The Executioner’s swansong as Hopkins eyes finale

Bernard Hopkins AFP PHOTO

Bernard Hopkins AFP PHOTO

LOS ANGELES: Former world champion Bernard Hopkins plans to call time on his 28-year boxing career in December when he takes on compatriot Joe Smith in his farewell bout, it was announced on Monday (Tuesday in Manila).

Hopkins, 51, a multiple world champion at middleweight and lightheavyweight, will climb into the ring for his 65th and final fight at the Forum in Los Angeles on December 17.

The bout will see Hopkins, nicknamed “The Executioner”, attempt to improve his record from its current 55-7-2, with 32 knockouts, against Smith (22-1, 18 KOs).

“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 said of his opponent, who was born in 1989 — roughly three months after his professional debut.

Hopkins fought some of the biggest names of his generation during his remarkable career, including bouts against Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad and Joe Cazalghe.

He has not fought since a defeat on points to Russia’s Sergey Kovalev in November 2014, when the WBA, IBF and WBO lightheavyweight titles were on the line.

Smith, 27, has lost only one fight since his 2009 debut, compiling a 22-1 record with 18 knockouts.



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