Bernard Hopkins takes on Joe Smith Jr. to end his illustrious career
By Joseph Correa
December 17, marks the date that middleweight legend Bernard Hopkins (55-7-2, 33 KOs) will lace up the gloves for the final time as he takes on light heavyweight contender Joe Smith Jr. (22-1, 18 KOs) at the Forum in Inglewood, California.
Hopkins, 51, turned pro in 1988, one year before his opponent Smith was born and the former middleweight and light heavyweight world champion has accomplished everything a fighter could ever dream of in the sport of boxing.
Hopkins is coming off a lopsided decision loss to pound for pound pundit Sergey Kovalev back in 2014, a fight which seen Bernard dropped in the first round only to survive and take what many saw as a beating the rest of the way.
This fight with Smith will headline the HBO-televised card which originally had former lightweight world champions Orlando Salido (43-13-4, 30 KOs), of Mexico, and Japan's Takashi Miura (30-3-2, 23 KOs) headlining in what would have surely been a slugfest and possible FOTY candidate. That fight has now been canceled due to a back injury sustained by Salido.
(Feature Photo: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME)