When Bernard Hopkins was born, "Come See About Me" by The Supremes topped the Billboard charts, knocking off The Beatles' "I Feel Fine."
Now, at the age of forty-eight years old, Hopkins is once again a world champion, winning a convincing unanimous decision over slight favorite Tavoris Cloud on HBO Championship Boxing. While the concern was that the younger, heavier punching Cloud would simply be too much for Hopkins, who had finally shown some signs of aging in his pair of fights with Chad Dawson.
Instead, Hopkins was simply too slick and too crafty to be stopped. Cloud couldn't force the fight for all three minutes of every round and that meant that Bernard was the man dictating when he would engage. Hopkins was also still able to use shoulder rolls, trunk movement and even clinch when needed to significantly reduce the amount of offense Cloud was able to work.
In the early part of the fight, Hopkins landed a cracking right hand that opened a cut over Cloud's eye. The referee would mistakenly call an accidental headbutt, but the cut didn't force a stoppage so the call didn't have an impact on the fight. What it did impact was Cloud's gameplan. He seemed to rush his offense at times, seemingly whenever the blood was running more and he felt desperation.
SB Nation had the fight fairly close heading into the championship rounds, and that's when the multi-time champion, who turned pro when Def Leppard's "Love Bites" topped the charts in October of 1988, really took the fight over. As he landed sharp combinations and moved out of the way of Cloud's return fire with ease, it became clear that history was being made.
While nothing is ever certain on boxing scorecards, the judges did their jobs correctly, handing in tallies of 116-112, 117-111, 116-112.
Hopkins had officially broken his own record, ignoring the accepted realities of sports and age to once again become the oldest world champion in fight sport history.