BERNARD HOPKINS has experienced more than most during his glittering career, however the 51-year-old is preparing for something ‘different’ in December.
He will fight Joe Smith Jnr in a light-heavyweight contest that is set to be the former two-weight world champion’s final fight.
Having not fought since his November 2014 loss to Sergey Kovalev, Hopkins wants to end his career – which has seen him unify both the middleweight and light-heavyweight divisions – with a win.
“This is history, we have been here many times where history has been made,” he said.
“This is obviously different than everything I have ever done, because it is the final one. To be able to have the final one in LA, where the city of stars are trying to be stars, however you cut it, it couldn’t have been better with the history placed in the DNA that the Forum has produced.
“It is fitting that the end of a twenty-nine year career, since 1988 is in a historic place at the Forum in Inglewood, California. This is something that came as an opportunity to be here. I couldn’t tell you that it would be in this arena – it just happened, and here I am against an incredible opponent.”
Long Island native Smith burst onto the scene in June when he stunned highly-ranked Andrzej Fonfara inside a round.
The hard-hitting contender is young, ambitious and eager to build on his win over Fonfara. However Hopkins intends to once again defy Father Time.
“I don’t want anyone to say Joe Smith Jr. gave me anything – give me an opportunity and give me a door and I’ll open it myself,” he continued.
“I don’t have to convince anyone of anything. This is not emotional. What I am going to do is show you why I have been named three different names in boxing from “The Executioner” to “B-Hop” to “The Alien” they all exist in me.
“On December 17th you will see “The Executioner,” it will all come full circle. Win, lose or draw, there is no excuse.”
Smith suffered an upset loss to journeyman Eddie Caminero in 2010 but went on an unbeaten run against unheralded foes until he blitzed Fonfara.
While Hopkins is not ranked with any governing bodies due to inactivity, the fight presents Smith with a chance to scalp a huge name and future Hall of Famer.
“I’m so glad I was chosen to fight Bernard Hopkins in his final fight on December 17 at the Forum,” he said.
“I’m going to train very hard for this fight and take full advantage of it. I’m looking forward to putting on a great show for everyone.”