Bernard Hopkins Loses Final Fight TKO at The Forum
Joe Smith, Jr. Knocks The Executioner Out of Ring
December 15, 2016
Bernard Hopkins, 51, the future hall-of-fame boxer with an illustrious professional career spanning four decades left the ring for the very last time in spectacular fashion. Unfortunately on Saturday night, December 17, it wasn't the kind of spectacular he and his fans had dreamt about.
Rising contender Joe Smith, 27, stunned a partisan and packed crowd at The Forum in Inglewood when he delivered a combination that sent Hopkins through the ropes for an eight-round TKO in the scheduled 12-round WBC Light Heavyweight Championship, putting an abrupt exclamation at the end of The Executioner's career.
Hopkins finished with a 55-8 record, 32 wins by knockout, 23 by decision, two draws and two no contests. He began his career October 11, 1988, a four-round loss to Clinton Mitchell in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Four years later in the same city he captured his first title, the USBA Middleweight belt, in a TKO over Wayne Powell.
Hard-hitting Smith, Jr., also a member of Laborer's Union Local 66 on Long Island, New York, came into the fight as a slight underdog. He gained prominence this year on June 18 by pulling off an earlier stunner at the :45 second mark in the first round against heavily-favored Andrzej Fonfara in Chicago.
Produced by Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions, the fight card featured five title fights. Joseph Diaz, Jr. from South El Monte won a 10-round unanimous decision over Horacio Garcia of Mexico in an NABF Featherweight title fight.
Oleksandr Usyk of the Ukraine knocked out Thabiso Mchunu of South Africa in the ninth round to successfully defend his WBO Cruiserweight belt. Carlos Morales of Los Angeles won a hard-fought split-decision over Charles Huerta of Paramount for the NABA Super Featherweight title.
Read the full story in the coming issue of the Culver City Observer