Quinquagenarian legend Bernard Hopkins has a deal in place to face American power-puncher Joe Smith Jr. at the Forum in Inglewood. According to The Ring, the December 17th showdown, which will end Hopkins’ twenty-five-month layoff, will be "The Aliencutioner’s" farewell bout.
B-Hop (55-7-2, 32 KO) hasn’t fought since December of 2014, when Sergey Kovalev dropped him in the first round en route to a shutout victory. He had previously won three straight over Tavoris Cloud, Karo Murat, and Beibut Shumenov, which earned him the IBF, IBO, and WBA "Super" light heavyweight titles.
Smith Jr. (22-1, 18 KO) shocked Chicago in June with a first-round trouncing of Andrzej Fonfara, who entered the fight as a massive favorite and was expected to again challenge for a title in the near-future. Now ranked in the top-10 by three major sanctioning bodies, Smith will enter the fight with seven knockouts in his last eight wins.
He’s twenty-four years younger than Hopkins at twenty-seven.
Those unappreciative of Hopkins’ "craftiness" may find the co-main event more to their liking: Orlando Salido vs. Takashi Miura, the previously-announced super featherweight slugfest that will almost assuredly kick bountiful ass.
I think the two fights average out to a solid night of boxing, wouldn’t you say?