Strictly Business Boxing
Strictly Business Boxing

Joe Smith Jr. Batters, Drops and Stops Steve Geffrard

In 9th Round Defending His WBO World Championship 

Lyubomyr Pinchuk Outclasses Jose Mario Flores

To Win NABA Gold Cruiserweight Title!

(January 16th) On a night that almost didn’t come to fruition, Long Island’s working class hero JOE “THE BEAST” SMITH JR. (now 28-3 22KO’s) did what he always does and got the job done against late replacement, but well conditioned, STEVE GEFFRARD (now 18-3 12KO’s) via KO just 37 seconds into round 9.


While Geffrard took the fight on 8-days’ notice, Smith Jr. was met with the same unknown of a new opponent after his original opposition Callum Johnson tested positive for COVID-19. Smith came out of the gate strong attacking the high guard of Geffrard in every way. In the second round, Geffrard found small success with a short counter left, but would maintain his defensive poise as Smith continued to use his power, wrapping around Geffrard’s high guard.


As the fight found itself in the middle rounds, Smith began to turn up the heat, thrilling the throngs of Smith fans that made the trip to Turning Stone. Attacks to the body from a multitude of angles were landing with force as Smith continued to pounce on the resilient Geffrard. At the end of the fifth round, Smith, throwing with bad intentions, hurt Geffrard, who managed to stay on his feet, saved by the bell ending the round.


By round seven, Smith’s onslaught seemed to take the soul of the Florida based Geffrard, who could do nothing more than attempt to defend the insane volume of punches by the relentless Smith. After getting pinned in the corner early in the ninth round, Geffrard had clearly taken enough punishment – as sixteen unanswered punches were thrown from the workhorse Joe Smith Jr. Geffrard fell to his knee, where he would remain for the count, ending the fight. Smith’s pressure, punching ability and volume was simply too much for Geffrard to withstand.


Joe Smith Jr. is eyeing a major fight next, but first it’s right back to work, “I want to get back in the gym, work on my craft, and get better and better. I believe next time you see me I’ll be ready for anybody” said Smith Jr. As for what’s next for Smith, “If Canelo wants to come to 175 and fight me, I’m ready for him. Everybody would love to see that fight. It would be a big deal. If I got Beterbiev next and beat him, I would want Bivol [after], and unify all the belts, become unified champ and then take out the pound for pound king (Canelo Alvarez).” It is fair to say whomever Smith steps in the ring with next, fans will be in for a treat.

Pittsburgh based Ukrainian Cruiserweight LYUBOMYR “DEMOLOTION MAN” PINCHUK meant business from the opening bell against tough Washington D.C. based JOSE MARIO “BAZOOKA” FLORES. The two men went to battle over their entertaining 8-round NABA Gold Cruiserweight battle. Pinchuk successfully controlled the distance, establishing his jab early and often. However, Flores was game from the start, coming forward with a brawler mentality, digging to the body of Pinchuk in a pleasing bout. In the third-round, an accidental headbutt caused a cut over the left eye of Pinchuk, but it would seemingly not affect him or his work rate.


In the middle rounds, Pinchuk’s length and combination punching began to take over. As Flores’ stamina began to wane, Pinchuk took advantage finding success with a short right upper cut. Flores who had never been knocked out in his professional career, would be buzzed late in the fight, but managed to stay on his feet. As the final bell rang, the fight went to the score cards and Pinchuk was named the new NABA Gold Cruiserweight Champion by unanimous decision (80-72, 79-73 (2x)). With the win, Pinchuk improved to 14-2-1 8KO’s.


Star Boxing CEO JOE DEGUARDIA had this to say on the victories, “Joe Smith proved once again why he’s the working-class hero blue collar brawler fans have fallen in love with. No matter who he is in the ring with he gives the fans everything he has. His work rate was on full display against Geffrard; he has a motor that does not stop. We are looking forward to some massive opportunities for Joe in 2022, and can’t wait to bring the fans the best fights available at 175 lbs.” DeGuardia continued “Congratulations to Lybomyr Pinchuk who showed a lot of promise in winning the NABA Gold title in defeating a very game Mario Flores. It was a great night for boxing fans in attendance and those watching on ESPN.

Star Boxing Year In Review

Star Boxing Fights Through A Rough 2021,

Joe Smith Jr. Crowned Light Heavyweight World Champion, Cletus Seldin Back In Top 10 After Statement KO Victory, Michael Magnesi Earns Statement TKO Win In USA Debut and Alex Vargas Continues Unbeaten Streak!

(January 3rd) One year ago, a collective sigh of relief could be heard across the globe as the year changed from 2020 to 2021. At the change of a number, hope began to amass amongst the public that a COVID riddled world would finally be put behind us, and normalcy would be restored.  While safety measures were put in place, and fight bubbles continued to serve its purpose, the world finally got back to boxing.

