Friday, 23rd August 2019

The Final 1: Executioner’s Last Stand

Posted on 28. Oct, 2016 by FSM Staff in Boxing, General Sports

The Final 1: Executioner’s Last Stand

It’s official – Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins will return at age 51 to claim his final victim.

The victim is a young lion named Joe Smith Jr., and despite the generic name, he is no pushover. In fact this Joe Smith (22-1, 18 KOs) recently knocked out light heavyweight contender Andrzej Fonfara in a single round.

The fight, being dubbed the “Final 1″ by promoter Golden Boy will take place on December 17 at the Forum in Inglewood, California. The week leading up to the bout will be full of fan festivities celebrating the career of Hopkins. Below is a statement exclusively from none other than the Golden Boy himself, Oscar De La Hoya:

“As you know, we are calling this the “Final 1,” and Bernard has expressed this is the final one. We are really excited to be putting together this card. We want to thank HBO for putting this card together.

“December 17th will be historical. I want to say coming out party, but it will be the last hoorah, as a champion goes out in his terms, in his way. Only legends can do that and superstars who transcend the sport.

“What excited me about this fight is that Bernard is not fighting someone who is a walk in the park, he is fighting a difficult fight, and this gentleman has every opportunity in the book to win and win a world title. This is Hopkins, this is who Hopkins chose. Joe Smith Jr. has an amazing record and an outstanding knockout percentage that is unheard of in his division.

photo credit: Tom Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

“Hopkins will be an athlete that will transcend the sport, not just for what he has accomplished in the ring, but for outside of it, and that is huge. I am very excited and happy that this fight will be taking place in an arena where I began my professional career. It is an honor for me and thank you for giving Los Angeles and Angelenos an opportunity to watch this fight.

“Leading up to the event, we have some great events coming up. The annual Oscar De La Hoya Foundation Toy Giveaway will be taking place the day of the fight. We want to get the community involved, not only because yours truly is from here and I began my career here-but because we are celebrating a legend, such as Bernard in a way he should be honored.

“Part of the festivities leading up to the December 17th fight will be a card on December 16th on HBO Latino at one of the best casinos in California, Fantasy Springs Resort Casino,

“At Golden Boy, we are very proud to grow our young fighters. Rios vs. Tapia wasn’t an easy fight to make, because we have developed these fighters, but you have to make great fights for the fans and this will be an exciting fight to watch

“On December 16th, I think it is best to promote one of the best divisions in boxing today, the middleweight division. I acknowledge Jason Quigley, who is here today as an undefeated middleweight fighter.

“The main event fight on December 16th has a potential to be a Fight of the Year candidate, in a very hot division-light heavyweight division. Ever since I saw Shabranskyy, who I nicknamed ‘Chingonskyy’ I have seen something in him, with his finesse in the ring. He is a very special fighter and he is facing an experienced, durable fighter in Sullivan Barrera.

“Thank you to our sponsor, Tecate. I am proud to announce that Tecate will be sponsoring boxing in a whole new way in 2017, everyone will be blown away by how they will bring boxing to the next level.

“What makes Bernard Hopkins is that he doesn’t stop, he keeps going and surprises people. He would continue until he was 60 if he could, that’s what a legend is, he takes care of himself and keeps going.”

How Much is Enough for Jones Jr.?

Posted on 24. Mar, 2011 by FSM Staff in Boxing, Highlight

How Much is Enough for Jones Jr.?

Here we go again – again. The announcement was made this month that fading boxing star Roy Jones Jr. will lace up the gloves for yet another questionable fight.

Exactly how much is enough punishment for a man to take in the ring? Unfortunately this is not a question a boxing fan can answer. Well I guess they could answer but it wouldn’t make much difference to Roy Jones Jr. who will travel to Russia on April 22 to face hot prospect Denis Lebedev (21-1, 16 KOs).

Lebedev is bigger, stronger, and 11 years younger. His only loss was a controversial decision in an opponent’s backyard. There should be no doubt that Roy Jones Jr. is being used as a stepping stone. Check any Las Vegas sports book if you think the Russian guy is the underdog this time (yes that was a Rocky IV reference).

Roy Jones Jr. has lost two fights in a row. One of them was an embarrassing first round knockout to an Aussie journeyman and the other was a beating at the hands of Bernard Hopkins. Even before these two bouts, concerned citizens in the boxing community were pleading for Jones to stop fighting. His diminished skills were apparent in the fight against B-Hop. When fighting a younger contender like Lebedev, there will be potential for serious harm. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Jones get knocked out in the style of the Glenn “Road Warrior” Johnson fight.

