Tavoris Cloud vs Bernard Hopkins Preview March 9
IBF Light Heavyweight Champion Tavoris Cloud will be entering the ring against veteran Bernard Hopkins in an attempt to successfully defend his title for the fifth time at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday March 9.
The 31-year-old Cloud is unbeaten and enters the ring with an impressive record of 24-0, with 19 KOs. However, he hasn’t been very active lately with just a handful of fights in the last four years. This will be his first bout since February of last year when he won a split decision over Gabriel Campillo. He knows he’ll be stepping into the ring with a sentimental favourite and future hall-of famer in Hopkins, but said he doesn’t have any special plans for his opponent as he treats everybody the same.
The champion added that he just wants to beat whoever they put in front of him without overanalyzing the situation. He feels boxing fans like knockouts and he doesn’t want to give the judges any reason to render a controversial decision when he fights. And of course, when Hopkins fights, the decisions are always controversial for some reason.
Cloud of Tallahassee, Florida captured the vacant IBF crown back in August 2009 with a unanimous decision over Clinton Woods. He defended it against Fulgencio Zuniga and Glen Johnson by unanimous decisions and knocked out Yusef Mack in the eighth round in June of 2011 before meeting Campillo.
Hopkins is now 48 years old and will climb through the ring ropes with a record of 52-6-2 with 32 Kos. The Philadelphia fighter should be commended for achieving what he has at his age, but the fact is, he’s not really an elite boxer anymore. Over the past several years his fights have been relatively dull as he simply doesn’t throw enough punches to entertain anybody. He’s also been on both ends of dubious decisions because his fights never really produce clear cut winners. The reason for this is that his opponents usually get lulled to sleep and fight down to his level.
Hopkins has been fighting as a pro for 25 years now, so there’s no doubt he knows all of the tricks in the book and is one of the most experienced pros ever in the modern era. Some of his biggest wins were against Felix Trinidad, Antonio Tarver, Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones, Kelly Pavlik, and Winky Wright. His losses came to Jones, Joe Calzaghe, Jermain Taylor (twice), Chad Dawson, and in his pro debut back in 1988 to Clinton Mitchell.
Hopkins hasn’t scored a knockout one since stopping De La Hoya back in 2004. He often frustrates his opponents with his awkward style and somehow ends up winning fights on close decisions. The best way to beat Hopkins is to constantly pressure him by throwing as many punches as possible in each round. Hopkins can be outworked and Cloud can’t afford to slack off. If Cloud keeps his work rate up then only thing that can stop him is Hopkins landing a knockout blow, which isn’t very likely. Look for Cloud to retain his title by a unanimous, but close decision at the end of 12 rounds.
Sportsbook 5dimes.eu has the latest odds of a Hopkins win at +145 and a Cloud victory at -165. Visit 5Dimes.eu to see up to date odds and to bet on this fight. You should also check out our recent boxing betting predictions to see how we’ve done of late capping the fights.