Boxing icon Bernard Hopkins’ upcoming December 17th fight against light heavyweight contender Joe Smith Jr. at the Forum in Inglewood, CA is being billed as his last fight in what has been a legendary career. The 51-year-old fighter joined The Jim Rome Show on Thursday and was asked if he handled his business against Smith Jr. in an impressive manner, would he consider fighting again next year.
“This is absolutely it. I signed off on it in writing, I say again, in writing,” the former undisputed champion of the world said.
Boxing fans can still expect to see Hopkins after he hangs up the gloves though, but before he does, he wanted one final challenge in the ring against a worthy opponent in Smith Jr.
“There’s so much on my plate right now that I put that to the side to be able to do this one and final one,” Hopkins said. “All the things that’s on my plate, one of them has been on there 13 to 14 years that’s the stilled relationship and partnership with Golden Boy Promotions, and also I’ve just been invited to the family as an HBO expert color commentary as you see.
“And to go out this way with a credible guy, as you know, with the punishment is not a normal thing that athletes do to look good on the way out, but I will look good come December 17th, because that’s what Bernard Hopkins knows how to do, is take on challenges that’s going to push me, not make me look good.”
At 23-years-old, Hopkins was released from Prison after serving almost five years over a variety of crimes. Hopkins talked about turning his life around from that day on and about the inspiration he has given others.
“Once I understood from a way of behavior how I benefit other people and other sources and other entities by being Y4145,” Hopkins said of his prison number. “That’s not a blame game, that’s a responsible and responsive game and responsibility that I had to own up to and realize that in time, that if I hold up to that and then trying to accomplish something in the same way, which is now and what I’ve became, oh man, the sky’s the limit when it comes to motivational speaking, books, movies, and again it’s not a dollar sign on these things, it’s just I believe I have something that the world needs to hear.
“Everybody has a story, including you, but one thing about stories, big or small, they motivate people that I would never meet, but they will read about me, and they will understand about me, and they will say he didn’t start off with a silver spoon. He had a rusty spoon and he made it a silver spoon. I believe in myself in time, not all the time, but at a time I got the message, and that message was I will never be Y4145 in anybody’s institution anymore.
Hopkins continued, “That’s better said than done, but what is done, is to understand that you, we all have a really bright future in our hands if we mold it, and be sincere about it and understand every day will not be sunny, and we can be successful, and you are one of the guys that I know, without knowing your personal story, got a story yourself that wasn’t always sweet.”