Joe Smith Jr. Earns WBO Title
In War With Russian Maxim Vlasov!
(April 11th) Years of union construction work and tree trimming, while maintaining a dedication to his craft, came full circle on Saturday night when Long Island’s “Common Man” JOE SMITH JR. (27-3 21KO’s) cemented his legacy in boxing history by defeating MAXIM VLASOV (46-4 26KO’s), being crowned the new WBO Light Heavyweight Champion of the World.
In front of a rowdy Long Island filled crowd, Smith Jr. and Vlasov went toe to toe at the Osage Casino, in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the vacant WBO strap. Vlasov started fast out of the gate, pressuring Smith and maintaining distance with a pest like jab. Smith would be cut over his eye, late in the first round, which seemingly took him time to regain his composure.
The pace of the fight was relentless, as Vlasov used jittery upper body movement to keep Smith’s sledgehammer hands at bay for the early part of the fight. But the 'Common Man' would not be denied, and began landing with bad intentions. In the third round, Smith landed a flush right cross that staggered the Russian, who managed to cling on for the remainder of the round.
In the seventh round, Smith may have had his best combination of the fight, landing a right followed by a monster left, which stumbled Vlasov and had him on weak legs for the remainder of the round. Vlasov showed poise and experience, managing to tie up and keep himself upright.
Vlasov came out in the 9th and 10th round with vengeance, forcing Smith to fight off his heels. However, in the championship rounds Smith, strapped up his boots and got to work. The 11th saw Smith dig violent punches to the body. After a flurry of punches Vlasov took a knee, but it was not ruled a knockdown by the referee, stating that the punch was to the back of the head. The delay in the return to action may have saved the Russian from a knockout stoppage, but Smith would not let it deter him from leaving everything he had in the ring, knowing one more round could very well determine his fate as a champion.
The final round saw Smith in full on attack mode - a nod to his incredible conditioning. In the final ten seconds, Smith unloaded every punch he had left, closing out a wildly entertaining light heavyweight championship fight. Joe Smith would go on to be crowned as the WBO Light Heavyweight Champion of the World by majority decision (114-114 Draw, 115-113 Smith, 115-112 Smith).
Here’s what Smith had to say on his crowning achievement, “It’s a great feeling,” Smith said. “It was definitely a close, tough, tough fight. Vlasov is a great fighter and he really put on a great show tonight and toughed it out. In that [11th] round I hurt him, I believe he stuck his head down and I should have gotten the knockdown. I believe I would have gotten the stoppage. ... I landed the bigger, harder shots, but he landed a lot of punches, too. It was a great fight.”
Star Boxing CEO JOE DEGUARDIA had this to say about the World Title bout, “What a gritty performance from non-other than the blue collar hero himself, Joe Smith. All of us at Star Boxing are so proud of the effort he put forth in this fight. We also tip our hat to Maxim Vlasov for an incredible effort. It was not an easy fight, but like any true champion, he bit down and found that champion inside of him, especially during the 'Championship' rounds. Joe is in a position to have some mega opportunities in 2021, but first we want to let him finally enjoy that honeymoon!”
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. For more information on Star Boxing, visit the official website at starboxing.com.
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.
Smith Jr. Recaps His Rise
To the Top Of Light Heavyweight Division!
(April 6th) This Saturday night (April 10th), JOE “THE BEAST” SMITH JR. (26-3 21KO’S) will challenge for the vacant WBO World Light Heavyweight Title in the main event on ESPN against Russian veteran, MAXIM VLASOV (45-3 26KO’s). The fight was rescheduled from February 13, to April 10, due to Vlasov testing positive for COVID-19.
The WBO world title is up for grabs after it was vacated by pound for pound star, Canelo Alvarez in December of 2019 after he knocked out then champion, Sergey Kovalev. Now on April 10th, live on ESPN, Joe Smith Jr. will be seeking to win the World Championship and further solidify his increasing reputation as one of the top and most fan-beloved light-heavyweights in the world.
The “Common Man,” as he is affectionately known as, Joe Smith Jr. sat down with us and recapped his rise to the top of the light heavyweight division ahead next Saturday’s world title bid.
As an amateur, Smith Jr. won the coveted 2008 New York State Golden Gloves, defeating his rival Sean Monaghan. Smith Jr. decided to turn pro just one year later, hoping to use the momentum from his major Golden Gloves victory. Following his pro debut, Smith Jr. made appearances in the metro area, including, Resorts World Casino in Queens, NY, Roseland Ballroom, The Paramount in Huntington, and Barclays Center. While gaining exposure and being built up locally, Smith Jr. remained a relative unknown in the boxing scene outside of the metro area.
That all changed on June 18, 2016 when Star Boxing CEO and NY Hall of Fame promoter, JOE DEGUARDIA brought the opportunity of a lifetime for “The Beast,” against ANDRZEJ FONFARA in Chicago for the WBC International Light Heavyweight Title. Smith Jr. would shock the boxing world when he destroyed the heavy Polish 20-1 favorite with a first round TKO.
You beat Fonfara as a 18-1 underdog, what was that like for you?
“That was a night I will never forget. The crowd was really loud, and there were a lot of Fonfara fans there, that I was able to make my fans. I knew I could beat him, I really believed it. We realized that [Fonfara] left himself open when he punched, and that’s what I looked for.”
Later that year, the Smith Jr. train continued into what was dubbed the #Final1, as living boxing legend, BERNARD HOPKINS, hand-picked Smith Jr. as his opponent for the curtain call of his legendary career. However, the upset minded Smith had other plans, knocking Hopkins out of the ring, onto the Forum floor, in one of the most spectacular and memorable knockouts in recent boxing history.
The nickname, “The Common Man,” started appearing around the Hopkins fight, why was that?
“Well it actually began during the press conference against Hopkins. Hopkins was crafty and used whatever he could to get an advantage. At the press conference he started yelling and screaming and basically said that he was special, and I was just common. My promoter Joe DeGuardia started talking about how I was proud to be a ‘Common Man’ and a working laborer. All of that is true and it kind of stuck. But I think I took care of that (slight by Hopkins) when I knocked him out of the ring. About a year later I saw Hopkins at the BWAA awards dinner, and he said to me, ‘hey Joe get over here so we can talk about that push.’ I think I earned a lot of respect from him and everyone else that fight.”
Was it your goal to go in there and be the first fighter to knock Hopkins out?
“Yea, I wanted to be the first guy to knock him out, but I must say, [Hopkins] is one tough guy man. I hit him with some clean hard shots, and he was still there, punching back. When I had him against the ropes, I hit him with a right hand that I saw basically had him out on his feet, before I hit him with a left hand that sent him out of the ring.”
After fighting nine-rounds with a broken jaw on HBO against Sullivan Barrera at the Forum, then devouring Melvin Russell in the first round at Mohegan Sun on NESN, Smith Jr. would get the opportunity to fight for his first world title against Russian technician DMITRY BIVOL.
What did you learn from the Bivol fight?
