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Bernard Hopkins, 51, to face Mastic’s Joe Smith Jr. in final bout

Professional Boxer Joe Smith (left), works out with

Professional Boxer Joe Smith (left), works out with his trainer on June 8, 2016. Photo Credit: Richard T. Slattery

Long Island light heavyweight Joe Smith Jr. will fight 51-year-old Bernard Hopkins on Dec. 17.

Hopkins (55-7-2, 32 KOs) made the announcement for his final fight on Monday at the Forum in Inglewood, California.

Hopkins, who turns 52 in January, last fought in November 2014, losing his two light heavyweight title belts to Sergey Kovalev in a lopsided decision. The Philadelphia native famously made a record 20 defenses of his middleweight titles over a 10-year stretch before moving up in weight and winning more titles deep into his 40s.

Smith, who is from Mastic and works as a laborer for General Building Laborers Local No. 66, is coming off a stunning technical knockout at 2:32 of the first round of Andrzej Fonfara in June that gave him the WBC international light heavyweight belt.

“I’m very excited about fighting on HBO,” Smith said in a statement released by HBO. “I know now all my hard work and dedication has paid off. I am looking forward to retiring a boxing legend.”

Smith, who turned 27 in September, is 21-1 with 18 KOs.

With AP


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