A really rare opportunity to witness boxing history, 48-year-old Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins will face Tavoris “The Thunder” Cloud for the IBF light heavyweight (175 pounds) crown. Hopkins has now had a longer professional career than the great Archie Moore, whose fight card lasted from the Joe Louis era to that of Muhammad Ali (well, actually when he was Cassius Clay). His backstory is better than a Hollywood B movie: In 1988 he was released from a Pennsylvania prison after serving more than five years on a robbery conviction; he vowed to turn his life around and did, winning 52 fights, losing only six, and recording 32 KOs. He held three titles in three divisions, becoming the first fighter to retain all four world titles of each major boxing sanctioning bodies, plus the Ring belt, in the same fight. Tonight, he’s on the verge of achieving one of the most astonishing feats in boxing history, and it won’t be easy. Cloud, who just turned 31, is tough, and has a terrific punch–he’s unbeaten so far with 19 knockouts in 24 fights. Doors at 5, but there are 10 other matches (not all full-length fights), so don’t expect the big one until 10 at the earliest.
Sat., March 9, 5 p.m., 2013