“The Bivol fight taught me a lot about myself. I realized that to win at that level, I needed to have better movement, and be more fluid. I needed to stay busier and be more focused the whole time, not just looking for one big shot. I wish I would have started faster in that fight.”
Speaking of one big shot, you landed a massive right hand at the nd of the tenth-round. Do you ever re-watch that clip and think to yourself, if only I had ten more seconds?
“Oh yes I do. I watch the clip of that every time. If I just pushed myself harder from the beginning, I think I could have won that fight. Maybe winning this title on April 10th will help me get back to that fight again.”
Bouncing back from the Bivol fight, Smith Jr. dominated in a due or die challenge against then #1 rated light heavyweight JESSE HART on ESPN for the WBO NABO Title. There was a lot of bad blood leading up to the fight, as Hart, a Philadelphia native, felt he had to make up for what Smith did to his mentor and fellow Philly native, Bernard Hopkins, four years prior.
Hart seemed to really take your fight personally talking about how he was going to knock you out in honor of his mentor Bernard Hopkins. What did you think about that?
“He was one of those guys that was making someone else’s problems his. He was telling me he was going to knock me out, and that he had more knockouts than me, and I think at the time he only had one more knockout than me. He said at the bell he was going to come right to me and fight, so the bell rang and I ran to the middle of the ring and he started dancing around me like a ballerina and I said, ‘Dude I thought you were going to come to fight.’”
In August of 2020, coming off of the Hart victory, Smith Jr. was in the finals of the WBO World Title eliminator, against then #1 rated light heavyweight and former world champion, ELIEDER ALVAREZ on ESPN in the Bubble at the MGM Grand. Conjuring his inner 2016, Smith Jr. tore up and dominated Alvarez, culminating in a ninth-round TKO, sending Alvarez through the ropes, similar to the knockout of Hopkins.
You were the underdog again against Alvarez. Some analysts had you as a very live dog which proved to be true. How did you handle being the underdog in this fight?
“I don’t mind being the underdog. You have to know your skill and know that you can always win. Going into that fight was different because it was at the Bubble, and there were no fans, but I didn’t mind it because there were no distractions at all.”
Alvarez was the second consecutive #1 light heavyweight and favored fighter that you fought in 2020. Does that play in your mind at all leading up to a fight?
“Anybody is a dangerous opponent. I was confident in both fights, but there is always that thought in your head that this guy can beat you. Anybody can lose, but as long as you work hard and do what you need to do, you will win. That’s what I think. I can beat anybody anywhere, anytime.”
Looking forward to 2021, Smith Jr. is set to challenge for a world title for the second time. No longer a secret in the boxing world, Smith Jr. enters April 10 on ESPN against Russian veteran, Maxim Vlasov, for the vacant WBO World Title. Smith Jr. will look to bring the world title back to Long Island, setting himself up for major opportunities later in 2021.
Star Boxing Inks Promotional Deal With
Undefeated Middleweight Badien “Bad Man” Hasso!
(April 2nd) Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing is pleased to announce the signing of well regarded middleweight, BADIEN "BAD MAN" HASSO (19-0 10KO's). Badien first laced up the gloves at the age of 9 and quickly realized that he was a skilled combatant. His skills were showcased internationally as he represented Germany multiple times as an amateur. Rated in the top of his weight class, Badien finished as the runner-up twice in the German Amateur Championships. Finishing with an impressive amateur record of 68-5-1 before turning professional at the young age of 19 in 2014.
Born in Shekhan, Iraq in 1994, Badien grew up with three brothers and four sisters. Badien’s father is a member of the Kurdish Democratic Party. In an effort to escape the regime of Saddam Hussein, Badien and his family fled Iraq for Oberhausen, Germany. While in Germany, Badien helped in the creation of the Yezidi Women’s Peshmerga Unit, an all women militia formed in Iraq in 2015 to protect the Yazidi community from attacks. Baiden’s parents eventually were able to return to Iraq where his father is one of the leaders of the Shingal region.
Since turning pro, Badien's unique journey continued, fighting in Germany, Mexico and the United States. Setting his sites on a world title run, Badien teamed up with trainer Dwight Yarde, and has been training out of Henderson, Nevada ever since.
Badien had this to say about signing with Star Boxing, “Big thanks to Joe DeGuardia and Star Boxing. I look forward to taking the middleweight division by storm and showing the world what we Kurds are all about!”
“Exciting times for middleweight contender Badien Hasso” said Badien’s trainer, DWIGHT YARDE. “We look forward to a long and prosperous journey to the top with Joe DeGuardia and Star Boxing.”
Star Boxing CEO, JOE DEGUARDIA had this to say about the signing, “Badien is a young, talented fighter with an incredible life journey that brought him to the United States all because of boxing. We are excited to add Badien to our talented roster. We believe in his abilities and look forward to watching him rise the ranks of a stellar middleweight division.”
Danbury, Connecticut, Super Lightweight
Omar “The Beast” Bordoy
Inks Promotional Contract With Star Boxing!
(January 6th) Star Boxing is pleased to announce the signing of Danbury Connecticut fan-favorite OMAR "THE BEAST" BORDOY (10-1 3KO's). At 25-years-old, Bordoy stands at 5'5" and matches his nickname in the ring, unleashing his inner 'Beast' fighting much bigger than his frame would suggest.
Bordoy is no stranger to Star Boxing events, having made his pro debut at Star Boxing's "Slugfest at the Sun" on the undercard of Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee, Delvin Rodriguez vs Courtney Pennington. Bordoy pitched a shutout, winning by unanimous decision, "Joe DeGuardia gave me my pro debut back in 2017," said Bordoy, "I never forgot him giving me the chance to begin my career and now giving me the opportunity to further my career."
Bordoy would later make an appearance at Star Boxing's acclaimed "Rockin' Fights" series at The Paramount in Huntington, New York, where he went to war with Terrell Bostic on the undercard of Long Island's former World Champion, and "Rockin' Fights" alum, Chris Algieri vs Angel Hernandez. Bordoy would drop Bostic in the third-round of the scheduled six-round fight, which proved to be the difference earning the decision in a thrilling fight.
(Team Bordoy with Star Boxing CEO Joe DeGuardia)
Bordoy had this to say about signing with NY Hall of Fame promoter, Joe DeGuardia, "I couldn't be more excited to sign a contract with Star Boxing. I've always been an underdog and I come from nothing, so I'm looking forward to showing the world that from nothing you can become something. The confidence Star Boxing is showing me only makes me hungrier and I look forward to having an explosive year in 2021."
Trainer and Manager, AJ GALANTE echoed Bordoy's sentiment, "Star Boxing consistently puts their fighters in positions to be successful. I look forward to continuing to help further guide Omar's career, and with Joe DeGuardia and Star Boxing in our corner, the sky is the limit."
Star Boxing CEO JOE DEGUARDIA stated, "Omar's development from his pro debut at Mohegan Sun, to his electric victory at The Paramount has been impressive. I believe together with his team, we can continue to develop Omar, and get him the opportunities he needs to make real noise in the super lightweight division. We are happy to welcome him to Star Boxing."
