Former two-division world champion and Future Hall of Famer Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins (55-7 2, 32 KOs) and Joe Smith, Jr. (22-1, 18 KOs) will battle for the WBC International Light Heavyweight Championship on Saturday, December 17 televised live from Inglewood, Calif.'s "Fabulous" Forum on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
BERNARD "THE EXECUTIONER" HOPKINS, Former Two-Division World Champion and Future Hall of Famer:
"You have to prove you're special, no matter how many titles you win. If you use that to stay in the game then you become special and an icon surpasses legend. Common man, special man. Which one do you want? Which one do you want? I want the special, you are that before you become that. If you want to work your way back down to common man, there's a lot of people down there. I'm not going to predict that I end his [Joe's] career. One day if he recovers mentally then he might have something to salvage and go forward. I'm a career stopper to most of my opponents that talk like him. Yes, I'm honored to be respected as Joe mentioned, too. I listen to words. Nobody is really paying attention to Joe.
"Joe won't be special come Saturday. He will stay common.
"Since I gave you some food for thought, enjoy the final one, enjoy the textbook of the sweet science as you heard in the beginning of this press conference. The sweet science that I've been taught about boxing...the sweet science has nothing to do with power. It's not like I can't hit; I'll beat you up."
JOE SMITH, JR., Light Heavyweight Contender:
"I can't even describe how excited I am to say it's finally fight week. I'm ready for this Saturday and am very excited. I know I'm going to be there with a legend but I've worked very hard in the gym and made many sacrifices to get to where I am today. He is a legend, but Saturday night he's just another opponent. I'm looking to stop him, be the first person to stop him in his entire career."