Joe Smith Jr. 174.25 vs Steven Geffrard 173.5

News photo and boxing photo Joe Smith Jr

Via Max Schramm: Joe Smith Jr weighed in at 174.25 lbs on Friday in a balance fight to defend his WBO light heavyweight title against late substitute Steven Geffrard this Saturday night at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. Geffrard (18-2, 12 KOs) weighs 173.5 lbs and is good looking.

(Image credit: Mikey Williams (Top Rated via Getty Images)

Smith Jr. and Geffrard will be shown live on ESPNand ESPN Deports begins at 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT. This will be Smith’s first defense of the 175-lb WBO title he won in his final matchup against Maxim Vlasov last April.

Smith Jr, 32 years old (27-3, 21 KOs) was originally scheduled to fight 11th WBO Callum Johnson, but he had to pull his card after testing positive for COVID 19.

Fortunately for Smith, his supporters in the Top Rated quickly found Geffrard as a replacement. Not much is known about Geffrard, as his battles go largely unnoticed.

Geffrard won Denis Grachev and Dmitry Sukhotskiy, so he has some possibilities.

Joe Smith Jr. It’s been a tough road

To get to where Smith Jr is today as the 175-lb WBO champion, he beat some stellar boxers and showed that he can bounce back from losses. .

Smith’s losses came to Dmitry Bivol, Sullivan Barrera and Eddie Caminero. But Smith Jr. defeated these excellent boxers:

  • Bernard Hopkins
  • Maxim Vlasov
  • Eleider Alvarez
  • Jesse Hart
  • Andrzej Fontfara

“It’s been a bumpy road with lots of obstacles, but I feel 100% confident and ready to go,” said Joe Smith Jr. talk to The ESPN Maximum on Boxing.

News photo and boxing photo Joe Smith Jr

“You are having a decisive majority victory over Maxim Vlasov. You’ve won an empty world championship belt,” Kellerman told Smith Jr of his recent victory. “It was a close, tough fight. What did you learn?”

“I had some tough fights to get that belt,” said Smith Jr.

“In that war [with Maxim Vlasov], I was there with one of the best guys in the world. He’s got an incredible record with a lot of experience, and I’m just getting better and better with every game I get because I’m fighting the best,” said Joe Smith.

It would be interesting if the current version of Smith Jr takes on the three boxers who have beaten him in the past. If possible, Smith would likely avenge his three losses and look good to do so.

Smith wants to show off his improvements

“You are experienced. It’s a long road for you in the end,” Kellerman told Smith Jr. “I call your fight on HBO when you’re a good candidate.

You have ended the great career of Bernard Hopkins by knocking him down, removing the ring. Then you lose your next fight [to Sullivan Barrera], and your final title hit between stringing a number of good wins together and winning the climax is Vlasov.

“So you mentioned that it gives you experience, but how was that journey?”

“It had its ups and downs, but everything happened for a reason and I feel that everything that happened has made me the better fighter I am today,” said Joe Smith.

I’m motivated and looking forward to that round to show everyone the improvements I’ve made. I believe you’ll see a faster, sharper all-rounder when I’m there this Saturday,” Smith said.

“With the way you can punch, it’s not about setting the shot, finding a way to take that shot home because you hit you hurt what?” Kellerman said.

Smith Jr will need to attack Geffrard as he will try to defeat him in the entire fight. If Smith starts slow, he could find himself slipping in the second half of the competition.

Beterbiev could fight for Smith Jr

“The top two 175-pound players in the world are fellow belts, Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol. Both are undefeated. You were against Bivol, you alluded to it, but now your name has been linked to Beterbiev, and that will be a bomb. What are your thoughts?” Kellerman said of Smith’s potential next fight.

“Yes, I think it’s going to be a hugely exciting battle that the fans would love to see,” Smith Jr said during the 175th place unified clash between him and IBF/WBC champion Beterbiev .

“It was one of the biggest fights in boxing done because there were two giants in it, and that’s what people wanted to see. They love seeing people punch and knock someone down,” Smith Jr.

We’ll see if Top Rated wants to place Beterbeiv and Smith Jr. together after this war or not. However, it would not make sense for them to agree to fight now as it is likely that Canelo Alvarez will rise to 175 to challenge for titles.

Smith didn’t look at Geffrard

“Joe, you should know better than that. Boxing history is full of people who eventually get to the top, and they can let their guard down a bit like a wits with a woman at the last minute,” Kellerman said.

“You are in that position. As hard as you’ve been fighting to get to your place, is there any danger here that this is a war of pitfalls? ” Kellerman on the fight between Steven Geffrard and Smith Jr. “How do you defend against that?”

It is essential that Joe Smith Jr is not overlooked Geffrard, 31 years old because he has a seasoned amateur career. He’s been a professional footballer for almost ten years, and he’s been playing at his best.

“Yes, there is definitely a danger to this guy. I don’t know much about him. He came on at the last minute,” Smith Jr said of Geffrard’s replacement.

“I knew he was an experienced boxer, and he was a great amateur,” Smith said. “He fought with Beterbiev, Eleider Alvarez, and many other top contenders.

“So I know this guy has a lot of experience in other respects, so I’m expecting a tough opponent in front of me,” Smith said during his fight with Geffrard on Saturday night.

Geffrard’s past bout with heavy handed Beterbiev will likely prepare him for what’s available to him on Saturday night against Smith Jr.

The strength between Betterbiev and Smith is about equal, and if Geffrard learns from the Russian boxer, he can use that to try and win.


Read: Canelo Alvarez decides the opponent May 7 next week


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