Star Boxing 2020 Rewind Fighting
Through An Improbable Year
Looking Ahead to a Promising 2021!
(January 2nd) When the ball dropped and we wrang in the new year of 2020, there was much promise and anticipation for what the new decade would bring for boxing fans. Another year of big fights and earth-shattering knockouts was upon us.
Wasting no time, just eleven days into the new year, Long Island's hero and current world rated #1 light heavyweight, "The Common Man," JOE "THE BEAST" SMITH JR. (26-3 21KO's) hammered then #1 world rated light heavyweight Jesse Hart on ESPN at the Hard Rock in Atlantic city. With his dominant victory, Smith earned the WBO NABO Light Heavyweight title.
Fast forward to August, Smith Jr. entered as the underdog for the second time in 2020 against former world champion and then #1 rated light heavyweight, Eleider Alvarez, on ESPN in a WBO World Title Elimination bout. Smith sent Alvarez through the ropes for a vicious 9th round TKO, reminiscent of his 2016 demolition of boxing legend Bernard Hopkins.
With a picture perfect 2020 under his belt, Smith Jr. has been nominated for 2020 Fighter of the Year by the BWAA. On February 13, 2021, Smith Jr. seeks to make his dream a reality when he challenges Russian veteran, Maxim Vlasov for the vacant WBO World Championship on ESPN.
After January's success, Star Boxing continued it's success in February (Feb 28), at The Paramount in Huntington, New York, for its 38th edition of the acclaimed "Rockin' Fights" series featuring a star-studded card. Long Island knockout artist, and world rated #11 (WBA) and #15 (IBF) super lightweight, CLETUS "THE HEBREW HAMMER" SELDIN (25-1 21KO's) went to war with late replacement Luis Florez in a bloody battle as Seldin successfully defended his NABA Title with a 7th round TKO.
The February 28th Paramount show also saw world title contender, CARLOS TAKAM (39-5-1 28KO's) batter Fabio Maldonado over 10 rounds of dominating action to an unanimous decision victory. Star Boxing had a thrilling 2020 line up scheduled to follow its January and February successes. However, just two weeks after "Rockin' Fights," the world came to a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic. Gyms were closed, fighters remained home, and the world came to an effective screeching halt.
Covid-19 shut the world down causing a full boxing blackout for 3 months. Following over 15 Star Boxing event cancellations and the uncertain return of boxing in a COVID-19 world, NY Hall of Fame Promoter and Star Boxing CEO, JOE DEGUARDIA began fighting for solutions for his stable. Although NY and most other states prohibited boxing, DeGuardia capitalized on a major opportunity for Carlos Takam in July in the main event on ESPN in Las Vegas (fanless at The Bubble), against late replacement Jerry Forrest. Takam shined in the 10-round bout, earning the unanimous decision, setting himself up for a critically important 2021 that could see Takam challenge for another world title. Watch Takam-Forrest Highlights Here.
Star Boxing kept on swinging through the summer and fall landing opportunities for its stable in a scarce boxing climate. In August on the undercard of Smith Jr.-Alvarez, super welterweight WENDY "HAITIAN FIRE" TOUSSAINT (12-1 5KO's) would take care of business against Isiah Jones at The Bubble on ESPN. Toussaint returned in October on "Shobox: The New Generation" looking to upset heralded prospect Charles Conwell but would fall short after taking Conwell into deep water. World rated #7 (WBA) and #8 (WBO) undefeated French super middleweight, DAVID PAPOT (24-0-1 3KO's) would continue his winning ways with a unanimous decision victory in Guerande, France. Dublin based super lightweight VICTOR "SLIC VIC" RABEI (10-0 3KO's) would find the win column not once, but twice in 2020, with a TKO victory in Poland, and unanimous decision in Spain.
Undefeated rising cruiserweight prospect, RICHIE "POPEYE THE SAILOR MAN" RIVERA found opportunity in both Mexico and Florida, defeating Jaudiel Zepeda by unanimous decision and Ryan Soft by 1st round TKO, improving to 18-0 13KO's. Rivera had a planned WBC Continental America's challenge against stablemate SIMONE FEDERICI (17-2-1 8KO's) derailed due to COVID, but is anticipated to be replanned post COVID. Ukraine born, Pittsburgh residing heavyweight, LYUBOMYR "DEMOLITION PINCHUK (12-2-1 7KO's) would take on respected American heavyweight prospect Stephen Shaw on NBCSN new fight series, Ring City USA. While falling by decision, Pinchuk gained the respect of boxing fans for his immense resilience and will.
Through the difficult times, Star Boxing continued to add talent to its stable with the likes of Irish standouts, TONY "SUPERFLY" BROWNE (2-0 1KO) who won his pro-debut by 1st round TKO, RYAN "THE SILENT ASSASIN" O'ROURKE (5-0) who fought an astonishing 5 times in 2020, as well as Brazilian bruisers, bantamweight, MICHEL "BABU" DA SILVA (13-0 12KO'S) and super middleweight, LUCAS DE ABREU MARTINS (12-0 11KO'S). Also added to the roster was Italian heavyweight National Champion, GIANMARCO CARDILLO (9-0-1 2KO's) and undefeated Ukrainian bantamweight, OLEG "UKRAINIAN PITBULL" DOVHUN (10-0 3KO's).
Looking ahead, Star Boxing's talented stable of fighters is anxious to lace up the gloves in a post COVID, 2021. Expected announcements should come soon regarding former super lightweight world champion, CHRIS ALGIERI, WBC FECARBOX Super Lightweight Champion DANNY "EL GALLO" GONZALEZ (19-2-1 7KO's), #11 world rated Australian standout ZAC DUNN (29-1 24KO's), undefeated Long Island super welterweight prospect, "THE JACKPOT" TYRONE "PRETTY BOY" JAMES (11-0 8KO's), Italian WBC Continental America's Cruiserweight Champion SIMONE "TYSON" FEDERICI (17-2-1 8KO's).
A big year lies ahead for Star Boxing and its stable of fighters in the post-COVID world. Star Boxing CEO JOE DEGUARDIA had this to say about the year in review, "This has been such a difficult year for so many. Our heart is with all those that have suffered. Nobody expected the type of year that 2020 dealt the world. Like many, I am pleased that 2020 is behind us and we expect a a much brighter future. We are pleased of our accomplishments in 2020 in spite of the difficulties that were present. We also congratulate the boxers that have been able to retain their focus and dedication during this pandemic. I wish everyone a happy and healthy new year, and pray that 2021 brings with it great success for Star Boxing, the boxing community, and indeed the world."
Joe "The Beast" Smith Jr.
Nominated for 2020 Fighter of the Year by the BWAA!
(December 29th) Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing is pleased to announce that Long Island's own, "The Common Man,"JOE "THE BEAST" SMITH JR. (26-3 21KO'S) has been nominated for 2020 Fighter of the Year, by the Boxing Writers Association of America.
A victorious Smith Jr. after defeating Jesse Hart for the WBO NABO Title
Smith Jr.'s nomination comes on the heels of a spectacular 2020, in which he dominated then #1 rated light heavyweight Jesse Hart, in January on ESPN to win the WBO NABO Light Heavyweight Title. In August, Smith Jr. would return to the ring once again on ESPN in a WBO World title eliminator against then #1 rated light heavyweight and former world champion, Eleider Alvarez. Smith Jr. would once again dazzle boxing fans with an electric 9th round knockout victory, sending Alvarez through the ropes, reminiscent of his 2016 knockout of boxing legend Bernard Hopkins.
Looking ahead to 2021, Smith Jr. is focused on fulfilling his lifelong dream as he is set to challenge for the WBO Championship of the World on February 13 in the main event on ESPN, against tough Russian veteran, Maxim Vlasov. More info on this World Title fight can be found just (click here).
With his nomination, Smith Jr. joins an elite class of fellow nominees, including Canelo Alvarez, Gervonta Davis, Tyson Fury, Teofimo Lopez Jr. and Errol Spence Jr.
A Real Life “Rocky”: “The Common Man” Joe Smith Jr. Lands WBO World Title Shot
Against Russian Maxim Vlasov On February 13th!
(December 9th) The working man's hero, Long Island light heavyweight slugger, JOE "THE BEAST" SMITH JR. (26-3 21KO'S) is officially set to take on Russian, MAXIM VLASOV (45-3 26KO's) on February 13th for the vacant WBO Light Heavyweight World Title on ESPN. If it weren't reality, some would say it was scripted. An American union laborer's rise to the top of the boxing world, in the paramount bout of his career for the Championship of the World, against a big strong Russian bear.
Smith Jr. had a 2020 reminiscent of his remarkable 2016. In both years, Smith Jr. secured two major upsets, placing himself inside the top 5 in the light heavyweight division and on track to fight for a world title. As a relative unknown in 2016, and a 16-1 underdog on NBC, Smith Jr. traveled to Chicago to win a devastating first round knockout of then #2 rated, Andrezj Fonfara in what would be dubbed "Upset of the Year" by Ring Magazine. Later that year, once again as an underdog, Smith Jr. would knock boxing legend, Bernard Hopkins, clear out of the ring, onto the Forum floor becoming the first to knockout the former multi-division world champion. Both knockouts were also runners-up for Knockout of the Year. With a win over the likes of Fonfara and Hopkins in back-to-back fights, Smith Jr. became a well-regarded and beloved inspiration in the light heavyweight division.
Fast forward to 2020, and Smith Jr. would once again find himself clawing back into the mix of a hot light heavyweight division. In January, Smith Jr. was in the main event on ESPN from the Hard Rock in Atlantic City, where he soundly defeated then #1 rated light heavyweight, and heavily favored Jesse Hart for the WBO NABO Light Heavyweight Title. Next, Smith Jr. laced up his boots, and found himself again as the underdog in a four-man WBO World Title elimination tournament against then #1 rated, and former world champion, Elieder Alvarez. After dominating the fight, Smith Jr. knocked Alvarez through the ropes in the ninth round, eerily similar to his Bernard Hopkins knockout, four years prior, en route to a 9th round brutal TKO victory.
With his August win over Alvarez, Smith Jr. was set to take on the winner of Maxim Vlasov vs Umar Salamov, in the finals of the WBO Title Eliminator. However, after this semifinal bout was postponed once due to the global pandemic, again in October, and then the rescheduled November bout was also postponed when Salamov tested positive for COVID-19, Star Boxing's NY Hall of Fame Promoter, JOE DEGUARDIA, requested and was granted the right for Smith Jr. to take on Maxim Vlasov for the vacant WBO World Title.
Vlasov who had a twelve-fight win streak snapped by Krzyzsztof Glowacki in a bout for the Cruiserweight World Championship in November 2018, has since won three in-a-row in which he collected the WBO Global Light Heavyweight Title.
Smith Jr. now finds himself as the main character in a Rocky story, founded in reality. Just four years ago, as a member of Union Laborer's Local 66, Smith Jr. could be found at the Bay Park Sewage Plant with RJ Industries, power washing fecal matter off of tanks. To this day, Smith Jr. keeps his books up to date with the union, and while not fighting, can be found around Long Island servicing trees with his Dad, for their company, "Team Smith Tree Service." Originating from humble beginnings, with a roll up your sleeves style of hard work, Smith Jr.'s grit and determination to make something of himself has led him one victory away from glory and has made him the pride of the working class, known affectionately as the "Common Man".
(cutman Jacob "Stitch" Duran, Phil, Joe and Jerry)
Joe Smith Jr. started his pro career with brothers Phil and Jerry Capobianco. "Running into Jerry (trainer) and Phil (manager) changed my life. Without them I wouldn't have made it to where I am today. I would still be a gym fighter." SMITH JR. continued, "and a huge thank you to Joe DeGuardia and Star Boxing, my promoter, who took me to the Paramount and world and providing me with this great opportunity and believing in me. I am ready for this fight and I can't wait".
Star Boxing CEO, JOE DEGUARDIA, said this about the upcoming World Title fight, "Joe Smith Jr. is one of the hardest working men in boxing. He is the optime of the working-class hero. It is truly a different experience watching Joe fight - he has hammers in both fists, and at a moment's notice, can end a fight. He has vastly improved his boxing ability and I believe he has become the top guy in the division. I am very confident that the 'Common Man', Joe Smith Jr. will be the World Champion. Kudos to the WBO for recognizing Joe's talents and mandating this fight."
ABOUT STAR BOXING:
For over a quarter century Star Boxing has consistently delivered boxing events of the highest caliber that attract loyal fans from all corners of the globe. Star Boxing has promoted events at practically every locale and on every network. From the Antonio Tarver - Roy Jones trilogy to the meteoric rise of Chris Algieri and Joe Smith Jr. through the critically acclaimed Rockin' Fights Paramount Series, Star Boxing continues to develop world rated contenders and red-hot prospects into future world champions. Founded by its Hall of Fame promoter, Joe DeGuardia, an attorney, former boxer and respected boxing leader, Star Boxing has become revered worldwide throughout the industry for its credibility, integrity, and exciting fights.
Toussaint Takes Conwell Into Deep Waters
Conwell Scores 9th Round Stoppage!
(October 8th) Showtime's, ShoBox: The New Generation, resumed for the first time since March with Long Island's WENDY "THE HAITIAN FIRE" TOUSSAINT (now 12-1 5KO's) taking on heralded prospect, #9 world rated (IBF) jr. middleweight CHARLES "BAD NEWS" CONWELL (now 13-0 10KO's) in a 10-round IBF USBA jr. middleweight championship bout.
From the opening bell, Toussaint and Conwell remained at the center of the ring trading punches, gauging distance, and feeling out the oppositions power. Conwell, known for his body work, got right down to brass tacts, digging to the body, which Toussaint handled well through the first five rounds of the scheduled ten round bout. While Conwell was winning the rounds, Toussaint was always in the fight.
