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Hopkins-Cloud fight confirmed for March

ESPN staff
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Bernard Hopkins, 48, says age is no barrier to him in boxing © PA Photos
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Bernard Hopkins will fight Tavoris Cloud, 17 years his junior, on March 9 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and insists that age will be no barrier to winning another world title.

A victory for the 48-year-old over Cloud, 31, means he would break his own record as the oldest fighter to win a world title, which he earned by beating Jean Pascal in 2011.

Hopkins subsequently lost his WBC belt to Chad Dawson meaning his career record stands at 52-6-2 while Cloud is the IBF light-heavyweight title holder and is undefeated in his 24 career fights.

But Hopkins was in a bullish mood after the fight was confirmed and stressed the belief he still holds in his body to withstand 12 rounds against a much younger opponent.

"Age is not an enemy to me," Hopkins said. "The clock is not something to try to stop. The man upstairs can't even do that.

"People will always tell me, 'You can't do this. You can't do that.' When I hear that, it gives me motivation. I know there are some things in life that are out of reach. Some people are not capable of doing certain things. I have been doing this half of my life. I know what I am capable of."

Cloud brushed off Hopkins' words but admitted that he would be wary of his opponent's treasure chest of experience - and how he might use it to his advantage in the ring.

"People ask me if I'm worried about Bernard's experience, his tricks and this and that," Cloud said. "He might have more tricks than me, but I'm going to throw punches.

"Hopkins doesn't faze me. He's up there banging on the podium and yelling. It just goes in one ear and out the other. My opinion is that he's talking to convince himself and motivate himself. It isn't directed at me.

"I'm game for his experience. I'm not inexperienced myself. If he's going to be dirty with me, I can be dirty right back."

WBO champion Nathan Cleverly has made no secret of his desire to fight Hopkins in 2013. If he comes through his defence against Robin Krasniqi on March 16 then the winner of Hopkins-Cloud will be next on his hit list, with the Welshman keen for it to be The Executioner.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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