round nine, nicking Zaveck above his left eye. The fighters traded left hooks in round ten, and a right hand buckled Zaveck, who was suddenly hurt. The 36-year-old was reeling after several right hands, but he managed to launch a left hook as the round came to an end.
Zaveck never stopped trying in the championship rounds, forcing the action in round twelve by pursuing Thurman and looking to get into exchanges. However, the Floridian proved that he could go twelve rounds and that he could outbox an opponent if necessary.
Judges Waleska Roldan, Nelson Vasquez and Don Trella all scored the bout 120-108 for Thurman, who admitted that he picked up more than an inter-continental belt on this night.
"It was a good boxing lesson," said Thurman, who was unable to floor Zaveck despite landing 150 of 336 (45%) power shots. "I learned you have to box some guys, outsmart them. You're not always gonna get a knockout. It was something I didn't experience before. He's truly a veteran of the sport. He kept me guessing. He had a tight defense, kept his chin tucked. The man's never hit the canvas and I wanted to do that. I'm glad I got the 12 rounds in and I'm happy with my performance."
The gutsy former champion was equally humble in defeat: "I had more experience but it didn't show," admitted Zaveck, who beat Isaac Hlatshwayo on the road for the IBF belt in 2009 and defended it three times before losing it via TKO due to a badly swollen eye against Andre Berto in 2011. "He was much better than me. I went the distance but I couldn't [win]. I gave it my all. I was too slow. I give him my congratulations. He's going to have a great future."
Thurman vs Zaveck Photos
Perez, Smith Draw...
Lightweights Michael Perez and Lonnie Smith fought to a majority draw when the fight was called off in the seventh round after Perez was injured via an accidental head butt. Scores were 67-65 for Perez and 66-66 (twice). Perez (18-1-2, 10 KO’s) dropped Smith (14-4-3, 10 KO's) in the second on a powerful left uppercut but Smith recovered admirably and was throwing and landing his own punches in the final seconds of the frame.
Smith landed some hooks in the second but Perez was soon bleeding from a cut along his hairline. Smith continued to fight well, despite his earlier knockdown, and he came forward winging wide shots as Perez spent most of the rounds moving backwards. In the seventh, a head butt caused the action to be halted and Perez's injury was reviewed by the ringside physician. When Perez was deemed unfit to continue and a halt to the fight was called, referee Shada Murdaugh initially raised Smith's fist in victory. But when Perez walked to the referee to protest the move, the referee changed course. Since four rounds of action had been completed, the rules dictated that the fight go to the scorecards. Ironically, it was actually Perez, not Smith, who had won on one of those cards.
Perez vs Smith Photos
Eddie Gomez annihilates Javier Gomez in One!
Undefeated Bronx junior middleweight Eddie Gomez (13-0, 9 KOs) kept his record intact, blitzing his namesake Javier Gomez (14-11, 10 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico with superior speed and accuracy. A left hook to the head badly staggered the Mexican in round one, and a subsequent left hook to the temple dropped him hard to the canvas. Gomez beat the count, but Referee Arthur Mercante Jr. did not like what he saw and decided that the Mexican could not continue. Official time was 1:17 of round one.
Gomez vs Gomez Photos
Browne Crushes Thorpe!
Former 2012 Olympian Marcus Browne easily dispatched Josh Thorpe in a light heavyweight fight. Thorpe went down in the first and rose to his feet but absorbed a few body punches after taking the original count, prompting the referee to call a halt with 18 seconds left in the round. Staten Island's Browne is now 3-0 with 3 KO's. Thorpe is 1-3.
Browne vs Thorpe Photos
Galarza Demolishes Ibarra
In a junior middleweight bout, Brooklyn’s Frank Galarza (9-0-1, 5 KOs) scored an impressive second round TKO over Mexican native Guillermo Ibarra (11-3, 7 KOs). Galarza showed great poise throughout the bout, landing counter right hands and varying his punches nicely. Galarza landed a right to the body and left hooks to the head to win round one. Ibarra tried to turn the fight into a slugfest in round two, but the sharper Galarza was able to pick him apart with accurate combinations. A left jab, right hand combination dropped Ibarra for an eight count in round two, and a follow-up right to the gut moments later dropped the Mexican a second time, causing referee Arthur Mercante Jr. to halt the bout at 2:19 of round two.
Staten Jr. impressive in debut
Brooklyn junior featherweight Claude Staten Jr. made a successful pro debut, dropping Mike Hill (0-2) with a left hook in round one and winning a shutout four round decision. Staten came out from a southpaw stance and appeared to drop the much shorter Hill with a right hook in round one, but referee Shada Murdaugh called it a slip. A left hook delivered seconds later from the orthodox stance dropped Hill for an eight count. Hill beat the count, and Staten proceeded to dominate the subsequent rounds, hurting the southpaw in each round with counter right hands. Judges Julie Lederman, Robin Taylor and Joe Pasquale scored the bout identically for the Brooklyn native, 40-35.
Bujaj Blanks Albino
In the first fight of the night, cruiserweight Steve Bujaj had a tougher time in the ring than it looked like he would've had on paper, beating Zeferino Albino by a four-round unanimous decision. Bujaj (9-0, 6 KO's) absorbed a fair amount of punches throughout the encounter, particularly in the final ten seconds of the fight. Bujaj controlled the pace of the bout from the outside, never letting Albino (4-16-3, 2 KO's) maintain a sustained offense. All three judges submitted identical scores of 40-36.