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Joe Smith Jr thinks he is catching the legendary Bernard Hopkins at the right time

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Joe Smith Jr [22(18)-1(1)] believes that, with the help of Father Time, he can defeat Bernard Hopkins on December 17th.

‘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:

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: