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LI Boxing Champ Joe Smith Jr. to Face Bernard Hopkins in December

Photo Credit: Leonard Wilson Jr/Nabeel Ahmad PBC

Photo Credit: Leonard Wilson Jr/Nabeel Ahmad PBC

Boxing legend Bernard Hopkins has his eye on one knockout artist to end his 28-year professional carrer, and that is none other than Long Island native, WBC International Light-Heavyweight boxing champion Joe Smith Jr.

Smith (22-1, 18 KOs) will head over to the west coast to face Hopkins (55-7-2, 32 KOs) in a 12-round light-heavyweight main event bout at the Forum in Inglewood, California on December 17th, announced Golden Boy promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya to ESPN on Monday.

The 27-year old champion stunned boxing fans when he defeated former WBC International Light-Heavyweight champion Andrzej Fonfara in the first round of the NBC’s Premiere Boxing Championship main event in June via TKO, heading back to Long Island with the belt over his shoulder.

While this is a huge opportunity for Smith, the night will be a ceremonial time for Hopkins, who will hang up his gloves at the completion of their bout. There is no doubt, however, that Hopkins is taking his final as serious as the previous 64.

“While ‘The Alien’ may be retired, the ‘Executioner’ has one fight left, and Joe Smith Jr., is going to find out the hard way how well prepared I am for my final fight,” Hopkins told ESPN. “A lot of people will focus on my age, the history of my run in the sport, the titles, etc. … But I’m focused on one thing — knocking Joe Smith out.”

Smith, who has been undefeated since taking his first and only career loss in 2010, is excited for the upcoming match up just seven-years into his professional career.

“I’m very excited about fighting on HBO,” Smith told ESPN. “I know now all my hard work and dedication has paid off. I am looking forward to retiring a boxing legend.”

The Golden Boy Promotions HBO card is Saturday December 17th on HBO, time T.B.A.


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Kristine is a Managing Editor for as well as UFC/MMA Lead Writer. She also hosts a column known as Fighting Words.
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