Smith KOs Hopkins in Hopkins’ Final Bout
In the lead-up to his final bout, Bernard Hopkins talked about how he did everything his way. Unfortunately, for him, his career did not end the way he wanted.
On Saturday night, Joe Smith Jr. became the first man to score a knockout victory over the future hall of famer. Smith Jr. defeated Hopkins via TKO less than a minute into the eighth round after punching Hopkins out of the ring.
Hopkins’ age was showing from the start, as there was not too much action to open up the bout, and Hopkins’ clinch game was strong. Smith, however, landed a couple of hard shots that clearly rocked Hopkins during the last minute of the first.
The second round presented a better performance from Hopkins. A cut formed over one of Smith’s eyes as a result of a headbutt from Hopkins. While the referee called the headbutt accidental, there is some feeling among the boxing community it wasn’t so.
The third round was very clinch-heavy, while the fourth round was more competitive since Hopkins threw more punches. Hopkins then had control in the first half of the fifth, while Smith controlled the rest of the round. After two more competitive rounds, the numbers showed Hopkins landed 54 punches, while Smith landed 81.
At the start of the eighth, Smith landed a combination that sent Hopkins through the ropes and out of the ring. Hopkins did not re-enter following the ref’s count of 20. Meanwhile, outside of the ring, Hopkins was claiming he was shoved out of the ring but had also injured his ankle. The official result will go down as a TKO victory in the eighth round for Smith.