Bernard Hopkins is out to prove he is ‘special’ by overcoming knockout king Joe Smith this weekend.
The future Hall-of-Famer is looking to go out in style in his final bout by overcoming the hard-hitting Smith, exclusively live on BoxNation.
51-year-old Hopkins has long proved himself as one of boxing’s greatest ever but he is hungry to show once again why he is no ordinary fighter by dazzling against his light-heavyweight opponent at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
“You have to prove you’re special, no matter how many titles you win,” said Hopkins. “If you use that to stay in the game then you become special and an icon surpasses a legend. Common man, special man. Which one do you want? I want the special, you are that before you become that.”
The two-weight world champion has a history of shortening the careers of his rivals, such as his demolition of former middleweight world champion Kelly Pavlik in 2008, with Hopkins confident he will give Smith a similar boxing lesson this Saturday night.
“I’m not going to predict that I end his career. I’m not going to wish the Kelly Pavlik on him. But I’m going to spank him, teach him his A,B,C’s and send him back to Long Island, up the road from Philadelphia,” Hopkins said.
“Then one day if he recovers mentally then he might have something to salvage and go forward. I’m a career stopper to most of my opponents that talk like him. Joe won’t be special come Saturday,” he said.
27-year-old Smith, who has knocked out 18 opponents in his 22 wins, including an impressive stoppage over Andrzej Fonfara in the summer, enters the ring with a reputation as a big-puncher, something which holds little fear for Hopkins.
“They make it sound like he knocked out Sergey Kovalev or Andre Ward. I’m not underestimating him – power is power. I respect that. I’ve been in the game too long not to respect whether a guy can hit or not,” said Hopkins.
“But are we just talking about power here or are we talking about matrix, are we talking about reducing and negating that.
“Because once that’s gone or if that’s not working I’ve not heard anything else about what else he’s got. So you’re coming to a gunfight and I’ve got an Uzi and you’ve got a 22 with one bullet,” he said.
Smith knows the daunting challenge which is in front of him but is ready to leave it all on the line when he finally gets into the ring.
“I am prepared to go 12 rounds, he is a tough guy. If I get the opportunity to take him out, I will do that,” said Smith.
“I go into every fight the same way; whether it is a legend or a nobody that is standing in front of me, they have the potential to hurt me. Each fight I push myself a little harder,” he said.
Hopkins v Smith Jr is exclusively live on BoxNation this Saturday night. Buy now at boxnation.com.
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