Hopkins v Smith Jr – Betting Preview

13 Dec

hopkins

Held at The Forum in Inglewood, California, USA, and live on Box Nation from 03:00 in the early hours of Sunday morning, Bernard Hopkins fights his final professional boxing bout when he takes on Joe Smith Jr.

The evergreen B-Hop, now 51-years-of-age, is a sure-fire future entrant to the Boxing Hall of Fame after a 27-year career that saw him make a record number of middleweight world title defences and break George Foreman’s record of being the oldest man to win a world title, before going on to win further world light-heavyweight titles aged 48 and 49.

Father time eventually caught up to Hopkins (55-7-2), of course, and his crafty style of trying to goad opponents into making mistakes and looking to counter-punch, hold and fight at a slow pace were of no use against the much younger and harder-hitting elite level boxer that is Sergey Kovalev.

Realising that he could no longer upset the odds against top-level boxers, the former self-titled executioner turned self-titled alien, a two-weight multiple-time world champion, decided to hang up his gloves after a farewell fight against Smith Jr.

New Yorker Joe Smith Jr. (22-1) is 27-years-of-age and best known in the boxing world for sensationally knocking out Andrzej Fonfara in the first round of their June 2016 clash.

Otherwise, and certainly to UK fight fans, Smith is largely an unknown with a high KO percentage of 78, which equals 18 stoppage wins from 22 victories. In his solitary career defeat back in 2010, Smith was stopped by someone called Eddie Caminero – a man who was subsequently beaten six times in a row.

In conclusion, it’s hard to really know what we’re getting with Smith Jr – was his win over Fonfara a one off, just like his own defeat turned out to be or will he give a man only three years shy of being double his age a real beating and march on towards a world title shot?

My guess is that, besides Kovalev, and you can understand Hopkins wanting to test himself against the very best after what he’s achieved post-40, Bernard doesn’t pick fights that he doesn’t think he can win and is clever at selecting opponents.

All in all, I expect Philadelphia-born Hopkins to use his defensive skills, ring savvy and counter-punching abilities to defeat a little-known opponent coming off a big win over a contender on points.

After all, B-Hop hasn’t won a bout by KO or TKO since 2004 and if his fight with Smith was to go the distance, given his standing and promotional connections within the industry, it seems unlikely that Smith would be given the verdict.

Recommendation: Hopkins on points (8/11)

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One Response to “Hopkins v Smith Jr – Betting Preview”

  1. ThePostWhoWalks December 13, 2016 at 11:10 pm #

    Hopkins is always a top favourite. His age and the fact that he is still elite in the game shows the dedication from this great boxer. He is one of the last few that can put on a performance and come out on top. My recommendation is hopkins win on points.

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