Bernard Hopkins TKO’d in 8th round against Joe Smith Jr

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Bernard Hopkins
Dec 17, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Bernard Hopkins (red tape) and Joe Smith Jr. (blue tape) during their light heavyweight boxing fight at The Forum. Smith Jr. won by TKO in round seven. Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Bernard Hopkins was knocked out of the ropes by Joe Smith Jru 53 seconds into the eighth round of their WBC international light heavyweight title fight Saturday night in California. He was on the floor due to Smith’s six-punch combination.

Before the fight started, Hopkins already stated that win, lose or draw he was going to retire after a career that started all the way back in 1988. At age 52, he is now finally closing his career.

The combination used by Smith has hurt Hopkins with a hard right. After that, Smith used a hard left which sent Hopkins crashing backward out of the ring, onto the concrete floor and then on his head. Eventually, Hopkins made it back to his feet. He was unaware that he only had 20-counts to get back into the ring before the fight was stopped.

Referee Jack Reiss was the one who waved the bout over. He then continued to award Smith a technical-knockout victory. “The fighter Hopkins got hit with a legal punch, went out of the ring and was injured. It’s over,” Reiss said.

Hopkins expressed that he is upset about the outcome. "I was throwing the right hand and a combination and then using the rope as an offensive as I'm known for, and making a mess. He got frustrated, and I might have gotten glazed with a left hook and next thing I know he was throwing me out of the ring. The reason I said I'm upset they are giving Smith the TKO is because the momentum threw the ropes. I didn't dive through the ropes."

As for Smith, he explained that he was just doing his job. He confessed that he needed to choose whether it was his career that will end or Hopkins’ career. He added that he clearly wanted his career to continue.

Now that he is ready to retire, Hopkins looks back on his other achievements. Hopkins retires with a 55-8-2 record. He also holds the record as the oldest boxer in history to win a major championship. He got the said recognition when he claimed the WBA super light heavyweight title at 49 years of age.