Toussaint who mainly fought behind his jab looking to counter punch, had his best round in the sixth, landing three punch combinations, finishing with a sharp left to the body. In the eighth round, Toussaint and Conwell traded as both men began to open up, feeling the pressure with the close of the fight impending.
To no surprise, in the ninth, Conwell went on the attack, looking for the big finish. After Toussaint stood tall, taking Conwell's best shots for the entirety of the fight, Conwell landed a big uppercut, breaking the nose of Toussaint, causing him to take a knee. Unable to continue Conwell scored the KO victory 2:42 into the ninth round. Conwell improves to 13-0 10KO's, Toussaint falls to 12-1 5KO's.
Star Boxing congratulates Charles Conwell and his team and wish them luck and success in the future.
“The Beast” Blasts “The Storm”: Joe Smith Jr.
Ko’s Eleider Alvarez Through the Ropes In 9th Round!
(August 24th) JOE "THE BEAST" SMITH JR.'s (now 26-3 21KO's) WBO Light Heavyweight World Title Eliminator against ELEIDER "STORM" ALVAREZ (now 25-2 13KO's) on ESPN+, ended in absolutely thrilling fashion, last night, as the upset minded Smith Jr. strapped up his boots, clocked in, and went to work. A devastating 9th round knockout sent the former world champion through the bottom two ropes, landing on the ring apron. On this night, the Long Islander known affectionately as the "Common Man," was anything but.
After controlling the action from the first round on, with a lethal jab and thudding, powerful shots, Smith Jr. mixed his attack in the middle rounds landing to the body as well.
After relentlessly battering Alvarez round after round, Smith threw a missile, straight right hand down the pipe, followed by a stinging power jab. The combo obliterated Alvarez, sending him through the ropes and onto the ring apron, reminiscent of Smith Jr.'s incredible 2016 knockout, when he launched legend Bernard Hopkins straight through the ropes and on to the Forum floor. The knockout last night came 26 seconds into the 9th-round.
The game plan from both fighters was clear from the start. Alvarez was looking to counter the aggression of Smith Jr., while Smith Jr. was looking to pressure Alvarez, until he could not take it anymore.
"I stopped a former world champion who's never been stopped before," said Smith after the fight, "And I proved that I can box very well, and still get the knockout. I watched tape of him and I seen if you give him pressure, he starts to lay back a little bit and get a little too comfortable and relaxed. So, I just wanted to keep my jab in his face and stay busy. That was the game plan, and we stuck to it."
At the time of the stoppage Smith Jr. was leading on all three cards, 80-72, 79-73 (x2). CompuBox credited Smith with landing 54 more punches and throwing 194 more punches than Alvarez, at the time of the stoppage. Smith will now face the winner of Maksim Vlasov vs Umar Salamov for the vacant WBO Light Heavyweight Championship of the World.
CEO of Star Boxing JOE DEGUARDIA had this to say about Smith Jr.'s impressive performance, "What a spectacular performance and knockout finish by Joe Smith Jr. It is truly special watching him fight. He is the epitome of hard work, grit and determination, and makes all of us at Star Boxing proud. I have spent my life in boxing, yet I yell and jump from my seat watching him fight, he truly is exciting to watch. Congratulations to him and the entire team on a phenomenal performance."
On the undercard, Star Boxing's other Long Island fighter on the card and Smith's stablemate, WENDY "HATITIAN FIRE" TOUSSAINT, cruised to a wide unanimous decision victory over 'Bubble' veteran ISIAH JONES (9-4 3KO'S). Toussaint had Jones hurt in the 5th round but could not capitalize on getting the knockout. At the final bell, Toussaint won by wide victory (80-72, 79-73 (x2)), as he improved to 12-0 5KO's. New Jerseys, JULIAN "HAMMER HANDS" RODRIGUEZ (20-0 13KO's) lived up to his name, scoring three knockdowns finishing East Hartford prospect "ACTION" ANTHONY LAUREANO (13-1 4KO's) inside of the first-round.
NY’s Most Prolific Promotional Company
Joe Deguardia’s Star Boxing Adapting to Covid-19
Keeps Fighting - 3 Recent Victories and 5 Fights Lined Up!
(August 20th) Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing, the longest running and most consistent promoter in New York, entered 2020 with great expectations. Following a JOE "THE BEAST" SMITH JR. (25-3 20KO's) upset, ESPN main event victory, over then #3 rated light heavyweight JESSE HART (26-3 21KO's) in January and its highly regarded "Rockin' Fights" 38 in February, featuring victories by heavyweight contender, CARLOS TAKAM (39-5-1 28KO's), and Jr. Welterweight punisher CLETUS "THE HEBREW HAMMER" SELDIN (25-1 21KO's), Star Boxing had monthly events scheduled throughout the year and major fights on the horizon. Unfortunately boxing, and the world, came to a screeching halt due to the COVID pandemic.
For the first time in Star Boxing's 28-year history, a staggering double digit number of events were postponed due to the global pandemic. With its back against the ropes, and no clarity in sight, Star Boxing has endured and come out swinging.
In just over a span of a few weeks, Star Boxing has given its fighters great opportunities to shine across the globe in an otherwise desolate boxing market finding ways to battle back the shutdowns.
JULY AND AUGUST VICTORIES:
On July 9, heavyweight contender Carlos Takam appeared in a major heavyweight main event victory on ESPN from the Top Rank bubble in Las Vegas.
On August 7, "SUPER" MARIO ALFANO (15-1-1 4KO's) won the Italian National Super Featherweight Title with a vicious second-round TKO in Italy, on RaiSport. On August 15, undefeated fan-favorite, cruiserweight, RICHIE "POPEYE THE SAILOR MAN" RIVERA (18-0 13KO's) continued his dominance in Daytona Beach, Florida with a first-round TKO.
UPCOMING 5 BOUTS THIS WEEK:
This Saturday night (8/22) Star Boxing invades the bubble at MGM Grand, Las Vegas, on ESPN+, as Joe Smith Jr faces off against ELEIDER "STORM" ALVAREZ (25-1 13KO's) in 12-round WBO World Championship Eliminator main event.
On the undercard, undefeated, 2018 Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame Fighter of the Year, "ACTION" ANTHONY LAUREAO (13-0 4KO's) takes on heralded undefeated prospect, JULIAN "HAMMER HANDS" RODRIGUEZ (19-0 12KO's) in a 10-round super lightweight bout.
Also highlighted on the undercard is undefeated Long Island rising star WENDY "HAITIAN FIRE" TOUSSAINT (11-0 5KO's) who takes on Detroit's, ISIAH JONES (9-2 3KO's) in an 8-round super welterweight bout.
Also on August 22, but in Florida, undefeated, CURTIS "HARD KNOCKS" JOHNSON (11-0 8KO's), takes his shot at the ABF super featherweight title in Florida against James Early.
And from France, a day before the action packed August 22, undefeated super welterweight, DAVID PAPOT (23-0-1 3KO's) is set to fight against Francis Tchoffo on August 21.
