Strictly Business Boxing
Strictly Business Boxing

Joe Smith Jr. World Title Defense

Postponed Due To Positive Covid-19 Test!

By: Tony Palmieri – Star Boxing

(September 21st) Star Boxing regrets to inform everyone that JOE THE BEAST" SMITH JR.’s highly anticipated WBO World Championship defense will be postponed due to Smith Jr. testing positive for COVID-19.  The fight, scheduled for October 30th, which was set to be officially announced this week and expected to sellout quickly, as we received numerous inquiries coming from fans looking to purchase tickets to the "Common Man’s" triumphant return to NY for his first title defense. A rescheduled fight date will be announced soon.

Joe Smith Jr. had this to say about the disappointing news, "I was in camp working hard. I am very disappointed that I won't be able to defend my title in October due to having COVID. When I am better I will be back in the gym preparing to fight as soon as I can and put on a great show for all my fans."

Star Boxing CEO JOE DEGUARDIA had this to say, "We are disappointed that we must postpone Joe Smith's first world title defense in front of his dedicated New York fanbase." DeGuardia continued, "Currently, our sole focus is to make sure that Joe is healthy and we wish him a speedy recovery. News on a rescheduled fight date will be announced soon."


ABOUT STAR BOXING: Star Boxing, Inc. has been in operation since 1992. Founded by Joe DeGuardia, its President and CEO, Star Boxing has worked to produce some of the most exciting and memorable boxing events in recent history. Star has continued to work with and develop a number of very exciting world champions, world-rated contenders and young prospects. Star has consistently brought credibility, integrity, and exciting fights to the boxing industry.


Star Boxing is among the highest regarded and most rapidly expanding boxing organizations in the country. Its premier stature is reinforced by its ability to develop talent and maintain a high profile within the industry and with its broadcast affiliates. Star Boxing regularly stages and televises premium quality boxing matches throughout the world. The swift ascendancy of Star Boxing is largely attributable to the sporting expertise and innovative business vision of the organization’s founder and President, Joe DeGuardia. As the son of a professional prizefighter, DeGuardia can truly boast a lifetime association with the sport of boxing. DeGuardia grew up in the Bronx, learning boxing at his father’s neighborhood boxing gym. He fought his first official bout at the age of nine, and won the Golden Gloves Welterweight crown in 1988, one year before his graduation from law school. Following his admission to the bar, DeGuardia joined the Bronx District Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor. He then went on to develop a successful, Bronx-based independent law practice. Notwithstanding his work as a lawyer, DeGuardia always remained professionally active in the boxing world. This involvement became a full-time dedication in 1990, when he took over management of the Morris Park Boxing Club from his father. In his new capacity as chief operator of the club, DeGuardia transformed the business into one of the busiest boxing gyms in New York, while also using it as a base from which to launch his larger business as a top boxing entrepreneur. Star Boxing, the organization that evolved out of DeGuardia’s broad experience in the boxing industry, works on a flexible business model which enables DeGuardia to develop and promote both exclusive boxing events and boxers, as well as to put together joint-sponsorship events with other major promoters. Thus, there are many different components to his portfolio of promotional ventures. Recently, Star Boxing events have been among the highest grossing, most successful events in boxing, further solidifying its position as one of the most reputable companies in the sport. Among Star’s promoted fighters and events, the Antonio Tarver vs. Roy Jones Jr. trilogy was one of the most successful trilogies in boxing history, generating over 50 million in revenue. Star Boxing shows have been broadcast on both internationally and nationally on Pay-Per-View, HBO, Showtime, ESPN, HDNet, Telemundo and MSG, as well as on the internet, through collaborative efforts with GoFightLive.TV. Through his leadership of Star Boxing, DeGuardia has secured a reputation as among the youngest and most dynamic first-tier promoters in the business. In addition to the guidance of DeGuardia, Star has several high-level industry executives, including matchmaker Ron Katz who is widely considered one of the best matchmakers of all time. Star Boxing is also a proud member of the Boxing Promoters Association (BPA), which was formed in 2009, and is made up of over thirty of the top US Promoters. The BPA was the brainchild of DeGuardia, and his efforts in forming the organization were recognized by the fellow BPA Members, who elected DeGuardia President of the Association. Star Boxing will continue with groundbreaking shows and concepts in the years ahead, as it continues its role as an innovative leader in the exciting world of boxing.

