Headline NewsUSAWild Geese

Legend Bernard Hopkins is “just another opponent” for The Irish Bomber

Saturday sees the last big American card of the year.

The Forum in Inglewood, California, will play host to ‘The Final 1’ – the last fight Bernard Hopkins’s legendary career. ‘The Executioner’ turns 52 next month but has still managed to compete at the top level of the sport and will aim to go out on a high against Irish-American light heavy Joe Smith Jr [22(18)-1(1)].

‘The Irish Bomber’ has other plans though.

A modern-day Cinderella Man, the construction worker is hoping to end a sensational 2016, which also saw him shock the world title-chasing Andrzej Fonfara during the Summer, with a bang.

The big-hitting Smith Jr is being brought in as the ideal opponent for the tactically brilliant Hopkins [55(32)-7(0)-2], but he promises that he is not making thee cross-country trip just to make up the numbers.

Speaking last night at the final press conference, for a card that also features Jason Quigley, the confident New Yorker said “I can’t even describe how excited I am to say it’s finally fight week. I’m ready for this Saturday and am very excited. I know I’m going to be there with a legend but I’ve worked very hard in the gym and made many sacrifices to get to where I am today. He is a legend, but Saturday night he’s just another opponent.”

Not only does Smith want to pull off another massive surprise victory, he is looking to do what no man has ever been able to do. The 27 year old puncher described how “I’m looking to stop him, be the first person to stop him in his entire career.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie