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Joe Smith Jr

Light Heavy Weight

W28

HOMETOWN

  • Long Island, New York, USA

KO 22

STANCE

Orthodox

L 4

AGE

34

D 0

HEIGHT

6′ 0″
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About


Joe Smith Jr. is a professional boxer from the United States, born on September 20, 1989. He held the WBO light heavyweight title from 2021 to 2022 and is known for a historic victory over former undisputed middleweight world champion Bernard Hopkins, which led to Hopkins’ retirement from boxing.

Early Career:

  • Smith began his professional boxing career in October 2009, making a successful debut with a first-round technical knockout of David Brown in Connecticut.
  • After winning his initial five fights, Smith faced his first professional loss in his seventh fight against Eddie Caminero.
  • Over the following five years, Smith compiled an impressive record of 20 wins, including 16 by knockout, with only one loss. During this time, he defeated notable opponents like Otis Griffin, Cory Cummings, and secured a decision victory against Will Rosinsky.

Career from 2016–2017:

  • In April 2016, Smith extended his winning streak to 15 by defeating Brazilian boxer Fabiano Pena with a 2nd-round TKO.
  • Smith faced the #2 WBC contender, Andrzej Fonfara, who was a former world title challenger, on June 18, 2016. The fight took place at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois, and was scheduled for 10 rounds. Fonfara, coming off a significant win over Nathan Cleverly, was seeking another world title opportunity.
  • In a surprising turn of events and considered an ‘Upset of the Year’ in the light heavyweight division, Smith won the fight via a 1st-round technical knockout. Smith knocked Fonfara down twice in the first round, leading to the referee’s stoppage at 2:32. This victory also ended Fonfara’s 15-fight undefeated streak at the UIC Pavilion.
  • In December 2016, Smith was selected as the final opponent for former multiple weight world champion Bernard Hopkins, who announced his farewell fight at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Hopkins had been on a two-year hiatus from the sport and last fought in 2014. The bout took place on HBO and was promoted by Golden Boy.
  • Smith made history by defeating Hopkins via KO in the 8th round. Smith knocked Hopkins out of the ring, and despite Hopkins’ claims that he was pushed, replays showed it was not a push. As a result, Hopkins couldn’t make it back into the ring, and referee Jack Reiss counted him out. Smith became the first boxer to stop Hopkins inside the distance. Smith retained his WBC International light heavyweight title and expressed his respect for Hopkins in the post-fight interview.
  • The fight between Smith and Hopkins averaged 934,000 viewers, peaking at 1.035 million viewers on HBO. Smith received a reported purse of $140,000, while Hopkins earned $800,000.

This victory over Bernard Hopkins was a significant milestone in Joe Smith Jr.’s career and solidified his reputation as a formidable light heavyweight boxer.

 

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Honours

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