De La Hoya: Joe Smith Jr Wouldn’t Have Been My First Option For Hopkins’ Last Fight

Oscar De La Hoya has warned that Joe Smith Jr could very well upset the odds this December when he faces Bernard Hopkins in the final fight of a legendary career for Hopkins.

December 17th will see a near 52 year old Bernard Hopkins compete against New York big hitter Joe Smith Jr at the Forum in California.

Judging by training videos like this recently it doesn’t seem like Bernard is slowing down at his advanced years.

Smith Jr comes into the fight in red hot form coming off the back of a stoppage victory last summer against the highly rated Andrzej Fonfara.

To those who have followed Hopkins’ career in the pro ranks you’ll know his choice in a dangerous, big hitting, much younger foe for his last fight is no surprise at all.

Taking on tough fights has been the brand of Hopkins’ remarkable tenure in the sweet science.

But his former foe, now turned friend and business partner Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions has given warning as to the difficulty that his friend faces for his last bout.

Speaking at this week’s press conference announcing the fight De La Hoya said:

“He’s (Hopkins) not fighting somebody who is just a walk in the park or somebody who people can say well he’s going to win this fight with no problem, hands down. No he’s fighting a guy who if anybody else was fighting, this gentleman here (Smith Jr) has every opportunity in the book to win. But that’s who Hopkins is. That’s who Hopkins chose. We talked about it. We discussed it. It wouldn’t have been my first decision or my first option because it’s going to be a very tough fight. It’s going to be a difficult fight but that’s who Hopkins is. But that’s what we must acknowledge. That’s what we must respect.”

Hopkins himself promised fans that his career will come full circle in his last night in the ring.

Speaking on how he started as ‘The Executioner’ which then changed to ‘B-Hop’ which then went to ‘The Alien’ – Hopkins said:

“You will see The Executioner on December 17th.”

For the full press conference ahead of the two’s showdown in California you can catch it here courtesy of the folks at the Golden Boy Promotions YouTube channel:

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