‘The Irish Bomber’ has been handpicked to be the opponent for Hopkins’s final farewell bout at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
A quarter of a century younger than the 51 year old, Smith feels that he might poses a bridge to far for the former two-weight World champion and future Hall of Famer.
The New Yorker told IFL TV that “I believe I’m definitely catching him [Hopkins] at the right time – but I don’t hold his age against him, he just fought at 50 [v Sergey Kovalev] and put on a great show, showed he could go the distance.”
“I don’t look at his age as an issue for him, but I think I can possibly take advantage of it.”
“I can see that he’s slowed down a lot these last couple of years. I believe his timing’s not the same, and I’m going to take advantage of that.”
Many feel that, despite his advanced years, Hopkins [55(32)-7(0)-1] will be able to outbox and outmaneuver the thunderous punching Long Islander, but Smith described how he doesn’t just plan to swing for the fences on the HBO-broadcast show.
“I believe Bernard Hopkins is expecting me to come straight after him and brawl it out,” he suggested.
“I’m going to show him another side of me, that I can box, and I can brawl, and mix it up when I have to.”
“I’m looking forward to possibly getting that upset and stopping Bernard Hopkins.”
Watch Joe Smith Jr’s interview with IFL TV in full below: