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, 1988Clinton MitchellLost – MDAtlantic City
2: Feb 22, 1990Greg PaigeWon – UDPhiladelphia
3: Apr 26, 1990Keith GrayWon – TKOPhiladelphia
4: May 18, 1990Eddie TylerWon – TKOAtlantic City
5: May 31, 1990Jouvin MercadoWon – TKONew York City
6: June 30, 1990Khalif ShabazzWon – KOAtlantic City
7: Aug 5, 1990Percy HarrisWon – UDAtlantic City
8: Oct 20, 1990Darrin OliverWon – TKOAtlantic City
9: Nov 17, 1990Mike SappWon – TKOFort Myers (FL)
10: Feb 26, 1991Richard QuilesWon – KOPhiladelphia
11: Mar 3, 1991Steve LangleyWon – TKOLas Vegas
12: June 20, 1991Pedro MarquezWon – TKONew Jersey
13: July 9, 1991Danny MitchellWon – TKOPhiladelphia
14: Sept 23, 1991Ralph MoncriefWon – TKOPhiladelphia
15: Nov 26, 1991David McCluskeyWon – TKOPhiladelphia
16: Dec 13, 1991Willie KempWon – UDAtlantic City
17: Jan 31, 1992Dennis MiltonWon – RTDPhiladelphia
18: Apr 3, 1992Randy SmithWon – UDAtlantic City
19: May 21, 1992Anibal MirandaWon – PTSParis
20: Aug 28, 1992James StokesWon – KOAtlantic City
21: Sept 14, 1992Eric RhinehartWon – KOPhiladelphia
22: Dec 4, 1992Wayne PowellWon – TKOAtlantic City
23: Feb 16, 1993Gilbert BaptistWon – UDDenver
24: May 22, 1993Roy Jones JrLost – UDWashington DC
25: Aug 3, 1993Roy RitchieWon – TKOLas Vegas
26: Nov 23, 1993Wendell HallWon – TKOPhiladelphia
27: Feb 26, 1994Melvin WynnWon – TKOAtlantic City
28: May 17, 1994Lupe AquinoWon – UDAtlantic City
29: Dec 17, 1994Seg MercadoDraw – PTSQuito, Ecuador
30: Apr 29, 1994Seg MercadoWon – TKOLandover (MD)
31: Jan 27, 1996Steve FrankWon – TKOPhoenix (AZ)
32: Mar 16, 1996Joe LipseyWon – KOLas Vegas
33: July 16, 1996WB JamesWon – TKOAtlantic City
34: April 19, 1997JD JacksonWon – TKOShreveport (LA)
35: July 20, 1997Glen JohnsonWon – TKOIndio (CA)
36: Nov 18, 1997Andrew CouncilWon – UDMarlboro (MD)
37: Jan 31, 1998Simon BrownWon – TKOAtlantic City
38: Aug 28, 1998Robert AllenNCLas Vegas
39: Feb 6, 1999Robert AllenWon – TKOWashington DC
40: Dec 12, 1999Antwun EcholsWon – UDMiami FL
41: May 13, 2000Syd VanderpoolWon – UDIndianapolis (IN)
42: Dec 1, 2000Antwun EcholsWon – TKOLas Vegas
43: Apr 14, 2001Keith HolmesWin – UDNew York City
44: Sept 29, 2001Felix TrinidadWin – TKONew York City
45: Feb 2, 2002Carl DanielsWon – RTDReading (PA)
46: Mar 29, 2003Morrade HakkarWon – RTDPhiladelphia
47: Dec 13, 2003William JoppyWon – UDAtlantic City
48: June 5, 2004Robert AllenWon – UDLas Vegas
49: Sept 18, 2004Oscar De La HoyaWon – KOLas Vegas
50: Feb 19, 2005Howard EastmanWon – UDLos Angeles
51: Jul 16, 2005Jermain TaylorLost – SDLas Vegas
52: Dec 3, 2005Jermain TaylorLost – UDLas Vegas
53: Jun 10, 2006Antonio TarverWon – UDAtlantic City
54: Jul 21, 2007Ronald WrightWon ÿ- UDLas Vegas
55: Apr 19, 2008Joe CalzagheLost – SDLas Vegas
56: Oct 18, 2008Kelly PavlikWon – UDAtlantic City
57: Dec 2, 2009Enrique OmelasWon – UDPhiladelphia
58: Apr 3, 2010Roy Jones JRWon – UDLas Vegas
59: Dec 18, 2010Jean PascalDraw – MDQuebec City, Can
60: May 21, 2011Jean PascalWon – UDMontral, Canada
61: Oct 15, 2011Chad DawsonNCLas Vegas
62: Apr 28, 2012Chad DawsonLost – MDAtlantic City
63: Mar 9, 2013Tavoris CloudWon – UDBrooklyn (NY)
64: Oct 26, 2013Karo MuratWon – UDAtlantic City
65: April 19, 2014Beibut ShumenovWon – SDWashington DC
66: Nov 8, 2014Sergey KovalevLost – UDAtlantic City
67: Dec 17, 2016Joe Smith JRLost – TKOLos Angeles


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