Bernard Hopkins became world champion at 48 in New York, breaking his own record
Last Updated: 10/03/13 10:08am
Bernard Hopkins: His technical skills were too good for Tavoris Cloud
Bernard Hopkins bettered his own record of being the oldest world champion in history by beating Tavoris Cloud in New York.
The 48-year-old claimed Cloud's IBF light-heavyweight title with a unanimous points victory, two years after he last won a recognised championship belt.
The veteran opened up a deep cut to Cloud's left eye in the sixth round and although the referee ruled it an accidental clash of heads it worked in the challenger's favour.
Hopkins, who could now face Nathan Cleverly in a unification fight, showed the benefit of his remarkable conditioning to outlast the 17-years-younger Cloud down the stretch.
Scores of 117-111 and 116-112 (twice) were a fair reflection of his superiority.
"I just wanted to use my speed and reflexes which I still have at 48 years of age," he said.
"I stuck to the plan. I just took a little time to get warmed up. I said before the fight I was going to work on combination punches. I was trying to throw four or five extra punches that I don't normally throw."
"I have a history of destroying young champions and then we don't see them again. Not sure if you'll see Cloud again."
Hopkins first won a portion of the middleweight title as far back as 1995, going on to unify the division and rule for a decade.
On the undercard, Keith Thurman moved closer to a world title shot with a shutout victory over former IBF belt holder Jan Zaveck.
Thurman had stopped 18 of his 19 previous opponents but is unlikely to come up against a tougher opponent in Zaveck, who took a lot punishment throughout the fight.
The American landed huge shots from the opening bell but Zaveck was not to be denied, having only been stopped once due to an eye injury by Andre Berto in a 36-fight career.
A big future awaits Thurman though, with this win putting him in line for a shot at WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley.