How Hopkins got X-ed out!

December 18, 2016

Former world champion Bernard Hopkins’ long and illustrious career ended in a brutal defeat when the 51-year-old light heavyweight was knocked out of the ring in the eighth round of his final fight in Los Angeles on Saturday.

A month short of his 52nd birthday, Hopkins lost by technical knockout to fellow American Joe Smith Jnr at the iconic Forum when he failed to return to the ring within 20 seconds of being punched through the ropes.

Hopkins had not fought since a crushing loss to Russian Sergey Kovalev two years ago and his first ever defeat inside the distance looked increasingly likely as the bout progressed against a man ranked second by the World Boxing Council.

The long and illustrious career of 51-year-old former world champion Bernard Hopkins ended when Joe Smith Jnr knocked him through the ropes and out of the ring during their light heavyweight bout in Los Angeles

Smith was already ahead on two of the judges' scorecards when he sent Hopkins toppling out of the ring in the eighth round

The veteran appeared to land on his head but retained consciousness though the fight was stopped because he couldn't return to the ring within the permitted 20 seconds

Joe Smith Jnr celebrates in the ring after beating Bernard Hopkins to retain his WBC light heavyweight title

Already ahead on points on two of the judges’ scorecards, Smith Jnr ended the fight when he delivered a series of devastating blows to Hopkins’ head, culminating with a left hook that sent the veteran between the ropes and onto the Forum floor.

Hopkins appeared to land on his head but remained conscious and was helped to his feet but could not make his way back into the ring within the 20-second time limit.

Despite the brutality of his defeat to the former construction worker from New York, Hopkins said he was still in with a chance until he was sent into the crowd.

Hopkins returns to his senses after what was an unexpected and rather brutal end to what has been an extraordinary career

Speaking once he'd recovered, Hopkins claimed that he was getting on top in the contest before being knocked out the ring

Hopkins heads into retirement with a professional record of 55 wins, eight losses, two draws and two non-contests 

‘I’m really still in shock they going to give him the fight,’ he told HBO television, before confirming that it was his final bout.

‘He shoved me out of the ring. I believe I hit my head. My ankle (twisted) when I hit the ground.

‘I couldn’t stand up on my feet. I know for a fact if I wouldn’t have got pushed out of the ring… I believe he was started to fade out and I was starting to come on stronger.’

Smith Jnr, successfully defending his WBC International title for the first time, seized his opportunity to claim victory

Referee Jack Reiss proclaims Smith Jnr the winner as he retained his WBC belt at The Forum in Los Angeles

Smith Jnr celebrates after winning the fight when Hopkins was unable to return to the ring after being knocked out of it

Hopkins manages to connect with his right during the fight but overall didn't make the necessary impression

The victorious Smith Jnr described the final moments.

‘I seen him fall and I kept hitting him,’ the 27-year-old said in a post-fight interview.

‘I landed that left hook at the end there to finish the job. I hit him with four or five clean shots there, good shots right on the button.

‘I didn’t expect him to get up but he is a true champion. I came here to do my job. This is my coming out party. I had to finish him.’

Hopkins heads into retirement with a 55-8-2-2 professional record that includes 32 knockouts and registered a record 20 defences of his world middleweight title from 1995 to 2005.

Smith Jnr improved to 22-1 after successfully defending his WBC International title for the first time.

1: Oct 11, 1988 Clinton Mitchell Lost – MD Atlantic City
2: Feb 22, 1990 Greg Paige Won – UD Philadelphia
3: Apr 26, 1990 Keith Gray Won – TKO Philadelphia
4: May 18, 1990 Eddie Tyler Won – TKO Atlantic City
5: May 31, 1990 Jouvin Mercado Won – TKO New York City
6: June 30, 1990 Khalif Shabazz Won – KO Atlantic City
7: Aug 5, 1990 Percy Harris Won – UD Atlantic City
8: Oct 20, 1990 Darrin Oliver Won – TKO Atlantic City
9: Nov 17, 1990 Mike Sapp Won – TKO Fort Myers (FL)
10: Feb 26, 1991 Richard Quiles Won – KO Philadelphia
11: Mar 3, 1991 Steve Langley Won – TKO Las Vegas
12: June 20, 1991 Pedro Marquez Won – TKO New Jersey
13: July 9, 1991 Danny Mitchell Won – TKO Philadelphia
14: Sept 23, 1991 Ralph Moncrief Won – TKO Philadelphia
15: Nov 26, 1991 David McCluskey Won – TKO Philadelphia
16: Dec 13, 1991 Willie Kemp Won – UD Atlantic City
17: Jan 31, 1992 Dennis Milton Won – RTD Philadelphia
18: Apr 3, 1992 Randy Smith Won – UD Atlantic City
19: May 21, 1992 Anibal Miranda Won – PTS Paris
20: Aug 28, 1992 James Stokes Won – KO Atlantic City
21: Sept 14, 1992 Eric Rhinehart Won – KO Philadelphia
22: Dec 4, 1992 Wayne Powell Won – TKO Atlantic City
23: Feb 16, 1993 Gilbert Baptist Won – UD Denver
24: May 22, 1993 Roy Jones Jr Lost – UD Washington DC
25: Aug 3, 1993 Roy Ritchie Won – TKO Las Vegas
26: Nov 23, 1993 Wendell Hall Won – TKO Philadelphia
27: Feb 26, 1994 Melvin Wynn Won – TKO Atlantic City
28: May 17, 1994 Lupe Aquino Won – UD Atlantic City
29: Dec 17, 1994 Seg Mercado Draw – PTS Quito, Ecuador
30: Apr 29, 1994 Seg Mercado Won – TKO Landover (MD)
31: Jan 27, 1996 Steve Frank Won – TKO Phoenix (AZ)
32: Mar 16, 1996 Joe Lipsey Won – KO Las Vegas
33: July 16, 1996 WB James Won – TKO Atlantic City
34: April 19, 1997 JD Jackson Won – TKO Shreveport (LA)
35: July 20, 1997 Glen Johnson Won – TKO Indio (CA)
36: Nov 18, 1997 Andrew Council Won – UD Marlboro (MD)
37: Jan 31, 1998 Simon Brown Won – TKO Atlantic City
38: Aug 28, 1998 Robert Allen NC Las Vegas
39: Feb 6, 1999 Robert Allen Won – TKO Washington DC
40: Dec 12, 1999 Antwun Echols Won – UD Miami FL
41: May 13, 2000 Syd Vanderpool Won – UD Indianapolis (IN)
42: Dec 1, 2000 Antwun Echols Won – TKO Las Vegas
43: Apr 14, 2001 Keith Holmes Win – UD New York City
44: Sept 29, 2001 Felix Trinidad Win – TKO New York City
45: Feb 2, 2002 Carl Daniels Won – RTD Reading (PA)
46: Mar 29, 2003 Morrade Hakkar Won – RTD Philadelphia
47: Dec 13, 2003 William Joppy Won – UD Atlantic City
48: June 5, 2004 Robert Allen Won – UD Las Vegas
49: Sept 18, 2004 Oscar De La Hoya Won – KO Las Vegas
50: Feb 19, 2005 Howard Eastman Won – UD Los Angeles
51: Jul 16, 2005 Jermain Taylor Lost – SD Las Vegas
52: Dec 3, 2005 Jermain Taylor Lost – UD Las Vegas
53: Jun 10, 2006 Antonio Tarver Won – UD Atlantic City
54: Jul 21, 2007 Ronald Wright Won ÿ- UD Las Vegas
55: Apr 19, 2008 Joe Calzaghe Lost – SD Las Vegas
56: Oct 18, 2008 Kelly Pavlik Won – UD Atlantic City
57: Dec 2, 2009 Enrique Omelas Won – UD Philadelphia
58: Apr 3, 2010 Roy Jones JR Won – UD Las Vegas
59: Dec 18, 2010 Jean Pascal Draw – MD Quebec City, Can
60: May 21, 2011 Jean Pascal Won – UD Montral, Canada
61: Oct 15, 2011 Chad Dawson NC Las Vegas
62: Apr 28, 2012 Chad Dawson Lost – MD Atlantic City
63: Mar 9, 2013 Tavoris Cloud Won – UD Brooklyn (NY)
64: Oct 26, 2013 Karo Murat Won – UD Atlantic City
65: April 19, 2014 Beibut Shumenov Won – SD Washington DC
66: Nov 8, 2014 Sergey Kovalev Lost – UD Atlantic City
67: Dec 17, 2016 Joe Smith JR Lost – TKO Los Angeles


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