It’s actually here, the end of The Executioner. Bernard Hopkins, the man who defied all laws of nature, once known as the executioner, later known as The Alien is really having his final fight.
Join me Sunday morning from 11am AEDT live from ring side at the Forum in Inglewood, California as Bernard Hopkins takes to the ring one last time against Joe Smith Junior.
Joe Smith Junior shows some promise. He had an early set back in his career getting caught unexpectedly, but he has rebuilt himself and gone on to a record of 22 wins (18 by KO).
His latest win and biggest name on his record is Andrzej Fonfara, who is by no means a slouch, but also isn’t considered a career maker. If Smith Junior can continue his winning ways and beat Hopkins, this will be his stepping stone into the boxing mainstream.
On the other side of the ring is Bernard Hopkins. A wily, experience fighter who epitomizes the boxer that fans love.
He’s continually taken on the best fighters, whether he needed to or not, he’s beaten some of the pound-for-pound greatest fighters of all time, and he’s fought with a regularity of eras past (some years even fighting seven or eight times).
Now this sounds like most other champion fighters near the end of their career, but let’s put some context around it so we can see how impressive Hopkins stamina and continued participation at the top level really is.
When Bernard debuted, his opponent Joe Smith Junior wasn’t even born yet, Bob Hawke was the Prime Minister of Australia, Mulligrubs and The Comedy Company were debuting on Australian TV, there had only been 6 State of Origin series and the entire Australian population was only 16.5 million. Clearly this is no ordinary man.
Hopkins has chosen this as the final fight of his career. He’s been out of the ring for two years and hasn’t had a decisive victory over a top tier competitor since 2011, but he is The Executioner and The Alien.
Tune in Sunday morning here at The Roar to see if Smith can push himself into the next tier of talent or if Hopkins can step out of boxing on his own terms.