Hopkins (52-6-2-2, 32 KOs), a reformed ex-convict who outclassed Jean Pascal in May 2011 to earn a unanimous decision victory and become, at 46, the oldest man to capture a major belt, will break his own mark with a win over Cloud (24-0, 19 KOs).
"Age is not an enemy to me," said Hopkins, 48, who safeguarded his middleweight crown a record 20 straight times from 1995 through 2005. "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."
Hopkins, who fell to a tomato can named Clinton Mitchell in his professional debut during the Reagan Administration, has not entered the squared circle since losing a majority decision to Chad Dawson in April.
Comparatively, Cloud most recently threw fists on Feb. 18 when he successfully retained his crown with a split decision triumph over Spanish scrapper Gabriel Campillo at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
"People ask me if I'm worried about Bernard's experience, his tricks and this and that," said Cloud, 31. "He might have more tricks than me, but I'm going to throw punches. 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."
Roughly two months from tonight, Hopkins will undoubtedly overcome Cloud and continue adding to his legacy.
Following another historic evening this spring, expect Bernard Hopkins to next show WBO light-heavyweight titlist Nathan Cleverly what he’s “capable of” doing in the autumn.