Bernard Hopkins reigned as middleweight champion from 1994 to 2005. He successfully compiling a record 20 title defenses during that period. He also became the first male boxer to simultaneously hold world titles by all four major boxing sanctioning bodies.
The 51-year-old boxer from Philadelphia has taken his final bow in the squared-circle. He took on up-and-coming fighter Joe Smith Jr. on Saturday, December 17 at the The Forum, Inglewood, California.
Bernard Hopkins Has Fought His Last Fight At The Age Of 51
Although many thought that Hopkins would have a glorious exit from boxing, it turned out to be less epic for the man formerly known as “The Executioner”.
Hopkins suffered defeat in his final fight after he was knocked out of the ring in the eighth round by Smith.
A flurry of punches sent Hopkins through the ropes. After which he failed to return to the ring in 20 seconds and he was beaten by technical knockout. Hopkins claimed that he was “shoved” and hit his head in the fall.
He even revealed he twisted his ankle and “couldn’t stand up.” But this was not the case, according to Smith.
“I’ve seen him fall and I kept hitting him,” Smith said. “I landed that left hook at the end there to finish the job.”
“Hit him with four or five clean shots there, good shots right on the button. Didn’t expect him to get up but he is a true champion. I came here to do my job. This is my coming out party. I had to finish him,” he added.
— The Sports Junky (@TheSportsJunky1) December 18, 2016
Joe Smith Literally Punched Hopkins Through The Ropes And Out Of The Ring
With his victory over Hopkins, Smith retained his WBC International light heavyweight title and scored his 19th win by knockout.
Widely considered one of the greatest boxers of the modern era, Hopkins is a highly strategic and defensive boxer. He is known for carrying good speed and power along with counter-punching skills.
The Philadelphia native is also a very seasoned fighter who has the ability to take advantage of a wide variety of situations in the ring. Hopkins is able to implement rough and dirty tactics while fighting on the inside or in a clinch.
Aside from his previous accolades, Hopkins inserted his name into history books by becoming the oldest boxer to win a world title at age of 46. The legendary boxer defeated Jean Pascal for the WBC and lineal light heavyweight titles, breaking George Foreman’s record set in 1994.
He then later broke his own record by winning the IBF light heavyweight title from Tavoris Cloud in 2013 and again in 2014 when he won the WBA title from Beibut Shumenov at age 48 and 49 respectively.