SMITH JR: WORLD TITLE WIN WOULD MEAN EVERYTHING
Challenger ready to test Bivol to the limit in Turning Stone
Joe Smith Jr says he will pour his heart and soul into his World title challenge against WBA World Light-Heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol on Saturday March 9 at Turning Stone Resort Casino, Verona, NY, live on DAZN in the US and Sky Sports in the UK.
Smith Jr (24-2 20KOs) fights for a first time for the World title and will be full of confidence going into the bout, with his last four wins coming by impressive KO’s, including a first round demolition of Poland’s Andrzej Fonfara in Chicago and sending modern-great Bernard Hopkins into retirement.
Bivol (15-0 11 KOs) defends his title for the fifth time against the Long Island man and is hoping Smith Jr comes for a war – and the 29 year old challenger promises to bring everything he’s got to a night he’s been waiting for his entire life.
“Winning a World title would mean everything to me,” said Smith Jr. “It’s everything I have worked towards my whole life. I cannot even express how I will feel when I win this title.
“Training camp has been great. We’ve worked on a lot of new things and I’ve pushed myself to the limit every day. Also, I had some great sparring partners to help me prepare for this fight.
“Dmitry is a great fighter, very busy and active. My plan is to stay just as active and be busier than him, to outwork him. I plan to punch when he punches and make it a great fight.
“The fans are in for a great show on Saturday. They will see a new and improved Joe Smith Jr., the new Light-Heavyweight champion of the world.
“I would like to thank Joe DeGuardia, Star Boxing, DAZN and Matchroom for this opportunity. I am looking forward to raising that belt, and finally reaching my dream of becoming a World champion.”
Smith Jr’s clash with Bivol is part of a huge night of action at Turning Stone Resort Casino with a second mouthwatering World title fight on the bill in the shape of Maurice Hooker (25-0-3 17 KOs) defending his WBO World Super-Lightweight title against Brooklyn’s Mikkel LesPierre (21-0-1 10KOs).
Callum Johnson (17-1-0 12KOs) and Sean Monaghan (29-2-0 17KOs) will both have a keen eye on the Bivol-Smith Jr. clash as they battle in a crunch fight in the 175lbs division, World-ranked heavyweight contender Sergey Kuzmin, (14-0 11 KOs), of St. Petersburg, Russia will battle Philadelphia based veteran Joey Dawejko, (19-6-4 11 KOs) and Otha Jones III makes his pro debut on the card.