Boxing legend Bernard Hopkins ripped into Joe Smith Jr at the final press conference before Saturday’s fight, calling him “common” and dismissing his previous opponents.
The 51-year-old fights Smith at The Forum live on BoxNation, and on Wednesday night he took the chance to verbally attack his younger opponent in classic Hopkins fashion.
“I’m not gonna predict that I will end his career mentally, emotionally, physically - I’m not gonna wish the Kelly Pavlik on him - but what I’m gonna do is spank him, teach him his ABC’s, and then send him back to Long Island up the road from Philadelphia!
“See that’s what I’m about. I’m a career-stopper to most of my opponents that talk like him,” Hopkins said, referencing Smith’s previous claim that he will be the first man to stop ‘The Executioner’.
Smith surprised many observers in his last outing, when he knocked out Poland’s Andrzej Fonfara in the first round to become WBC International Light-Heavyweight Champion, but Hopkins was not overly impressed.
“I don’t even know the guy. They’re making out like he knocked out Sergey Kovalev or Andre Ward. I’m not underestimating him - power is power. If you’ve knocked out 25 tomato cans, all of them went over, so I respect that.
“Joe Smith is the perfect example of the common man. Common man,” said Hopkins as he turned around to point to Smith, “Special man!” before pointing himself out. “Which one you want?”
Watch the full Hopkins press conference below:
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