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Hopkins wins world title at age of 48

Dan Rafael, ESPN.com
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Bernard Hopkins out-landed his younger rival © AP
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Bernard Hopkins set a new marker as the oldest boxer to win a major title on Saturday night, scoring a 12-round unanimous decision over Tavoris Cloud to claim the IBF light-heavyweight championship.

The 48-year-old Hopkins broke the record he set by beating Jean Pascal for the WBC light-heavyweight title on May 21, 2011. When asked which fight meant more, Hopkins said "tonight was better. Because I'm older. [It's] more gratifying.

"It feels good. It feels real good. I'm going to Junior's [Restaurant and] I'm going to have cheesecake. Tonight was one of the bigger fights [in my career]."

And while he revelled in what he accomplished, he was looking toward the future. Hopkins, who was adamant that he will not fight past 50, laid a challenge at the feet of the 175lb and 168lb divisions.

"I'm motivated to do it," Hopkins said. "I don't believe anybody in the 175 weight class and possibly the 168 class can beat me."

Hopkins, fighting his 19th title bout, improved to 53-6-2 in the main event of an eight-fight card at the Barclays Center. The 30-year-old Cloud fell to 19-1.

"It was great to break the Barclays Center with a [legendary] performance," Hopkins said.

With Hopkins forcing a patient, technical match, Cloud was unable to press the issue and Hopkins circled him, landing jabs to his face, eventually opening a cut above his left eye.

"I have to throw a lot of substance [into fights]. I'm fighting old school in a new world. [I] have to learn to adapt to what [the judges] are looking for," Hopkins said. "We knew a 30-year-old guy was not going to run from a 48-year-old guy."

Hopkins connected on 169 of 417 punches. Cloud landed 139 of 650.

"I was only average tonight," Cloud said. "He hit me with an elbow but I'm not complaining. It is what it is."

This article first appeared on ESPN.com

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