Cloud says volume key to beat Hopkins

It’s a good time to be a boxing writer in NYC. On Thursday, I soaked up intel at Madison Square Garden ahead of Saturday’s Top Rank show topped by an Orlando Salido-Mikey Garcia clash. On Monday, Golden Boy had a presser at Barclays Center to announce the March 9 card topped by 48 year-old Bernard Hopkins, who takes on light heavyweight champ Tavoris Cloud.

The 31-year-old Cloud told me he took in some New York flavor, to a point. He hit Lucali in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, a stellar pizza joint. But he didn’t mow slices, he said. Nope, with fight night eight weeks away, Cloud is in trim-down mode. “I ate the toppings only,” he said. The Florida-born hitter, who said he's walking around at 188, chewed on cheese, artichokes, onions and greens.

He said he’d beat Hopkins, who is looking to break his own record as the oldest fighter to win a world title. Hopkins was 46 when he beat Jean Pascal, bettering 45 year-old George Foreman's mark. Foreman dropped and stopped Michael Moorer in 1994. And how does he know he’ll beat Hopkins, one of the sport’s all-time savviest practitioners? “I’m psychic,” Cloud told NYFightblog, chuckling.

Cloud said he’s trying to stop eating meat, and has been studying proper nutrition and eating habits. “I don’t eat bread, or fried food,” he said. “Me neither,” piped in Alan Hopper, the publicist for Cloud’s promoter, Don King. I believe him; Hopper looks to be in light heavyweight territory. “I’ve lost 60 pounds,” he reported. Is his regimen and shrinkage rubbing off on Big Don? “Yeah, Don’s been looking at me,” he said, grinning.

Cloud said he expects the best Hopkins, not the guy who lost a majority decision in his last outing to Chad Dawson. “I didn’t watch it, but I heard he looked like s---t,” Cloud said.

How will he beat ex-champ? “I’ll beat him throwing punches,” he said. “I’m not going to complicate it. Same way I win all my fights.”