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Hopkins – The End of an Era?

Tonight the legend that is Bernard ‘The Executioner’ Hopkins is set to climb into the ring for one last time.

The 51 year-old is set for one final fight when he takes on, in Los Angeles, his fellow US citizen Joe Smith Jnr.

For Hopkins it will be the 65th time he has made that walk to the ring and the former two-weight world champion is sure to get a tremendous reception.

During his lengthy career Hopkins successfully defended his middleweight crown 20 times and he also has the distinction of being, at 49 years of age, the oldest winner of a world title.

Hopkins career started in 1988, after taking up the noble art whilst serving a prison term, he lost his first fight. The experience of losing made him contemplate whether it really was the sport for him and he didn’t fight again for another sixteen months making his ring return as a middleweight.

He won the IBF middleweight title at the age of 30, in 1995. Hopkins defended his crown 20 times but eventually lost it in 2005 when he was beaten twice by Jermain Taylor.

Moving up to light-heavyweight, Hopkins lost to Joe Calzaghe in 2008 before winning the WBC belt against the Canadian fighter, Jean Pascal, in 2011 That victory made Hopkins, at 46, the oldest fighter to win a world title, beating the record held by George Foreman.

Hopkins lost his WBC belt when he was beaten by Cad Dawson in 2012 but his resilience saw him win the IBF version, at the age of 48, when he beat Tavoris Cloud on points.

By beating Beibut Shumenov, aged 49, Hopkins added the WBA version of the belt to his IBF version. However, the Russian, Sergey Kovalev took those belts off of Hopkins in a unification belt with a win on points.

Contemplating what will be his last fight tonight, Hopkins has remarked to the media,

'I want to give a performance where you beg me to stay, and it's a challenge that Joe Smith will have to take on.

'Joe Smith is a hard puncher, he won't run, he won't lay back and he won't try not to execute me.

'However, he has to be trained to work out four, five, six different styles that I will utilise in the ring. He is going to have to be smart.

'The sweet science is something that I've always been addicted to. My fight will be like watching the last game of Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.'


Is this really the last time we’ll see Bernard Hopkins in action?


The Journalist

Writer: Kid Glove Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday December 17 2016

Time: 8:52AM

 

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