(55-7-2, 32 KOs) is slated to take on Joe Smith Jr. (22-1, 18 KOs) in his final fight before retiring. A 12-round battle set for December 17 at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing.
Bernard Hopkins, Former Two-Division World Champion and Future Hall of Famer had this to say at a Golden Boy Press Conference earlier today:
"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."
Hopkins has produced a truly storied career starting in 1988 and spanning 29 years. Most professionals fighters would be happy with a fraction of the success Hopkins has been able to achieve. "The Executioner" has done things his way over the course of his long illustrious career, defied the odds many times and has shown the world what can be achieved through hard work and dedication.
Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions spoke highly of the former champion:
"December 17th will be historical. I want to say coming out party, but it will be the last hoorah, as a champion goes out in his terms, in his way. Only legends can do that and superstars who transcend the sport."
Also, in attendance for this press conference was Los Angeles-based undefeated Vyacheslav "Lionheart Chingonskyy" Shabranskyy (17-0, 14 KOs) as he takes on Cuban standout Sullivan Barrera (17-1, 12 KOs) for a 10-round bout for Shabranskyy’s WBC USNBC Light Heavyweight title on HBO Latino® Boxing on Friday, December 16 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. Also rounding out the HBO Latino® Boxing card, was Former WBC Silver featherweight titlist Ronny Rios (26-1, 11 KOs) against Roy "Pitbull" Tapia (12-1-2, 6 KOs).
De La Hoya seems especially excited about the main event bout on the December 16 card which he thinks has Fight of the Year potential:
"The main event fight on December 16th has a potential to be a Fight of the Year candidate, in a very hot division-light heavyweight division. Ever since I saw Shabranskyy, who I nicknamed ‘Chingonskyy’ I have seen something in him, with his finesse in the ring. He is a very special fighter and he is facing an experienced, durable fighter in Sullivan Barrera."
Full Press Conference Video: