By Keith Idec

Bernard Hopkins obviously wasn’t pleased with how his final fight ended Saturday night.

That didn’t change his mind, at least in the immediate aftermath of his technical knockout loss to Joe Smith Jr., about it being his last fight. Long Island’s Smith (23-1, 19 KOs) knocked Hopkins out of the ring in the eighth round of their scheduled 12-round, light-heavyweight fight and became the first opponent in Hopkins’ 28-year professional career to beat Hopkins by knockout.

Philadelphia’s Hopkins, 51, still thinks Smith pushed him out of the ring in a fight HBO broadcast from The Forum in Inglewood, California. The former undisputed middleweight and light heavyweight champion insisted during their post-fight press conference, though, he has “no regrets” and that he’ll have to live with that unceremonious conclusion to his Hall-of-Fame career.

“Listen, I’m gonna say it one last time,” Hopkins said. “I’m really serious about this because my team – not only my personal team, my team at Golden Boy, I could also say my family with HBO, all the HBO people that’s backing me, behind me and support me – win, lose … I mean, I know you don’t believe most fighters, and nine out of 10, you shouldn’t.

“But trust me, if it would’ve been the other way around, with no, if you were to call this a misfortune – that’s why I call it, or a controversy, whatever. … Win, lose or draw, or controversy. I said that, y’all. And that’s it. I mean, y’all can keep asking me and I’ll tell y’all the same thing. Trust me, I’ll tell you the same thing. But I think time is gonna really say it all, because I’ll be 52 in a couple of weeks, [on] January 15th. And I’ll be 53, God willing. And if any one of y’all are still around when I’m 60, y’all gonna ask me if I’m gonna do one more. The answer will [be] no. Because I still will look like I probably can. But I’m not.”

Before knocking Hopkins out of the ring with a left hook, the 27-year-old Smith was winning against an aged legend who hadn’t fought since his November 2014 defeat to former light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs).

“This is the fight that I wanted, a meaningful fight, not a cherry-pick,” Hopkins said. “And that’s why the fans love me, and that’s why I love the fans.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.