STAR BOXING SIGNING NEW TALENT
Not only has Star Boxing been adapting and having its fighters highlighted across the globe this summer, but Hall of Fame Promoter, Joe DeGuardia, has been busy adding talent as well. In just the last three weeks, Star Boxing has added 5 quality prospects to its stable:
First, Star inked The Ukrainian duo, now fighting out of Pittsburgh, undefeated super bantamweight, OLEH "UKRAINIAN PITBULL" DOVHUN (10-0 3KO'S) and heavyweight, LYUBOMYR "DEMOLITION MAN" PINCHUK (12-1-1 7KO'S). Then, Across the Atlantic, Star Boxing added two Irish amateur standouts in 21-year-old undefeated welterweight "THE SILENT ASSASIN" RYAN O'ROURKE (3-0) and super middleweight, "SUPERFLY" TONY BROWNE, a highly regarded amateur who will be making his pro debut in the near future. Rounding out the strong new class of Star Boxing elite is Brazilian, undefeated super bantamweight slugger, MICHEL "BABU" DA SILVA (13-0 12KO'S).
JOE DEGUARDIA, President of Star Boxing had this to say about all the activities in July and August: "I am pleased that we are finding opportunities for our fighters and are fortunate to have such varied and positive working relationships around the world. We will keep moving forward. Just like our boxers, we are fighters. These are rough times and we have certainly been hit hard by this pandemic, as has the rest of the boxing industry and world but we will keep punching. When the final bell rings, we will be standing. We are looking forward to hearing the roar of crowd at our FAN filled Star Boxing events soon".
WITNESS THE GREATNESS: THIS IS STAR BOXING
Star Boxing Adds Irish Amateur Standout Tony Browne!
(August 14th) Standout Irish amateur TONY BROWNE is set to go pro after signing a promotional agreement with Hall of Fame Promoter JOE DEGUARDIA and Star Boxing.
Star Boxing adds to its talented stable another young Irish prospect after announcing late last week the signing of undefeated Irish super lightweight RYAN O'ROURKE (3-0).
The move ends the decorated amateur chapter of Browne's career who was listed at #4 on Ireland's amateur pound for pound list. Browne represented Ireland internationally, medaling at The Chemistry Cup (World Cup), the Eindhoven Box Cup and a slew of several Irish National Titles.
While Browne who will be campaigning at super middleweight, has had no shortage of professional experience having sparred around the world with some of the best to do it, including Chris Eubank Jr., in his preparation for his bout against James DeGale.
Browne currently trains with Steven O' Rourke in Inchicore alongside his now stablemate, Ryan O'Rourke. Browne is managed by Conor Slater of Slater Consulting. Browne will look to make his pro-debut closer to home in the coming months, with a fight date likely to be revealed in the coming weeks.
Joe DeGuardia of Star Boxing commented, "It is great to welcome Tony to the team. He is one of the most exciting amateurs in world boxing and his pedigree speaks for itself. We believe he is well suited to the pro game and I look forward to seeing him progress."
Tony Browne added, "I'm delighted to have finally turned pro. This has been a dream of mine for a very long time, and this opportunity that has presented itself is one I had to grab with both hands. People have always said I'm suited for the pro game, so I'm raring to show that I am. A big thanks to my team Steven and Conor and of course to Joe and everyone at Star Boxing for this amazing opportunity. I'm looking forward to getting started. I haven't turned pro just to make up the numbers or to win just a couple of belts, I want to be world champion and leave a legacy. That's my goal."
Star Boxing Welcomes Undefeated Brazilian
Super Bantamweight Michel “Babu” Da Silva!
(August 13th) JOE DEGUARDIA'S STAR BOXING continues adding talent to its roster, this time in the form of undefeated Brazilian, super bantamweight, MICHEL "BABU" DA SILVA (13-0 12KO's). Da Silva has no issue bringing the pain as he is currently riding a ten-fight knockout streak.
With all 13 of his fights taking place in his native Brazil, signing with Hall of Fame Promoter, Joe DeGuardia, Da Silva hopes to make a splash in the United States in the near future.
The 122 lb slugger began his boxing career at the age of 12, aspiring to be like his father, Aluisio Da Silva, who was a former boxer. At 15, Da Silva had his first amateur bout, and shortly thereafter participated in the World Championship in Liverpool England with the Brazilian boxing team. Finishing with 52 wins in 59 amateur fights, Da Silva turned to the professional ranks at the age of just 18.
Da Silva had this to say about signing with Star Boxing, "I want to thank Star Boxing for the amazing opportunity! I will work hard to achieve my biggest dream of becoming a World Champion! You can bet that that the world will witness me in some amazing fights!"
"On behalf of Michel Da Silva and the whole Team, I want to thank Star Boxing for the opportunity given," said Da Silva's manager, MARCEL TSHIYOYO. "I really do believe in Michel and I know he will reach his dreams of becoming world champion! We are ready to seize the opportunity!"
Star Boxing CEO, JOE DEGUARDIA, believes that "Michel has a fan friendly come forward style with immense power, especially in the super bantamweight division. We are looking forward to working with him."
Star Boxing Signs Undefeated Irish
Super Lightweight Ryan O’Rourke!
(August 7th) Undefeated 21-year-old, super lightweight, RYAN O'ROURKE (3-0) has officially put pen to paper on a promotional agreement with JOE DEGUARDIA'S STAR BOXING.
In signing with Hall of Fame Promoter, Joe DeGuardia, O'Rourke has his sights set on growing his fan base internationally, which is already supported by a strong contingent of fans in Ireland.
CEO of Star Boxing, JOE DEGUARDIA, had this to say on the signing, 'Ryan had an impressive amateur career and since making the switch to the paid ranks, it is clear to see he is very suited to the professional game. He is still only 21 years of age and has a lot of potential. It looks as though he will be a very entertaining fighter in the years to come."
O'Rourke joins a talented stable of fighters, represented by Star Boxing, including former world title challenger JOE SMITH JR (25-3 20KO's), who makes his return August 22 in a WBO Title Eliminator on ESPN against Eleider Alvarez, former WBO Super Lightweight World Champion CHRIS ALGIERI (24-3 9KO's), former heavyweight world title challenger CARLOS TAKAM (39-5-1 28KO's), amongst many other talented fighters.
Known as 'The Silent Assassin', Ryan O' Rourke has shown his quality in the ring, notching 3 quick wins in January, February, and March of this year before the world came to a stop due to the global pandemic.
However, O' Rourke will look to add to his impressive undefeated resume on September 11th in Spain where he steps up for his first 6-round contest.
Ryan O' Rourke had this to say about signing with Star Boxing, "I am delighted to have signed with one of the biggest promoters in the world. I can't thank Joe and Star Boxing enough for the opportunity and I am looking forward to getting started and kicking on in America. My career has been mapped out brilliantly, and I am building up a wealth of experience and fighting regularly. This opportunity is what dreams are made of."
