BERNARD HOPKINS will bring the curtain down on his glittering 28-year career against Joe Smith in December – a month before his 52nd birthday.
The multiple-time world champion announced he will hang up his gloves after taking on his fellow American in his 65th and final fight at the Los Angeles Forum on December 17.
The Executioner has won titles at middleweight and light-heavyweight and has won 55 of his bouts, with 32 knockouts.
Incredibly, he made his pro debut in 1988 – a loss to Clinton Mitchell – 11 months before 27-year-old Smith was even born.
Hopkins said: “A lot of people will focus on my age, the history of my run in the sport, the titles, etc… but I’m focused on one thing – knocking Joe Smith out.”
Hopkins won his first world title in 1995, aged 30, and defended the middleweight crown a record 20 times before suffering back-to-back losses to Jermain Taylor in 2005.
He has fought some of the biggest names of his career, including Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad and Joe Calzaghe.
His last fight was a points defeat to Russian Sergey Kovalev in Novermber 2014 where he lost his WBA (Super) and IBF light heavyweight titles.
Boxing legend-turned promoter De La Hoya – who was stopped by Hopkins in 2004 – added: “We want to make this Bernard Hopkins’ retirement party.
“It will be a whole week of festivities and celebration of his great career. We’re going to put something together that will complement his farewell fight.
“Joe Smith is a big knockout puncher, and he is coming off a great win over Fonfara, who had knocked out (Julio Cesar) Chavez Jr.
“He will bring the fight to Hopkins. He is aggressive. It’s a legitimate fight.”
New Yorker Smith has lost only one fight since his 2009 debut, compiling a 22-1 record with 18 knockouts.
He said: “I’m very excited about fighting on HBO.
“I know now all my hard work and dedication has paid off. I am looking forward to retiring a boxing legend.”