For decades, King was one of the sport's most prominent figures. But the 81-year-old promoter has taken a hit. His two top fighters signed with Golden Boy Promotions in the fall and left King with Cloud (24-0, 19 knockouts) and few other prospects.
King said he was looking for Cloud to send Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 KOs) into retirement.
"When Cloud wins, it will be the crowning glory to the excellent career of Bernard Hopkins," said King, who once promoted Hopkins.
Cloud, 31, said he has to play his cards right.
"Bernard Hopkins is the most dangerous fighter in the world, but he could be ripe for the picking," Cloud said over King's laughter. "We'll know once he takes a few punches."
Hopkins said that when he watches Cloud he is reminded of a younger version of himself.
Instead of watching footage of Cloud's last fight (a nondescript split decision over Gabriel Campillo), Hopkins watches footage of Cloud's amateur days. He said he sees a "real aggressive fighter that could have survived in old-school boxing."
"What other horse does King have to ride on?" Hopkins said. He added: "He does have a thoroughbred [in Cloud]. But let's see what happens when the cowboy rides the bull."
Watch Bernard Hopkins talk about his March 9 fight vs. IBF champion Tavoris Cloud at philly.com/hopkins
Contact Matt Breen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @matt_breen.