Star Boxing Signs Ukranian Super Bantamweight
Oleh Dovhun & Heavyweight Lyubmyr Pinchuk!
(August 6th) JOE DEGUARIDA'S STAR BOXING is pleased to announce the signing of two Ukrainian standouts in undefeated super bantamweight OLEH "UKRAINIAN PITBULL" DOVHUN (10-0 3KO's) and heavyweight LYUBOMYR "DEMOLITION MAN" PINCHUK (12-1-1 7KO's), who both now live, fight and train out of Pittsburgh, PA.
OLEH "UKRAINIAN PITBULL" DOVHUN
Undefeated 122 lb. southpaw, Oleh Dovhun, began boxing in his hometown of Stebnyk, Ukraine at 10-years-old where he amassed an impressive 347 amateur fights, was a member of the Elite WSB Ottoman Team, which produced greats like Vasyl Lomenchenko, and won 5 Ukrainian National Titles.
(photo credit: Valerie Tamburlin) Now, at 26 with an undefeated professional record of 10-0, Dovhun, made the move to Pittsburgh, PA and has been training out of the Conn-Greb Boxing Club under trainer MICHAEL MCSORLEY. "Oleh is the slickest fighter I have ever worked with," said McSorley, "he is hard to hit and punishes you at obscure angles." Through 10 fights, Dovhun's marquee win came in March of 2019 when he defeated then undefeated prospect Daron Williams (then 7-0 4KO's) for the ABF Super Bantamweight Title.
LYUBOMYR "DEMOLITION MAN" PINCHUK Lviv, Ukraine native, Lyubomyr Pinchuk banked over 250 amateur fights before making the move to Pittsburgh, PA.
(photo credit: Brett Rothmeyer)
The 24 year old prospect fought 6 times in 2019, winning the ABF Cruiserweight Title, and defending it three times in the same year. In July of 2019, Pinchuk defeated then undefeated prospect Johnnie Langston (then 7-0 3KO's) by decision for the ABF Continental America's Cruiserweight Title. Trainer Michael McSorley said this about Pinchuk, "Pinchuk is a throwback fighter who is a fearless and relentless terminator. He is a punishing counter puncher." Pinchuk who tries to emulate himself after his favorite fighter, heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, will now be campaigning at heavyweight heading into the second half of 2020.
Star Boxing CEO JOE DEGUARDIA had this to say about the signing of Dovhun and Pinchuk, "I am very excited to add Oleh and Lyubomyr to the talented stable we have at Star Boxing. Oleh is an exciting fighter in a hot 122 lb. division, and Lyubomyr is a good prospect in a hot heavyweight division. With their skill set, we know with the right opportunities both Oleh and Lyubomyr will prove they belong in the ring with the elite in their respective divisions. I look forward to working with them and for what is to come."
Carlos Takam Starts Fast and Wins
Convincing Unanimous Decision Victory Over Jerry Forrest!
(July 10th) CARLOS TAKAM (now 39-5-1 28KO's) took to the national stage on Thursday night when he faced off with fellow heavyweight contender, JERRY FORREST (now 26-4 20KO's) in a 10-round main event on ESPN. Both men were scheduled to fight different opponents - Oscar Rivas for Takam, and Jarrell Miller for Forrest, but when both fights fell through because of injury and a PED finding respectively, Takam and Forrest took the opportunity to square off.
Takam, who took the fight on just 12-days notice, came in at a strong 245 lbs and used every ounce to his advantage. In the first two rounds, Takam bullied Forrest around the ring sticking his jab, and moving extremely well for his frame. Mid-second round, Forrest landed a left hand, which would be one of his better landed shots of the bout. Takam would answer right back with a sweeping right hand that unsteadied Forrest.
Rounds three and four were more of the same as Takam kept Forrest on his heels, working from both the inside and outside, giving Forrest no opportunity to find his range, or settle in.
A clash of heads caused a cut on Takam's left eye midway through the fight and slowed his momentum in the back half of the fight. Forrest tried to take advantage, looking to land a missile of a left hand, but Takam was able to maintain composure and stave off Forrest's pressure in the late rounds.
In the final frame, Forrest's corner urged him on as he needed a knockout to win, but it was Takam that came out and dictated the action, as he did for most of the fight. Takam kept Forrest at bey with his jab, sneaky overhand rights and veteran experience.
At the final bell, Carlos Takam earned a well-fought victory, winning by unanimous decision. (96-94, 98-92, 97-93) It was an impressive performance from the 39-year-old title seeking heavyweight.
Takam had this to say about the bout, "I was expecting more of a war, but the preparation for this fight was not easy... I was supposed to fight Rivas, but they said he can't fight because of injury. My promoter, Joe DeGuardia, called and said they had a guy, Jerry Forrest, and I searched him up, and said let's go, let's fight."
As for what is next for Carlos Takam, he has two names in mind, "Give me Rivas, and then give me Tyson Fury."
Star Boxing CEO JOE DEGUARDIA, had this to say about Takam's performance, "Tonight Carlos Takam showed why there are levels to this sport. Carlos used veteran prowess, balance and overall boxing ability not usually seen in 250 lb. 39 year old heavyweight fighter. Most importantly he showed that he is a consummate professional. He took this fight on 12 days notice, and few are aware, but, his father passed away only last month. That impacted him greatly but nonetheless he went forward with his commitment to boxing and prepared and performed. We salute his professionalism and look forward to an exciting future for Carlos in a hot heavyweight division."
Catch up on Carlos Takam's last two fights ahead Takam-Forrest
Carlos Takam vs Fabio Maldonado | February 28, 2020 | The Paramount
Carlos Takam vs Craig Lewis | September 14, 2019 | Resorts World Catskills
Cletus Seldin Slugs His Way to a TKO Victory
Over Luis Florez In A Blood Bath Thriller!
(February 29th) Star Boxing's "Rockin' Fights" series was yet again a thriller. Boxing fans around the world were treated to a sensational night of fights from start to finish at the sold-out Paramount, in Huntington, Long Island. If you missed the action, be sure to catch up via FITE.TV, just (click here).
Long Island's, NABA Super Lightweight Champion, CLETUS "THE HEBREW HAMMER" SELDIN (now 25-1 21KO's) and LUIS FLOREZ (now 25-16 21KO's) fought an electric battle. Seldin came out swinging, in classic "Hebrew Hammer" fashion. Florez, a late replacement, was able to weather the early Seldin storm, and settle in for what would be a gritty seven rounds. Seldin continued his come forward attack, controlling the action, while Florez attempted to counter with bombs, using his length and reach advantage to keep Seldin at bay.
In the 6-round, a vicious cut opened over the left eye of Florez, turning the already competitive fight into a bloodbath. Pinning the Colombian in the corner, Seldin landed a massive right hand that sent blood gushing. As Seldin continued the onslaught putting together combinations to both the head and the body, Florez's cut worsened and the effect of Seldin's relentless pressure on Florez was evident. Referee Al LoBianco had seen enough, calling a halt to the action at the 1:11 mark in the 7th round. With the victory Seldin defended his NABA title and improves to 25-1 (21KO's).