The year was scheduled to start off with a bang, as the “Common Man,” Long Island light heavyweight hero, JOE SMITH JR. (27-3 21KO’s) prepared for his second crack at world title glory, against crafty Russian veteran MAXIM VLASOV in mid-February at the MGM in Las Vegas on ESPN. Unfortunately, a stern reminder of the realties of COVID postponed the fight when Vlasov tested positive just two days before the world title fight. Like the resilient working man that he is, Smith Jr. would not be deterred. A change of date and venue saw the fight moved to Tulsa Oklahoma (April 10), but the goal and result remained the same. In a thrilling 12-round fight, Smith Jr. strapped his boots a bit tighter, bit down hard in the championship rounds, and gutted out the victory by majority decision to win the WBO World Light Heavyweight World Championship.


Joe Smith Jr. will start off Star Boxing’s 2022 in his first world title defense against fellow light heavyweight banger, by way of the United Kingdom, CALLUM JOHNSON (20-1 14KO’s) on January 15 at Turning Stone Resort Casino, LIVE on ESPN.


Through the uncertainty, Hall of Fame promoter Joe DeGuardia remained steadfast, finding high level opportunities for the vast and talented Star Boxing stable after the Joe Smith Jr. World Championship victory, Upset minded heavyweight CARLOS TAKAM (39-6-1 28KO’s) would board a flight in late July and cross the Atlantic Ocean into enemy territory to take on #1 heavyweight contender JOE JOYCE in London. Takam brought the fight to Joyce over the first five-rounds, landing an overhand right that seemed to never miss its target. The uneasy tension of the UK crowd could be felt as Takam barreled on, winning on all judge’s scorecards. In the sixth-round, Joyce landed a stiff combination unsteadying the former Cameroon Olympian, who maintained a defense during the onslaught, deflecting much of the Joyce attack. Controversary ensured as the referee jumped in, stopping the fight, much to the distain of Takam who immediately protested.  As a result of the stoppage, Joyce got the TKO-6 victory, but Takam once again validated his reputation in the boxing world.


Star Boxing's critically acclaimed "Rockin' Fights" series came back from a 19-month COVID hiatus to a triumphant return to The Paramount in Huntington New York for two shows in 2021. Rockin’ Fights 39 took place on September 4th and Rockin’ Fights 40 followed on November 11th.

At November’s Rockin’ Fights 40, recently signed Current IBO World Super Featherweight Champion, Italian, MICHAEL “LONE WOLF” MAGNESI (20-0 12KO’s) got right to work making his US debut against EUGENE LAGOS in the main event of “Rockin’ Fights 40”, resiliently getting off of the deck in the first round to clobber Lagos with a perfect right hand to the body, then to the head, reminding fans of former World Champ Arturo Gatti.  Magnesi awed the crowd in an inspiring third-round TKO victory, planting his Italian flag in the US as a real force at 130 lbs.

Undefeated super lightweight and Paramount grown ALEX “EL TORO” VARGAS (12-0 4KO’s) appeared on both of Star Boxing’s 2021 Paramount shows, showcasing his talents in front of his hometown fanbase, picking up two unanimous decision victories.


2021 also saw Author, ringside analyst and former WBO World Champion, CHRIS ALGIERI (25-4 9KO’s) return to the ring for the first time after two years of pandemic hiatus in August to co-feature on the TrillerVerz card at the Hulu Theatre at MSG. Algieri took Brooklynite MIKEL LESSPIERRE to school over ten-rounds earning a wide-spread unanimous decision. Parlaying this domination, Algieri took his chances in Liverpool England (December 11) against undefeated rising welterweight prospect, CONOR BENN. After a tense three rounds, with Algieri up against the ropes, Benn connected with a crisp and brutal one two combination in the fourth immediately ending the fight.

The fourth quarter of 2021 proved extremely busy as Star Boxing’s talent was once again on display on Triller.  Star Boxing rolled into the Barclays Center in Brooklyn with both the main event and co-feature of another boxing/music combined event.  The main event featured the return of knockout artist and NABA Super Lightweight Champion, CLETUS “THE HEBREW HAMMER” SELDIN (26-1 22KO’s) against stablemate WILLIAM SILVA (28-4 16KO’s). The North American title fight lived up to the hype as Seldin and Silva went to battle over six fan friendly rounds that had fans on the edge of their seats. Early in the seventh Seldin landed his quintessential missile overhand right that sent Silva to the canvas where he would remain for several minutes, before thankfully getting to his feet. The seventh round KO victory put Seldin back on the map at 140 lbs. and is now currently world rated #8 by the WBA and #14 by the IBF.


