Joe Smith Jr. is fed up with knocks and is ready to break the door – Boxing Sports

Joe Smith Jr. had two days from the opportunity to make his dream come true. And it’s gone.

Russia’s Maxim Urasov, set to fight for the WBO light heavyweight title vacant on February 13 in Las Vegas, tested positive for COVID-19 and the fight was postponed indefinitely. It was. Smith said he remained “ravaged.”

The fight was rescheduled this Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. And while the pain of his disappointment lasts, Smith believes it was worth the wait.

“Honestly, I haven’t exceeded that yet,” Smith said. “… I’m just going in there and finally focusing on putting off this victory. It’s been a while.”

In one or more ways.

Smith (26-3, 21 KO) entered the boxing scene in June 2016. He knocked out the popular Andrzej Fara in just 2 minutes and 32 seconds of the fight. His skill set was unsophisticated, but his power was revealed and special.

Six months later, Long Islander (NY) knocked out Bernard Hopkins, who was knocked out with a rope, in the eighth round and fell to the ground to retire.

Smith seemed to be heading for something big. And he got stuck.

He lost a clear decision to Sullivan Barrera in July 2017, stopped Journeyman Melvin Russell in a round almost a year later, and easily to WBA title holder Dmitry Vibol in March 2019. It was pointed out.

Smith seemed to hit the ceiling. Power is always there-he was able to hurt Bivol once-but he didn’t seem to have the skill set to deal with a particularly good athletic boxer.

What is Smith’s reaction to that perception? He returned to the gym and worked hard to improve. And he did. He believes that his rematch with Bivol will be better than his first encounter.

“The other shot at Bivol this time will be very different,” he said. “I have a lot more experience. When I first fought him, I was looking for one big punch. Now I’m putting my combination together and working better.

“I believe it will be a completely different battle.”

Smith showed evidence of his improvement after Bivol’s retreat. Some surprised him when he defeated Hessheart in a split decision in January last year and stopped former title holder Idel-Ural in seven rounds seven months later.

It set up a fight with Vlasov (45-3, 26 KO) for a vacant title. If he wins, he is a strong candidate to play against IBF and WBC title holders Artur Beterbiev on three of the four major 175-pound belts. And, of course, a rematch with Bivol is another possibility.

But he understands that Vlasov can ruin everything.

“I definitely have a difficult job in front of me,” he said. “I know Maxim is a tough and durable guy. All the opportunities I see if I win this fight could be his case. he to win.

“I know a lot is going on. I’m looking forward to it. I need to get out there and give 110% and make sure those opportunities come my way. . “

– Boxing Sports

Joe Smith Jr. is fed up with knocks and is ready to break the door Joe Smith Jr. is fed up with knocks and is ready to break the door

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