At 51 and with a two-year ring absence behind him, Hopkins takes on dangerous New Yorker Joe Smith Jr. in a bid to put a final flourish on his distinguished career spanning four decades.
“It is fitting that the end of a twenty-nine year career, since 1988 is in a historic place at the Forum in Inglewood, CA. This is something that came as an opportunity to be here. I couldn’t tell you that it would be in this arena-it just happened, and here I am against an incredible opponent,” said Hopkins.
“I don’t want anyone to say Joe Smith Jr. gave me anything. Give me an opportunity and give me a door and I’ll open it myself. I don’t’ have to convince anyone of anything. This is not emotional. What I am going to do is show you why I have been named three different names in boxing from “The Executioner” to “B-Hop” to “The Alien” they all exist in me.
“On December 17th you will see “The Executioner,” it will all come full circle. This press conference is just a warm up. Win, lose or draw, there is no excuse – Final 1.”
Smith Jr. will be no pushover for the evergreen Hopkins having blasted out respected contender Andrzej Fonfara in a one-round shocker last June, added to the fact that ‘The Beast’ has lost just once in 22 bouts and that was over six years ago.