Joe Smith Jr.: i am going to make my dream come authentic and develop into world champion
Joe Smith, who’s ranked No. 4 by way of The Ring at a hundred seventy five kilos, and Maxim Vlasov will rectangular off for the vacant WBO light heavyweight title on February 13, top Rank formally introduced on Tuesday.
A venue and placement for the battle have yet to be announced but it surely could end up at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, the place accurate Rank has promoted battle cards because June because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Smith and Vlasov will be fighting for the belt vacated by Canelo Alvarez under a month after stopping Sergey Kovalev on November 2 of remaining 12 months.
Smith (26-three, 21 knockouts), who resides in new york, ny, most these days fought on August 22, outboxing Eleider Alvarez earlier than ending concerns in round 9. Alvarez once held the WBO title with the aid of knocking out Kovalev in August 2018, losing it in their rematch under six months later.
The 31-year-ancient’s most superb win turned into by way of knockout over former middleweight and light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins in December 2016. The have an effect on of the punch forced Hopkins to fall in the course of the ropes and onto the floor, the place he became counted out at 20 after struggling to get again into ring.
common for his blue-collar work ethic, whether it’s his aggressive style within the ring or as an owner of a tree-trimming business on new york, Smith believes he is capable for a chance at a global title after overcoming losses to Sullivan Barrera and WBA titleholder Dmitry Bivol.
“I even have labored very hard to get a 2nd possibility at a global title,” spoke of Smith, who also has wins over Jesse Hart and Andrzej Fonfara, is co-promoted through excellent Rank and celebrity Boxing. “I feel I actually have more advantageous and, on February 13, i’m going to make my dream come actual and turn into world champion.”
“here’s ‘Rocky IV’ come to existence,” stated suitable Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Joe Smith Jr. is boxing’s blue-collar hero, a relentless fighter who chops down timber outside the ring and chops down opponents when the lights are brilliant. Maxim Vlasov is a troublesome Russian who is going to satisfy Joe punch for punch in the middle of the ring. This could be an early contender for ‘2021 combat of the year.’”
Joe DeGuardia of superstar Boxing consents.
“i’m very confident that Joe Smith Jr. may be the brand new WBO world champion however I also recognize that Maxim Vlasov is a strong and seasoned fighter who also desires to turn into champion,” said DeGuardia. “it will make for a fine evening of boxing on ESPN. Kudos to the WBO for recognizing Joe’s expertise and mandating this fight and to Bob Arum and precise Rank for his or her persisted excellence right through this pandemic.”
Vlasov (forty five-three, 26 KOs), who resides in Samara, Russia, defeated previously-unbeaten Emmanuel Martey over 10 one-sided rounds on November 30 of remaining year. Vlasov has received his final three bouts on account that losing by means of unanimous determination to former WBO cruiserweight titlist Krzysztof Glowacki, of Poland, in November 2018.
prior to his most recent fights, Vlasov competed as a cruiserweight. His other first rate bouts protected determination losses to Gilberto Ramirez in January 2015 and Isaac Chilemba in February 2011.
“here’s a good probability and maybe my last possibility to finally develop into a world champion,” said Vlasov. “Smith is a strong and relentless fighter, so I predict a extremely critical problem.”
in the co-function, former IBF lightweight titleholder Richard Commey, who’s ranked No. 3 through The Ring, will rectangular off towards Jackson Marinez in a ten-circular bout.
each warring parties suffered a loss of their most fresh fights and it’s arguable that they can’t manage to pay for another. A victory would put the winner lower back in world title contention.
Commey (29-three, 26 KOs), who is at the start from Accra, Ghana, and now resides within the Bronx, manhattan, lost by technical knockout in circular 2 to Teofimo Lopez on December 14 of last 12 months. Commey would lose the IBF title to Lopez, who would unify the belts at 135 kilos after defeating Vasiliy Lomachenko on October 17.
Marinez (19-1, 7 KOs) is premier generic for dropping a controversial unanimous determination to light-weight prospect Rolando Romero in his most fresh bout on August 15. The fighter, who resides in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, is knowledgeable via Robert Garcia.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring on the grounds that October of 2013 and has coated boxing in Southern California and abroad seeing that 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) star newspaper. He may also be reached by e mail at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.
Joe Smith Jr. is asking to maintain moving forward against Eleider Alvarez
GET THE newest situation on the RING shop (click on right here) or Subscribe