Bernard Hopkins Goes out ‘On Top’ in Final Fight of Career
By Brandon Simmons
For many of the athletes that we have watched over time, we always hope that the great ones will leave out on top. In the case of fighter Bernard Hopkins, he did just that in a fight matchup with Joe Smith, but no way close to the manner in which you think. Saturday marked the final bout for the 51-year-old fighter whose career has seen him go up against some of the best throughout the years. However, he suffered something that has never happened to him in his career: a knockout. But it was no ordinary knockout; this one literally sent him flying into retirement.
According to CBS Sports, Hopkins was already struggling throughout the first 7 rounds of the fight. Then in the 8th round, Smith delivered a combination of punches while Hopkins laid on the ropes. It was just one punch that knocked Hopkins out of the ring literally and physically:
The legendary boxer was still coherent enough to address the situation.
“I might have got hit. Next thing I know he shoved me out of the ring,” he said. “I hit my head first and my ankle got hurt. Between the ankle and the back of my head hitting the ground, I feel worse now than I felt when I was 25. ”
Obviously, this was not the way Hopkins wanted to finish his career. The Philadelphia native, who was known as “The Executioner” at one point, was also a middleweight champion from 1994 to 2005, defending his title 20 straight times.
As mentioned earlier, it’s hard seeing the great ones go out in such an opposite manner. Many Lakers fans enjoyed watching Kobe Bryant deliver his farewell 60 point game but would rather have had it in a playoff game. But compared to the situation with Hopkins, they would have felt their hearts torn watching him brick shot after shot and limp off the court in a blowout. So you can imagine how the fans of Hopkins feels literally watching him go out “on top.”
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