x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Bernard Hopkins sets new record after winning IBF light-heavyweight title at age of 48

The veteran fighter beat Tavoris Cloud - 17 years his junior - to break his own record and lift the title in New York

Referee Earl Brown raises Bernard Hopkins' hand after his IBF title win over Tavoris Cloud.
Referee Earl Brown raises Bernard Hopkins' hand after his IBF title win over Tavoris Cloud.

Bernard Hopkins has beaten his own record to become the oldest boxer ever to win a major world championship after lifting the International Boxing Federation's light heavyweight title at the age of 48.

Hopkins scored a unanimous 12-round decision over Tavoris Cloud, 17 years his junior, to beat the record he set three years ago when he won the World Boxing Council title in the same division.

"The 40 and up club still rules," Hopkins said.

"I got a history. I got a history of destroying young champions and you never seen them again."

Hopkins won on all three judges scorecards, 117-111, 116-112 and 116-112 against the previously unbeaten Cloud, who was just six when Hopkins debuted.

He connected on 41 per cent of his overall punches and landed 110 out of 227 power punches.

Hopkins landed one of his best punches in the sixth round which opened a cut over the left eye of fellow American Cloud, who was making his fifth title defence.

His trainers worked to close the cut between rounds but each time they did it would start bleeding again in the middle of the later rounds.

"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."

The fight, 25 years after his professional debut, marks his 31st championship bout and was Hopkins' first bout in a year.

He joked in the ring afterwards that he plans to fight another five years, well into his 50s.

"Once I found my rhythm in fourth or fifth round things became easy and I saw a lot of telegraph punches coming from Cloud," Hopkins said.

I told him I won't be here too long - only five more years."

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