Seldin had this to say about the victory, "I want to thank you all for coming out. This guy was a short notice, tough dude. My trainer said you have to dig deep and stay in his face and that's what I did. That guy [Florez] can take a punch. Let's get to the next one, let's go."
In the co-main event, world rated heavyweight CARLOS TAKAM (now 38-5-1 28KO's) went to battle with Brazilian, FABIO MALDONADO (26-4 25KO'S). Takam established himself as the superior skilled fighter from the opening bell, but Maldonado, to his credit, was a warrior, eating shots, and waving on Takam to bring more. Takam's game plan was clear, attack the body and work his way up. In the 5th, Takam landed three consecutive thudding body shots that even had the sold-out crowd groaning in pain. Takam dominated the fight with a commanding performance, winning by unanimous decision with scores of 100-89 (x2), 100-90. Takam improves to 38-5 1 (28KO's).
Takam was direct in speaking about his victory, "Thank you all for the support. We keep on going!"
WENDY "HAITIAN FIRE" TOUSSAINT (now 11-0 5KO's) picked up exactly where he left off, with a devasting knockout victory over the extremely tough, JERMAINE "REAL STEEL" CORLEY (now 3-9-1 1KO). Corley has battled with top prospects, five of his last six being undefeated. Upsetting two of those prospects, Corley entered with same mindset, however Toussaint would have none of it, landing a devastating right hand that sent Corley to the canvas. To Corley's credit he got up ready to fight, however referee LoBianco did not like what he saw, and called a stop to the fight at 1:52 in the 2nd of the scheduled 6-round fight. Toussaint improves to 11-0 (5KO's).
ALEX "EL TORO" VARGAS (now 6-0 1KO) took a step up against veteran ANTONIO SANCHEZ (now 6-9-1 3KO's) in a 6-round welterweight bout. The rowdy crowd were on their feet as El Toro and Sanchez went to war over the full six rounds. The sensational final twenty seconds of round six saw both men trading shots at will, caution thrown to the wind and only the desire of victory left in the ring. See the final twenty seconds of the fight HERE. At the final bell the judges found in favor of Vargas by unanimous decision. (60-54 (x2), 59-55).
Union electrician (local 3) BARKIM "BARBELIEVES" LOGAN (now 1-0 1KO) battered JACKSON DE SOUZA (now 0-2) over their 4-round fight, as Logan earns the victory in his pro-debut via 3rd round TKO.
PRINCE SLAUGHTER (now 1-0 1KO) impressed in his pro debut, defeating decorated amateur, AHMET "THE TURKISH WOLF" TUNCEL (now 0-1) by a 2nd round TKO. AFUNWA KING (now 2-1 1KO) defeated NADIM SALLOUM (now 1-1) by majority decision. (39-37 (x2) King, 38-38 draw).
Star Boxing CEO JOE DEGUARDIA had this to say about last nights "Rockin' Fights" 38, "The action definitely lived up to the hype. Cletus Seldin once again showed his relentless determination, pressure and power in a war with Luis Florez. Carlos Takam dominated, and is on the sure path to a major heavyweight showdown, and Wendy Toussaint was able to display his skill, and show why we we believe he will be a future world champion. Thank you to all of those that came out to The Paramount and tuned in around the world on FITE.TV and FightNetwork. We are looking forward to the next "Rockin' Fights" on May 8th - we hope to see you there!"
FACTS: ROCKIN' FIGHTS 38 is presented by Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing. "Rockin Fights" is sponsored by Modell's Sporting Goods, The Tudor Advisory Group, 94.3 The Shark and The Inn at Fox Hollow.
The “Common Man” Slays the Odds Again,
Joe Smith Jr. Dominates Jesse Hart In Impressive Fashion NABO Light Heavyweight Title, Seeks World Title In 2020!
(January 14th) When JOE "THE BEAST" SMITH JR. (now 25-3 20KO's) and JESSE "HOLLYWOOD" HART (now 26-3 21KO's) stepped into the ring at the Hard Rock in Atlantic City on Saturday night, more than a victory and the NABO Light heavyweight title was on the line. With the WBO World Light Heavyweight title having been vacated in December, a potential 2020 world title opportunity also looms.
Joe Smith Jr. certainly took advantage of the opportunity, not only dominating Jesse Hart from start to finish, but once again showing why he is such a fan-favorite. From the opening bell, Smith Jr. made his dangerous intentions known, stalking Hart, ripping him to the body and head. In the second-round, Smith Jr. landed a short-left hook to the body that visibly unsteadied the Philly native, who immediately clinched to avoid an early night.
Hart, who entered the ring wearing an executioner mask in honor of his mentor, Bernard Hopkins - who Smith Jr. famously knocked out of the ring and into retirement in 2016 - was not shy about wanting to fight the Long Islander in honor of Hopkins. However, as the exciting main event marched on, Hart had no answer for the brute force and will of Smith Jr.
It wasn't long before Smith Jr. had Hart in trouble once more, this time in the fourth-round, with a savage uppercut followed by a right hand to the temple that had Hart on edge once again. Like much of the fight, Hart would manage to clinch to avoid compounded damage.
After battering Hart around the ring, Smith Jr.'s effective work began to show, culminating in the seventh-round with a devastating sweeping right hand that landed flush, sending Hart to a knee. With only eleven seconds left in the round, Hart was able to survive the round.
"My career was on the line." Said Smith Jr., "I had to come here and prove I belong."
Over the final three-rounds Smith Jr. continued his overwhelming pressure, opening a cut over the left eye of Hart. It looked like Hart would be stopped in that round as well, but a 45 second doctor examination gave him some time to recuperate and avoid being knocked out, but nonetheless, Joe Smith Jr.'s continued his domination.
"I got two Philly guys now and it feels great," Smith said. "It would have been nice to get [Hart] the same way [as Hopkins, via a knockout], but you can't always do that" said Smith Jr. "He's got a lot of heart, he's very tough. He had the will to make it through the fight."
Two judges, and the rest of the ringside observers saw the fight properly, 98-91 and 97-92 for Smith Jr., while third judge James Kinney, ridiculously and disgracefully had it 95-94 in favor of Hart. Smith Jr. earned the clear and complete victory, and the NABO Light Heavyweight Title.
What's next for Smith Jr. is yet to be known, however a lot may be riding on the winner of the Eleider "Storm" Alvarez and Michael Seals fight, next Saturday January 18 from Turning Stone Resort Casino. "Light heavyweight is a hot division," said Smith Jr's promoter and CEO of Star Boxing JOE DEGUARDIA, "We will be there next week. Certainly the winner is a potential opponent for Joe. Whatever happens, this determined, all pressure, common-man has clearly re-established himself as a top light-heavyweight, and perhaps one of the most exciting fighters and humbling stories in boxing."
As for what Joe Smith Jr. wants next, Smith stated: "Whatever my team thinks is best I will go with it," Smith Jr. said "I never turn down a fight."