Bernard Hopkins To Retire After Fight Against Joe Smith

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.

Bernard Hopkins
Bernard Hopkins will retire from boxing after taking on Joe Smith in December

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 will fight one month before his 52nd birthday in last-ever bout
Bernard Hopkins
Hopkins lost his light-heavyweight world titles when he was defeated on points by Russian Sergey Kovalev on points in his last fight in November 2014

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.

 

Joe Smith
Joe Smith said he is ‘excited’ to take on Hopkins in legend’s final fight
Bernard Hopkins
Hopkins has won world titles at middleweight and light-heavyweight
Bernard Hopkins
Hopkins has won 55 of his 64 fights, including 32 knockouts

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.

Bernard Hopkins

“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.”