So back to my original question – how much is enough punishment for Jones Jr. to take? When a question like this is asked it usually means the person has already taken enough.

The truth is that it doesn’t matter what you or I think. And as much as I hate to see former greats blocking punches with their face, I’m not going to be the one to tell Roy Jones Jr. that he needs to quit boxing. I would loathe it if someone told me I had to stop doing something I love, especially if I was the best in the world at doing it at one point in my life.

Old Guys Rule: 3 Fights to Watch

Posted on 06. Sep, 2010 by FSM Staff in Boxing, Highlight

Old Guys Rule: 3 Fights to Watch

Boxing experts usually cringe when they hear news of old-timers lacing up the gloves for one last payday. Boxing fans on the other hand can be more forgiving and do not often rush to such quick judgment. The following is a list of three upcoming fights to look out for involving some of boxing’s elder statesmen. While the fights might not end up as instant classics, there is enough aging star power present to make for some intriguing possibilities in the fight world…

Antonio Tarver (27-6, 19 KOs) VS. Nagy Aguilera (16-4, 11 KOs) – Oct. 15
After a 17 month layoff, the 41 year-old Antonio Tarver is moving up to the heavyweight division to fight the Dominican Republic’s Nagy Aguilera. Aguilera is not exactly a walkover opponent for Tarver. At 6’3” and 230 pounds, the 24 year-old Aguilera is most known for his first round KO of former heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev. Tarver, who is currently hovering around 210 pounds, plans to eat his way up to 217 by the time the fight rolls around. Even at 210 pounds, this is a drastic change from a career that saw him fight mostly in the 178 range. Tarver is counting on speed and elusiveness to make his way through the heavyweight division but will it be enough?

Vitali Klitschko (40-2, 38 KOs) VS. Shannon Briggs (51-5-1, 45 KOs) – Oct. 16
Current WBC heavyweight title holder Vitali Klitschko will square off against former heavyweight champion and perpetual underachiever Shannon Briggs in Hamburg, Germany. The 39 year-old Klitschko has been destroying everyone in sight since he won the title in 2008 including four consecutive successful title defenses. Boxing fans were hoping to see a fight with David Haye materialize but it has become clear that Haye is avoiding the Klitschko brothers as if they had the plague. With the lack of big name heavyweight contenders in the division at the moment, the hard hitting 38 year-old Shannon Briggs got the call from camp Klitschko. Briggs first gained notoriety in 1997 when he defeated George Foreman for a heavyweight title thanks to a very controversial decision. Briggs was promptly knocked out by Lennox Lewis in his very next fight. He won a piece of the heavyweight crown again in 2006 after a dramatic knockout of Sergei Liakhovich with only one second remaining in the fight. But once again, Briggs lost his title in his very next fight. When Klitschko and Briggs meet in October, there is potential for a great heavyweight fight to emerge as Briggs is still one of the hardest punchers in the division. The burden for a good fight however lies solely on Briggs’ shoulders. Undoubtedly, Vitali Klitschko will arrive in top shape and put his work in as fans have come to expect. The question is, which Shannon Briggs will show up?

Bernard Hopkins (51-5-1, 32 KOs) VS. Jean Pascal (26-1, 16 KOs) – Dec. 18
At age 45, Bernard Hopkins keeps chugging along and getting paid. Never one to back down, Hopkins has faced some serious opposition since hitting age 40 including Jermain Taylor, Antonio Tarver, Joe Calzaghe, Winky Wright, and Kelly Pavlik. So it should be no surprise that Hopkins is not taking it easy in what might very well be the last fight of his professional career. Twenty-seven year old Jean Pascal recently upset Chad Dawson for the light heavyweight title by dominating him for 11 rounds and earning a TKO. While Dawson had a rematch clause in the initial contract, Pascal is not required to give him the fight right away. He is permitted to take a bout in the interim which gives Hopkins a chance to prove his critics wrong one more time. Hopkins’ last bout against Roy Jones Jr. came under much scrutiny in the boxing world and in the aftermath many called for both fighters to retire. Hopkins won the fight by unanimous decision but it was far from his most shining moment. This makes him dangerous going in to the fight with Jean Pascal. Hopkins is a “back against the wall” kind of guy with a wealth of fighting experience. He is eager to rebound from his poor performance against Roy Jones Jr. and he just may shock the boxing world when he hooks up with Pascal in December.