Hopkins vs Smith pursesWritten by Lee Cleveland
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.”
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.