Bernard Hopkins never considered taking on a weak opponent in final fight

Kovalev dominates Hoplrins

In his most recent fight, Bernard Hopkins (right) was dominated by light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in November 2014/Photo by Associated Press

 

Bernard Hopkins is 51. He’s a living legend and will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame on the first ballot.

Not one person would have blamed Hopkins if he decided to fight a tomato can for his farewell fight. Hopkins doesn’t roll like that, though. Instead, he’s taking on highly ranked light heavyweight Joe Smith Jr. in his final bout Dec. 17 at the Fabulous Forum (on HBO).

Hopkins and the rest of the interested parties played host to a news conference Monday to formally announce the bout. Hopkins was asked about taking on a guy who in his most recent bout stunned everyone by stopping Andrzej Fonfara in the first round this past June in Chicago, instead of an easy mark.

“That’s not me,” Hopkins said. “And you would look at it as, ‘Bernard wants the easy way out.’ I never want anything easy. And just give me an opportunity and I want to figure it out myself. And I think that is more of the credibility that’s in me even at this age, to understand that’s just me.

“I don’t want nobody to think anything different. Win, lose or draw, this is the final one. I will win and I will win impressively. And I’m in it with a guy that’s going to push me, that’s going to make me fight a young man’s fight in this sport.”

Hopkins, of Philadelphia, is 55-7-2 with 32 knockouts. Smith, 27, of Long Island, N.Y., is 22-1 with 18 knockouts. That’s a knockout ratio of 78 percent. He is ranked as high as No. 2 in the world.

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Chris Algieri stoked to fight another hungry prospect on national television

Chris Algieri and Emmanuel Taylor are not quite nationally recognized fighters just yet, but they will be on the national stage on Valentine’s Day – Feb. 14 – when they square off in the junior welterweight main event at Paramount Theatre in Huntington, N.Y. (on ESPN2).

Algieri, of Huntington, is stoked.

“This is just the kind of fight I’ve wanted, against another top prospect with national exposure,” said Algieri, who is 18-0 with eight knockouts. “I was at Taylor’s win over Raymond Serrano last January and I’m very aware of how tough he is.
“There’s already a great buzz about this fight and the Paramount, as always, will be packed and full of great boxing fans.”
Interestingly, this will be Algieri’s eighth consecutive fight at Paramount Theatre. Algieri’s promoter, Joe DeGuardia of Star Boxing, raves about him and the excitement he brings to his hometown.
“This is an excellent nationally televised matchup of young, hungry junior welterweights with a lot to gain” DeGuardia said. “Chris has made the Paramount his home with his electrifying hometown performances. This will be his eighth fight in the venue, all wins and all sellouts.”
Taylor, of Edgewood Arsenal, Md., is 17-1 with 12 knockouts.
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