WBO Light Heavyweight Champ

Joe Smith Jr. and Russian, Umar Salamov

Ink Contracts, To Fight In Oct / Nov On Espn!

(L-R Smith Jr. Joe Degurdia, Phil & Gerry Capobianco - Ulmar Salamov)

(August 17th) Mastic, Shirley, New York Union 66 Laborer / lumberjack / WBO Light Heavyweight Champion Joe “The Beast” Smith Jr. and Las Vegas based once beaten Russian, Umar Salamov have signed to meet this October or November.

The 27-year-old, Salamov, 26-1, 19Ko’s enters off a April 8th, ten round split decision win over 35 year old fellow Russian Sergei Ekimov this past April.


Smith Jr. and Salamov should find a date in October or November and square off in a Top Rank promoted fight on ESPN.

The now 31-year-old, star boxing promoted, WBO Champ, Smith Jr., 27-3, 21Ko’s crashed into the top of the light heavyweight rankings with a World Boxing Council International Light Heavy Title claiming first round TKO stoppage of heavily favored Chicago, Illinois, based Pole, Andrzej Fonfara, June 18th, 2016.


Smith ready to face all comers would secure himself a place in the record books launching Philly “Executioner” and future Hall of Famer, Bernard Hopkins out of the ring and into retirement, December 2016, the boxer / puncher Smith battled into and through Covid times securing the World Boxing Organisation NABO Light Heavy Title with a ten round split decision win over Philadelphia’s, Jesse “Hard Work” Hart, January 2020.


Returning to action just seven months later showing marked improvement “The Beast” stopped Montreal, Canada based Columbian former WBO Light Heavyweight Champion, Eleider “Storm” Alvarez in nine rounds setting up a hotly contested majority decision win over Samara, Russia, veteran, Maxim Vlasov April 10th, 2021 to claim the vacant World Boxing Organisation World Light Heavy Title in his last outing, live on ESPN.


The exact date, full card and ticket information for the Smith Jr. first title defense is expected to be announced soon.


About ESPN+

ESPN+ is the multi-sport, direct-to-consumer video service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment and ESPN. It reached 2 million subscribers in less than a year and offers fans thousands of live events, on-demand content and original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks, along with premium editorial content.


Programming on ESPN+ includes hundreds of MLB and NHL games, exclusive UFC, Top Rank boxing and PFL fights and events, top domestic and international soccer (Serie A, MLS, FA Cup, UEFA Nations League, EFL Championship, EFL Carabao Cup, Eredivisie, and more), thousands of college sports events (including football, basketball and other sports), Grand Slam tennis, international and domestic rugby and cricket, new and exclusive series, acclaimed studio shows and the full library of ESPN’s award-winning 30 for 30 films. Fans subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) and can cancel at any time.


ESPN+ is available as an integrated part of the ESPN App (on mobile and connected devices) and


About Top Rank

Innovation has been the standard at Top Rank since it was established in 1966 by Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. The boxing industry’s leading promotional company, Top Rank has shaped, developed, and promoted the careers of top international pay-per-view superstars and Hall of Famers, including Muhammad Ali, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Aaron Pryor, Alexis Arguello, Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Miguel Cotto, Erik Morales, Terence Crawford, and Vasiliy Lomachenko.


Top Rank has promoted some of the most memorable fights in the sport’s history, including 26 Ali events, Leonard vs. Hearns, Pryor vs. Arguello, Duran vs. Leonard, Hagler vs. Hearns, Leonard vs. Hagler, Foreman vs. Holyfield, Morales vs. Barrera, De La Hoya vs. Trinidad, and the most lucrative fight in boxing history, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. In addition to the previously mentioned super fights, Top Rank possesses one of the largest sports libraries, which includes nearly 10,000 fights.


Known for creating strategic collaborations between athletes, sponsors, and television networks, Top Rank has been an architect of boxing’s global growth by staging high-profile events in landmark settings around the world, including Madison Square Garden, MGM Grand Garden Arena, Staples Center, Wembley Arena, Araneta Coliseum, The Venetian Macao, Yankee Stadium, Radio City Music Hall, The “Fabulous” Forum, and AT&T Stadium. Top Rank has also been the leader within the boxing industry in creating unforgettable in-arena experiences for fans and embracing 21st century technological advancements to distribute world-class fights and shoulder programming across a variety of platforms.

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