Joe Smith Jr: The man who retired Bernard Hopkins

By Michael Vena - 12/21/2016 - Comments

Image: Joe Smith Jr: The man who retired Bernard Hopkins

By Yannis Mihanos: If history teaches us something is mistakes that people do and how to do our best to avoid them. The trick to best retirement is to retire when people still need you. Look for example Floyd Mayweather Jr, he is more than a year retired and people still cannot stop thinking about him and demanding for him to return.

When people don’t need you anymore, it means you have gone way over the hill and turned yourself to obsolete.

It ain’t pretty when you lose especially when you have just announced your retirement. Many fighters wish to finish at a high note but only a few can realize it.

Only a few can recognize the right time to say goodbye. Bernard Hopkins throughout his career, broke many age stereotypes that are being set by the society.

One of nature’s laws says: “Respect your body and the body will respect you”. Hopkins did that faithfully, almost at 52 years of age, he came to fight looking truly remarkable, but the looks did not match the deeds, problem was that he wasn’t any more into fighting spirit.

Joe Smith Jr (23-1, 19 KOs) will always be remembered as the man who retired Hopkins. The decision to fight Smith was a risk from the start. But stubborn Bernard wanted once more to prove a point: that he still has something that others don’t.

If you can’t be humble then someone else must do the work for you, Joe Smith did that and proved that a common man can beat a special man.

Things didn’t go Bernard’s way: Smith had too much punching power.

After a devastating array of punches, Hopkins lost balance and fell off the ring. As he tried to regain consciousness he failed to beat the countdown and it was all over. Joe Smith became the man who retired Hopkins, an honor that could have claimed Sergey Kovalev two years ago, if stubborn Bernard would have retired then.

But hey, like I said very few recognize the right time to retire.

There is always one more distraction, another challenge in boxing, always somebody new to fight.

A force greater that’s called athlete’s ego often gets on the way and makes things worse.

Looking at his long career, in my opinion the best time to retire would have been in the second fight against Pascal, that would have sealed himself to the pantheon of the greats.

I still don’t know if Bernard can accept that this is the end, I really hope he does because he has more things to give than just fight, he is an excellent orator, his pre-fight speeches and interviews are unforgettable and easily irreplaceable. He can also be a great ambassador for the sport of boxing.

To close, I must give credit to the winner Joe Smith Jr. for what he did. Now Joe can be in charge to fight some of the big names in boxing like Kovalev, Ward or Adonis Stevenson and see where it takes him from there.