Bernard Hopkins’ legendary 28-year boxing career came to a crumpling end Saturday night, when Joe Smith Junior punched him out of the ring in round eight of a farewell bout.
Hopkins, a month shy of his 52nd birthday and participating in the 67th and final fight, hit his head onto the forum floor and out of contention for the WBC title.
The former undisputed middleweight and light heavyweight champion, Bernard the executioner Hopkins junior, aka, the alien, was fighting to bid the world farewell after a legendary 28-year career.
Hopkins began boxing when Ronald Reagan was president and a year before Joe Smith junior was born.
Joe Smith junior foiled what would have been a great party with five unanswered punches, sending Hopkins out of the ring and onto the forum floor in the eighth round.
Hopkins landed on his head but complained of an ankle injury and was unable to continue.
Referee Jack Reiss administered a 20-count, as is the boxing rule when a fighter is ejected from the ring.
Hopkins could not get back into the ring in time.
Reiss waved off the light heavyweight fight at 53 seconds to the disappointment of the 6,513 fans who turned out to see if Hopkins could go out with a win in his first fight in 25 months.
While the result was a career-making victory for Smith, it was an inglorious ending for one of the greatest fighters in boxing history.
Hopkins lost two light heavyweight world titles to Sergey Koala on November 8, 2014, in a unification fight.
He was also a three-time light heavyweight title holder and set several age-related records.
Hopkins is the oldest fighter to win a world title, first at age 46 and then again at 48.
These are statistics that will be remembered when the 51 year old Hopkins goes into the international boxing hall of fame.
But the wild ending of this fight won’t soon be forgotten.
The 27 year old Joe Smith junior, who is ranked world number 7, had his debut in 2009 and was challenging for his first major title.
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