It was always risky for a 52-year-old boxer to step into the ring with someone half his age, but light-heavyweight Bernard Hopkins did just that as the finale of his fighting career.
But it probably didn’t work out the way he planned. See below.
It was literally a crashing end to a 28-year career that placed Hopkins on the throne as undisputed middleweight champion, gave him 20 title defenses, made him light heavyweight champ three times and put him in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
The eighth-round TKO was brought on with a six-punch rain of blows on Hopkins, weakening his legs near the ropes and finally collapsing him. It was enough for opponent Joe Smith Jr. to land on final shot springing him from the ring and onto the floor beneath.
Hopkins said in a post fight interview that it was the “momentum” that put him against the ropes and that he was “pushed” out. But the fight video shows him falling through after Smith’s combination landed.
“This was the round I was going to make something happen,” Hopkins said. This fight, he says, will be the final one of his career, which ends with a record of 55-8-2 with 32 KOs.