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Hopkins vows again he’s finished after Dec. 17

Former two-division champion Bernard Hopkins. Photo by Rich Kane/Hoganphotos-Golden Boy Promotions
Fighters Network

Bernard Hopkins reiterated his plans to retire after he takes on Joe Smith Jr. on Dec. 17, saying he intends to put on a performance so impressive that fans will be clamoring for him to come back. But he won’t.

“I’m done,” Hopkins said on a conference call on Wednesday. “This is the final one. And whether it was John David Jackson or Naazim (Richardson training him), I’m going to look great no matter what because I feel I know I can do a lot more than Joe Smith will ever learn in the game of boxing as long as I’ve been in. I want to put on a performance where you all will ask me and beg me to stay. But I won’t. That’s the challenge that I have to meet.”

Hopkins (55-7-2, 32 knockouts) said the circumstances are just right for him to call it a day after Dec. 17. There’s little that Hopkins, 51, hasn’t done in boxing. He is a former undisputed middleweight and light heavyweight world champion, the oldest, at age 46 and then 48, to win and defend a world title; he is the author of remarkable upsets over fighters such as Felix Trinidad, Kelly Pavlik and Antonio Tarver.

“I believe timing is everything,” Hopkins said on Wednesday. “I believe timing and my calculation of my career — I proved a whole bunch of people wrong, as you know. And so it gets to a point, where after Dec. 17 there’s nothing to prove. My opinion is I’ve done it my way. When I’m done, there’s no stone that hasn’t been unturned. There will be no regrets. There will be no, ‘Oh, I should have done this or done that.’”