Hopkins Reigns On Cloud’s Impending Storm - By Jason Petock - Doghouse Boxing News
Hopkins Reigns On Cloud’s Impending Storm
By Jason Petock, Doghouse Boxing (March 11, 2013) Doghouse Boxing
Bernard Hopkins
Fandom has often been something that has all but eluded the 48 year old newly crowned IBF Light Heavyweight Champion of the World Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins (53-6-2 / 32 KOs) during his legendary career, who put on a spectacular boxing clinic on March 9 in front of a capacity crowd at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York against a game but outclassed 31 year old Tavoris “Thunder” Cloud (24-1-0 / 19 KOs), who suffered his first professional loss at the adept and skillful hands of one of the greatest fighters of our generation. Hopkins once again not only made history in the sport, but also managed to make all of his critics eat their words once again. Continuing to do it “his way” until the very end, B-Hop turned back the hands of time once more in his recent outing against Cloud and essentially snapped them off and reversed their polarity in the process. They say that styles may make fights, yet Hopkins remains in class of his own, complete with all the extras such as shoulder shrugs, slipping, ducking and just a brilliantly flawless defense that harkens back to a time of such artisans as Archie “The Mongoose” Moore (185-23-10 / 131 KOs) and “Jersey” Joe Wolcott (51-18-2 / 32 KOs). Class was in session and Bernard Hopkins was the instructor as Tavoris Cloud got schooled.

As expected the media cranked up their broken records, offering up their obvious and expected doubts of the cagey lion, as they thirstily sat waiting to see his utter defeat or catch a glimpse of the old veteran completely burning out and fading away before their very eyes. Yet Hopkins failed to disappoint, at least his fans that is. With a technical brilliance and mastery that is not seen much these days in the “Sweet Science”, albeit a few choice competitors and Champions, “The Executioner” proved his mettle during this latest extended twilight of his career and sent out a resounding and powerful message to boxing pundits and media everywhere that he is still here to stay and will only go out on his terms, regardless of what type of hype, pabulum or extreme rhetoric they try to spin against him.

In his recent showing, Bernard Hopkins appeared to have not missed a single beat. From controlling not only the tempo of the bout with Tavoris Cloud, he maintained his trademark ring generalship, slick defense in the pocket, and a staunch hunger that would typically be expected more so from his opponents then from the veteran Champion at this stage of his career. Remaining quick on his feet and with the apparent reflexes of a man 20 years younger, B-Hop executed his game plan against “Thunder” with a precision and surgical skill that has always been a pure pleasure to watch when the legend steps onto the ring apron and displays his talents. The timing was still there. That crisp, sharp counter right hand that nails his opponents right on the button and leaves them looking for a plate number still found its mark. His elusiveness and cunning remain and the mere fact that he can still compete at this level is only a further testament to the man’s greatness as a Champion and a world class, old school fighter. It is clear that Hopkins is not only a student of the art of boxing but also a master in its application. Few fighters will ever be able to hold a candle to that distinction long after the flame of Hopkins legendary career has finally come to an end.

So if it’s left up to Bernard, which it has most certainly been up to this point, that won’t be for a very, very, very long time. Thankfully for us there’s still more than enough left in B-Hop’s tank to make it there. Congratulations Champ, you’ve come a hell of a long way and you’re still leaving them silent. Throwback. Legend. Amazing. Old school. Champion. Here’s to your next 48...

E-mail questions, comments to Jason can be sent to boxingwarrior@hotmail.com

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