By Matt Richardson and Mariano A. Agmi at ringside
Photos: Ed Mulholland
48-year-old former two-division champion Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KOs) broke his own record as the oldest man to win a major world boxing championship with a twelve round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten IBF light heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud (24-1, 19 KOs) before a crowd of 12,293 on Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. It was a typical slow-paced, tactical Hopkins fight full of wrestling and holding, which is just the way the sly old fox Hopkins likes it. Cloud was cut over the left eye in round six and it was ruled to be by a head butt by referee Earl Brown, however replays showed the cut came from a punch. The 31-year-old Cloud simply couldn’t figure out a way to do much to Hopkins. Scores were 116-112, 117-111, 116-112.
Unbeaten jr middleweight Keith Thurman (20-0, 18 KOs) scored a one-sided twelve round unanimous decision over game former world champion Jan Zaveck (32-2, 18 KOs). A beatdown all the way as reflected in the scores of 120-108 on all cards.
Lightweights Michael Perez (18-1-2, 10 KOs) and Lonnie Smith (14-4-3, 10 KOs) fought to a disappointing majority draw after the fight was stopped in the seventh round on an accidental head butt incurred by Perez. Perez knocked down Smith in the second round on a left uppercut but Smith rebounded nicely to tighten up the scorecards. Scores were 67-65 for Perez with two identical scores of 66-66.
Junior middleweight Eddie Gomez (13-0, 9 KOs) badly wobbled then stopped Javier Gomez (14-11, 10 KOs) in the first round of a scheduled six. Javier went down after being rocked on the end of a left hook. He rose on unsteady legs and referee Arthur Mercante Jr. initially let the action continue but then promptly changed his mind before any further punches were exchanged, stopping the fight at the 1:17 mark.
Former Olympian Marcus Browne easily dispatched Josh Thorpe in a light heavyweight fight. Thorpe went down in the first, rose to his feet but absorbed a few body punches after taking the original count, prompting the referee to call a halt with 18 seconds left in the round. Staten Island’s Browne is now 3-0 with 3 KOs. Thorpe is 1-3.
Junior middleweight Frank Galarza (9-0-1, 5 KOs) knocked Guillermo Ibarra (7-2, 4 KOs) around the ring for two rounds before stopping him with a single body punch. Referee Arthur Mercante Jr. waved the fight off after Ibarra went down on the shot, his second knockdown in the round after previously touching the canvas on the end of a strong combination. Time of the stoppage was 2:19.
Junior featherweight Claude Staten Jr. won his professional debut with a four-round unanimous decision against Mike Hill. Staten knocked down Hill (0-2) in the first round. All three judges scored the bout a shut-out at 40-35.
In a cruiserweight fight, Steve Bujaj had his hands full in winning a four-round unanimous decision against Zeferino Albino. Bujaj (9-0, 6 KOs) controlled the pace of the bout from the outside but Albino (4-16-3, 2 KOs) fought better than his record suggested and made Bujaj work for the win. All three judges scored the fight 40-36.