On Saturday night, Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins entered the ring for his final fight. The soon to be 52-year-old Hopkins had always been given credit for defeating “Father Time”. It was obvious that Father Time had heard enough of this talk and decided to do something about it in way of Joe Smith Jr.
Hopkins hadn’t fought since his loss to Sergey Kovalev. Kovalev floored Hopkins in the first round but eventually settled for a unanimous decision. This wasn’t enough for Hopkins to call it quits. After 25 months, he decided it was time to get back in the ring, this time with Smith Jr.
Smith Jr. didn’t get the memo that he was supposed to be the final footnote in Hopkins’ storied career. Instead he was a live body that constantly pressured Hopkins around the ring before literally knocking Hopkins out of it in the 8th. Hopkins, visibly hurt, didn’t get back in the ring in the allotted 20 seconds.
As Father Time stroked his chin while wearing a wry smile, one had to wonder if Floyd Mayweather Jr. was watching and if he was, what was he thinking? There has been calls for Mayweather Jr. to come out of retirement to fight one of the younger champions. Mayweather Jr. has rightfully turned down those opportunities.
We’ve seen too many aging champions get beat around the ring by younger foes. We saw it happen to Ali. We saw it happen to Sugar Ray Leonard. Mayweather Jr. has been smart enough not to let it happen to him. The only match up that seems like it has a possibility to happen would be a rematch with Manny Pacquiao. That would pit a 39-year-old Mayweather Jr. against a 38-year-old Pacquiao. That’s much safer than a 52-year-old Hopkins against a 27-year-old Smith Jr.
As Father Time sits in his chair, he thinks long and hard about whether Floyd will be his next victim. If so, he smiles at the challenge of the ultimate “someone’s 0 must go” clash.
Marcus “Mook” Washington is the host of Making The Cut. Follow Mook on Twitter: @mtcwithmook and IG: MTCWithMook