The Forum in Inglewood, California - It was a sad ending to one of the finest careers the sportsworld has seen.
Fight legend Bernard Hopkins, a few weeks shy of 52, was knocked out of the ring tonight by a quality contender 25 years his junior.
Will Joe Smith rise to stardom? Perhaps that remains to be seen, but tonight he certainly made a name for himself in front of a national audience on HBO.
So how much did the fighters make last night?
Hopkins' reported purse was $800,000, compared to Smith's $140,000.
Given their respective levels of drawing power and accomplishments, their purses seem fair. In fact, Smith's pay is a little higher than some would expect.
Off of his performance last night, Smith will be able to lobby and receive a higher percentage of the revenue sum in his next fight and, perhaps, the rest of his career, depending on how he performs. Knocking out a legend, regardless of the fight great's age, should give Smith added leverage, salary-wise.
Hopkins vs Smith didn't go according to planned for the fight legend who stated afterwards:
“I wasn’t thinking of the 20 seconds (to get back into the ring) but my right ankle. I twisted it. The Commission asked me how I was, but that’s all I remember. They said I hit my head."
“I knew he can punch, but as far as chin and body shots, I think the momentum was clearly playing out. Everybody that has followed my career knows what I am about, that this is how my fighting style has been."
“I don’t complain. It is what it is. Am I comfortable with it? No. Things unfortunately happen."
“I’m really serious about this. Golden Boy, my family, and HBO. Win, lose or draw or controversy and that’s it. I will be 52 in January and this is the fight that I wanted. A meaningful fight, not a cherry pick. Unfortunately, it didn’t go the way I wanted it. I have no regrets.”