Hopkins, who turned 47 on Jan. 15, dethroned Jean Pascal as WBC beltholder by unanimous decision last May to become the oldest man to win a significant title belt in boxing.
Hopkins told RingTV.com during an interview that he would fight unbeaten WBO titleholder Nathan Cleverly, of the United Kingdom, or once-beaten WBA beltholder Beibut Shumenov, of Kazakhstan — but not Cloud.
“First of all, I would like to congratulate Bernard Hopkins on being the oldest champion that ever lived. But, I mean, once again, it’s just excuses,” said Cloud.
“It’s just excuses not to fight a fighter like me. Bernard Hopkins is a very good fighter. But he can’t match my energy. He can’t match my ferocity inside of the ring.”
On Thursday, Cloud’s trianer, Al Bonani, also chimed in, calling Cloud “the best fighter in the division.”
“First of all, I don’t blame Bernard Hopkins for choosing Cleverly and Shumenov because they’re young fighters who haven’t matured yet, and I think that he feels that he’s smart enough with his wisdom to just frustrate them and beat them. Take nothing away from Bernard Hopkins. He’s a Hall of Famer and a great fighter, but he’s past his prime now,” said Bonani.
“So he doesn’t want to fight somebody like Cloud who is in his prime. The reason that he doesn’t want to fight Tavoris Cloud is that Tavoris is experienced, he’s the hardest puncher in the division. But he’s like Archie Moore or Marvin Hagler. In their time, the champions and the contenders didn’t want to fight him because they knew that if they got lucky and out-pointed them, they could get physically injured fighting them. He would have to worry about his safety.”
Cloud (23-0, 19 knockouts) will pursue the fourth defense of his belt against former WBA titleholder Gabriel Campillo on Feb. 18, which headlines a Showtime-televised triple-header that will include former two-time welterweight beltholder Paul Williams and heavyweight contender Chris Arreola.
Nicknamed “Thunder,” Cloud earned with a unanimous decision over Clinton Woods in August of 2009, and is coming off an eighth-round stoppage of Yusaf Mack in June.
Campillo (21-3-1, 8 KOs) has split victories with Shumenov, winning a majority decision in August of 2009 before losing their return bout by controversial split-decision in January of 2010.
Campillo is 2-0-1, with two knockouts since falling to Shumenov, and is coming off October’s draw with Karo Murat, whom he had lost to by majority decision in September of 2008.
MUHAMMAD ALI PARTY TO BENEFIT LOU RUVO CLINIC FOR BRAIN HEALTH
Proceeds will benefit “Keep Memory Alive” and the Cleveland Clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, which is currently engaged in the most comprehensive brain imaging study of professional boxers to date.
The Lou Ruvo Center has imaged the brains of a large number of professional boxers and mixed martial artists over the past few months, and the study will enroll 600 over the next four years.
“My wife was one of the chief moving forces behind it,” said Arum of his wife, Lovee. “We’re the ones who are in charge of bringing the fighters to the event. They’re doing a great thing with boxers and everything. It’s a big, big story.”
Ali recently turned 70 years old.
ADRIEN BRONER’S AN ASPIRING RAPPER
WBO junior lightweight titleholder Adrien Broner’s talents are not limited to the ring. The 22-year-old fighter also has designs on a career as a rapper.
“I’m amazing with music. I’ve got this movement going on called ‘The Band Camp,’ and it’s me doing my thing, along with three-time Olympian Rashee Warren,” said Broner, who is 22-0 with 18 knockouts. “We’re the CEOs, and we’re not only going to make it in the boxing business, but in the entertainment business as well.”
Nicknamed “Da Problem,” in the ring, Broner’s rap monicker is “AJ Da Problem.”
“We’re about to put some more videos up,” said Broner. “But we already have a lot videos up on YouTube. We’re the Arbeatgang and Cincinnati Yardies.”
Broner has an HBO-televised defense of his belt against Eloy Perez (23-0-2, 7 KOs) on Feb. 25, which will take place at at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo., on the undercard of a main event featuring junior welterweight Devon Alexander against Marcos Maidana.
Photo by David Martin Warr, Don King Productions
Photo / Pat Lovell, Hogan Photos-Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com