One day, the theory goes, he will turn old, in the ring, in front of our eyes. That may be, but I will not be the one to predict that Bernard Hopkins will look anything like a typical 48-year-old when he fights Tavoris Cloud in the main event of the Golden Boy show running Saturday (March 9) at Barclays Center.
Predicting that Hopkins (52-6-2) will lose, that he will finally revert to form typical of a non-marvel, didn't serve me well when I figured that young Kelly Pavlik's punching power would spell doom for B-Hop back in October 2008, in Atlantic City. Hopkins showed Pavlik tricks of the trade the Ohioan couldn't decipher, and won a unanimous decision, and a promise from me that I'd never again bet against him.
The oddsmakers like the 24-0 Cloud, age 31, to get the better of Hopkins in Brooklyn, but I recall how much trouble the Don King-promoted boxer had with Gabriel Campillo, a smart pugilist, when they clashed Feb. 18, 2012. I had Campillo winning that bout, but alas, the judges didn't. I see Hopkins, even a 48-year-old Hopkins, with one or two more gray hairs than he had in his last fight, a majority decision loss to Chad Dawson last April, as being a grade above Campillo as an ace pugilist, and wouldn't dare pick Cloud to beat him.
NYFightblog will check in with Hopkins and Cloud today (Tuesday) while they work out in Brooklyn, at Gleason's. Then, we'll cover the final presser on Wednesday for the Saturday show, which will unfold on HBO (9:30 p.m. start). Keith Thurman meets Jan Zaveck to open the show on the tube.
Fight fans can get a closer look at all the principals at the weigh-in Friday, which is open to the public. That will take place at Barclays Center (Atlantic and Flatbush), with doors opening at 12:30 p.m.
Tickets for the show, which starts at 5 p.m. ET, are priced at $200, $100, $85, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes and service charges, and are available for purchase at www.barclayscenter.com, , the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center, all Ticketmaster locations or by calling 800-745-3000.