Saturday, March 25, 2023  |



Jack Reiss speaks on Joe Smith Jr.-Bernard Hopkins result

Photo credit: Tom Hogan/HoganPhotos/Golden Boy Promotions.

“Boxing is the theater of the unexpected.”

That quote from Larry Merchant was appropriately applied last Saturday night, when Joe Smith Jr. knocked out Bernard Hopkins before a shocked crowd of 6,513.

Hopkins fell through the ropes and landed on his back onto the floor of The Forum in Inglewood, California. Hopkins was counted out at 53 seconds.

Hopkins, who will turn 52 years old next month, immediately said after the fight that he was pushed out by Smith, causing him to fall out of the ring. Replays from multiple angles on the HBO telecast do not back up Hopkins’ claims.

Jack Reiss, a longtime referee, based in Oxnard, California, provided a detailed account of what transpired in the ring.

“(Smith) hit (Hopkins) with a legal punch,” Reiss told a pool of reporters after the fight. “Bernard got hit with a legal punch, went out of the ring and injured himself on the way out.”

The unified rules of boxing (Association of Boxing Commissions) state a fighter has 20 seconds to re-enter the ring when he is knocked down through the ropes, whether he lands on or off the canvas.

“I gave him a 20-count,” explained Reiss. “If he wasn’t going to continue (re-enter the ring) after the 20-count, it’s over.

“It’s no different if you got hit, fell back and snapped your ankle in the ring. I counted to 20. If he got hurt in the ring, it’s the same thing.”

Observers at ringside immediately tended to Hopkins, all the while Reiss counted him out. There was some confusion as the bell did not sound to signal the end of the bout.

Because nothing was immediately mentioned, some at ringside wondered if the fight was going to even continue.

Reiss had an explanation.

“I wanted to straighten everything out. I wanted to make sure everything was OK, including (Hopkins). I wanted to calm down the corners.”




Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing.



Struggling to locate a copy of RING magazine? Try here or…



You can subscribe to the print and digital editions of RING magazine by clicking the banner or here. You can also order the current issue, which is on newsstands, or back issues from our subscribe page. On the cover this month: THE RING 100.