Saturday 17th December 2017 marks the end of an era for Bernard Hopkins.
The legendary former Middleweight and Light-Heavyweight World Champion bows out of the game after a star studded 29 year career with one final opponent to contend with, Joe Smith Jr.
Hopkins racked up a record breaking 20 successful World Title defences during that period and fought who’s who on the circuit during his soon to be 67 fight career.
Going back to his notorious nickname ‘The Executioner’ for one last time, the Philadelphia future Hall of Famer hangs up his gloves just before his 52nd birthday.
Speaking at a pre-fight press conference to promote his farewell contest, Hopkins stated: “This is history, we have been here many times where history has been made. This is obviously different than everything I have ever done, because it is the final one.”
Smith Jr shot to prominence after a sensational first round KO victory over Andrzej Fonfara back in June.
The 27 year old puncher has racked up 18 stoppages from his 22 victories which just one defeat on his record, dating back to 2010.
Highly ranked in the WBC and WBA, if Smith can gate-crash Hopkins’ finale he’ll be firmly knocking on the door for a World Title shot in 2017.
Hopkins explained: "I don't want anyone to say Joe Smith Jr gave me anything-give me an opportunity and give me a door and I'll open it myself. I don't' have to convince anyone of anything. This is not emotional. What I am going to do is show you why I have been named three different names in boxing from ‘The Executioner’ to ‘B-Hop’ to ‘The Alien’ they all exist in me.”
Concluding the fight announcement presser, Hopkins revealed: "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. This is the final one."