Will Joe Smith, Jr. Bring Bernard Hopkins to His Waterloo?
By: Ken Hissner
Will Long Islands Joe Smith, Jr., 22-1 (18) bring former champion Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins, 55-7-2 (32), to his Waterloo dealing Hopkins his first knockout defeat?
For Smith at 27 his career was started back in 2009 and seemed to have his share of hand-picked opponents up until his last fight. He scored his biggest win stopping Poland’s Andrzej Fonfara, 28-3, out of Chicago, in the first round in June of 2016 which was Smith’s last fight. With the win he took the WBC International title.
On the other hand Hopkins hasn’t fought since losing every round to Sergey Kovalev in November of 2014 in a unification fight. Hopkins will turn 52 in January and has fought in California where the fight will be held on December 17th at the Forum, in Inglewood.
For Smith his first fight off the east coast was in his last fight in Chicago. How he will fair with the California environment will be determined at fight time.
Prior to Hopkins match with Joe Calzaghe he said “no white boy will ever beat me or I won’t be able to return to the hood!” After his loss to Calzaghe in his next fight he defeated previously unbeaten Kelly Pavlik back in 2008. Only since then have his last three opponents been white of which he went had two wins and the loss to Kovalev. Is it a co-incidence his chose a white fighter to wrap up his career? I wouldn’t underestimate Smith if I were Hopkins, especially since he hasn’t fought in just over two years. The confidence of Smith must be at his career highest after his last fight. Let’s hope it’s the “Aliens” last fight win or lose. He certainly has enough money to carry him for life!