Boxing News 2016: How Bernard Hopkins' Brutal KO Affects Other Elite Boxers
51-year-old Bernard Hopkins ended his lengthy legendary career in a less than graceful manner at the hands of Joe Smith Jr.
"The Alien" was knocked out of the ring during the ninth round of their fight last December 17. It marked the final fight of his 28-year career, as he walked away with a record of 55-8-2 (with two no contests and 32 wins by knockout). And for his part, Smith was not at all hesitant in slugging with the older legend, since he believes he is also on his way to prominence.
"I came here to do my job. This is my coming out party, too," the 27-year-old Smith said during the post-fight interview. "I had to finish him. It was either my career was going to end and his was going to end, but I needed mine to continue."
Many were disappointed with the manner in which Hopkins made his exit. However, not everyone seemed to be bothered, or worried about suffering the same fate. Not even veteran fighters like Miguel Cotto, who has not seen action since November 2015.
In a report by Boxingscene.com, Cotto revealed that he foresees 2017 to be his final year as a professional, after 16 years of active competition. But as far as having the same dishonorable exit, the Puerto Rican boxer is not concerned about it at all.
"None at all," Cotto said via Boxingscene.com. "As everyone has seen Miguel Cotto's boxing has been kept in a high level and we will continue on that level. So we expect good things in 2017 and after that we will welcome [whatever comes]."
Cotto, who last held the WBC middleweight title, is scheduled to face hard-hitting James Kirkland on February 25. He will be entering the fight fresh off a knockout loss to Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, and a long layoff. While the odds are stacked against him, the 36-year-old fighter is putting his trust in his trainer Freddie Roach.
"This represents the 46th chapter in the career of Miguel Cotto and we're taking it with the same responsibility. I have to wait to sit down with Freddie (Roach) to see what the pros and cons are."
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