[caption id="attachment_23033" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports[/caption]

Bernard Hopkins proved once again that not all boxers lose their speed and skills once they reach the age of 40 when he beat IBF light-heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, NY on Saturday night.

The 48-year-old Hopkins of Philadelphia took the title by outworking Cloud over 12 rounds to earn a unanimous decision by scores of 116-112-116-112, and 117-111.

Hopkins broke his own record of becoming the oldest boxer to win a major world title. He set the mark two years ago by winning the WBC version of the light-heavyweight championship from Jean Pascal at the age of 46.

After the bout, Hopkins said that beating Cloud was more gratifying than beating Pascal, simply because he’s a couple of years older now. He called it one of the biggest bouts of his career and said he doesn’t plan on retiring until he’s at least 50.

Hopkins said he’s like to fight some of the other elite boxers in the super-middleweight and light-heavyweight divisions before he hangs up his gloves for good. He said that when he’s motivated, he doesn’t believe there is anybody in those weight divisions that can beat him.

With the win, Hopkins raised his record to 53-6-2 with 32 KOs; this was his 29th career world title fight. Cloud lost for the first time in his career and the 31-year-old’s mark fell to 24-1 with 19 KOs.

Hopkins threw more punches than he usually did, and the combinations took Cloud a little by surprise. Hopkins showed he still has pretty good speed and accuracy and opened cuts over both of Cloud’s eyes by the time the 12th round came to an end.

However, Cloud was still the more active fighter, as he threw 650 punches compared to Hopkins’ 417. Cloud managed to connect on just 139 of them though, while Hopkins landed 169 of his. Hopkins landed at an impressive connect rate of 41-percent and Cloud landed 21-percent of his blows.

Cloud said he only fought an average fight and believed the cut over his left eye in the sixth round was caused by an elbow, but television replays clearly showed that a punch did the damage. Referee Earl Brown mistakenly ruled it as the result of an accidental headbutt.

Hopkins said he stuck to his game plan, which was to throw combinations instead of just one punch at a time. He admitted that it could a few rounds to get into his rhythm and once he did, things became easier for him.

Cloud landed several hard and clean shots to Hopkins’ head and body, but the new champion took them well. Cloud was trying to defend his crown for the fifth time and had a bit of ring rust to shake since it was his first time in the ring over the last 13 months.

Other modern-era boxers to win world titles after the age of 40 were George Foreman when he took the heavyweight belt in 1994 at the age of 45. There was also 42-year-old cruiser-weight Virgil Hill, who won a title in 2006.


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