- By Miguel Maravilla
Smith Hopkins Post Fight
Joe Smith Jr. (23-1, 19 KO’s) of Long Island, New York scored a devastating knockout over former world champion and future hall of famer Bernard Hopkins (55-8-2, 32 KO’s) of Philadelphia in what was Hopkins's farewell fight Saturday night at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood, California on HBO World Championship Boxing main event. Smith connected Hopkins with a huge right hand in round nine sending Hopkins through the ropes as the 51 year old Hopkins was unable to continue.
Oscar De La Hoya started off the post fight press conference.
"First of all I am happy to say Bernard is OK. This isn't the way we want to end his career but the most important thing is he is OK,"
"Bernard you have had a great career," De La Hoya told Hopkins
Bernard Hopkins did make the post fight press conference
"Thanks for everyone for coming out. I wasn't thinking of the 20 seconds but my right ankle. I twisted it. The commission asked me how I was but that's all I remember. They said I hit my head," Hopkins in his opening statement.
"I knew he can punch but as far as chin and body shots. I think the momentum was clearly playing out. Everybody that has followed my career knows what I am about that his how my fighting style has been," Hopkins said.
"I don't complain. It is, what it is, am I comfortable with it? No. Things unfortunately happen," Hopkins commented on the result.
"I am really serious about this. Golden Boy, my family, and HBO. Win, lose, or draw or controversy and that's it. I will be 52 in January and this is the fight that I wanted, a meaningful fight, not a cherry pick. Unfortunately it did not go the way I wanted it. I have no regrets," Hopkins on his retirement.
Smith followed as he spoke about his win at the post fight press conference as he was introduced by his promoter Joe De Guardia.
"Thank you all were are very pleased with this win," Joe De Guardia said. "Its been an honor and we applaud Bernard Hopkins. You saw tonight that Bernard went out the way he wanted," De Guardia added.
"We believe we have the future," De Guardia said in introducing Smith.
"I just want to say thanks to Bernard Hopkins a true champion and my team. All this hard work I put in the gym paid. I am happy we got the win and I am looking forward to the next fight," Smith said in his opening comments.
"I was prepared for everything he had. Surprised that he was still fast and prepared to stay out of the way," Smith on the fight
"When I had him on the ropes I landed a clean shot. I saw him falling down and I just wanted to keep my hands going," Smith said about the knockdown.
"Its hard but it was my coming out party. I have to improve my future and I cant regret that," Smith on his win.
South El Monte’s Joseph Diaz Jr. (22-0, 13 KO’s) scored a unanimous decision win in the co-main event over Horatio Garcia (30-2-1, 21 KO’s) of Guadalajara, Mexico. Diaz was present at the post fight press conference as he talked about his win.
"Going into the fight we knew he was going to be tough. He had a good game plan. Horacio Garcia gave me a good test," Joseph Diaz Jr on his win
"I don't feel I have to prove anything. I am ready to fight best at 126 whenever they give me the good names I am ready," Diaz said about his future.
"I will probably fight Warrington next with the winner fighting for the title. If I beat him I would love to fight for the WBC 126 title," Diaz concluded
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