In the co-feature bout, Queens native DANNY “EL GALLO” GONZALEZ (20-3-1 7KO’s) would take on PETROS ANANYAN for the vacant WBA Continental America’s Title over ten-rounds. After a slow start Gonzalez came on heavy in the back half of the fight, overcoming a gash on his forehead that left the ring, Danny himself, and everyone involved a bloody mess. The bloody battle was riveting and sensational.  The gash would cause Gonzalez to need 25 stitches in his face post fight. Gonzalez fell just short in the fight by a razor thin close majority decision but earned the respect of boxing fans everywhere for his performance.


WBC Continental America’s Cruiserweight Champion, SIMONE “TYSON” FEDERICI (18-2-1 8KO’s) improved with a points decision in his native Italy in March and was set to defend his title against Massachusetts product, Vincenzo Carita, until Carita broke a rib in training and the fight was postponed. Be on the lookout for this fight in early 2022.


Star Boxing was pleased to add alongside its 2021 signings of Vargas and Magnesi, Iraqi born Kurd, BADIEN “BAD MAN” HASSO (19-0 10KO’s) who will be campaigning at Middleweight.


2021 also saw many of Star Boxing’s prospects and contenders continue their rise up the ratings. After picking up a TKO victory in Kentucky earlier in the year, undefeated Ukrainian Super Bantamweight OLEH “UKRAINIAN PITBULL” DOVHUN (13-0 5KO’s) defeated Glenn Dezurn in Pittsburgh this past November, to win the NABA Super Bantamweight Title. With the victory Dovhun is now rated #6 in the world by the WBA.


In May, fellow Pittsburgh based Ukrainian, LYUBOMYR “THE DEMOLITION MAN” PINCHUK (13-2-1 8KO’s) returned to his natural cruiserweight division and dominated Andrew Satterfield for a first round TKO victory.


Undefeated French Super Welterweight DAVID PAPOT defeated Evgeny Terentiev for the IBA World Title, and at the close of the year, is world rated #6 by the WBO, and #10 by the WBA.


Belgium based Bridgerweight, JOEL DJEKO jumped to heavyweight and took his shot at French Olympian TONY YOKA in Yoka’s backyard. Djeko made a great account for himself, getting late into the 12th, but Yoka proved to be too much coming away with the victory. Djeko will be campaigning in the WBC’s Bridgerweight division and is world rated #4 by the WBC’s new weight class.


Undefeated Light Heavyweight prospect RICHIE “POPEYE THE SAILOR MAN” RIVERA (21-0 16KO’s) picked up three wins in 2021, traveling to Orlando, Massachusetts, and Colombia in the process.


Highly touted Irish prospects, “SUPERFLY” TONY BROWNE hit the road 6 times in 2021, finishing the year with a record of 5-1 1KO, and “THE SILENT ASSASIN” RYAN O’ROURKE continued his unbeaten streak with another three victories, improving to 8-0 1KO.


Undefeated Moldovan born, Irish based prospect VICTOR “SLICK VIC” RABEI improved to 11-0 4KO’s before being sidelined by injury and will look to bounce back in 2022.


Danbury super lightweight, OMAR “THE BEAST” BORDOY (11-1 3KO’s) added a victory to his record with a wide unanimous decision in Derry New Hampshire.

23-year-old Dominican banger SANDERSON DIAZ (14-0 11KO’s) notched two additional second-round KO’s to his record in 2021, and looks to make landfall in the US in 2022.


Star Boxing CEO JOE DEGUARDIA stated: “Certainly 2021 has been challenging with continued uncertainties.  With that said, I am proud of our team (staff and fighters) who bit down, rolled with the punches, and really came roaring to the finish. I’m happy we were able to get our boxers significant opportunities that have put them in position to have a very successful 2022, and thrilled by the WBO World Championship earned by Joe Smith Jr.  The business of boxing is much like boxing itself, and 2021 was certainly a year full of bobbing and weaving, being hit and hitting back.  But, at its close, all of us at Star Boxing are proud of our team and excited for what’s to come. On behalf of all of us, I wish you a happy and healthy new year, and we hope to see you in two weeks on January 15th for Joe Smith Jr.’s world title defense against fellow light heavyweight banger, Callum Smith at Turning Stone live on ESPN!” 



For over a quarter century Star Boxing has consistently delivered boxing events of the highest canight liber 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.

Star Boxing Represents In New WBA World Ratings Dovhun, Seldin and Papot

Positioned For Major Opportunities In 2022!

(December 4th) As the year is coming to a close, fighters are jockeying for world ratings to attain world title aspirations in the first half of 2022. On December 1st the WBA announced its newest rankings and the Star Boxing stable was well represented.


In November, undefeated Ukrainian super bantamweight OLEH "UKRAINIAN PITBULL" DOVHUN (13-0 5KO's) went to battle with Glenn Dezurn in Pittsburgh for the NABA Super Bantamweight Title. Sweeping the cards in dominating fashion, Dovhun secured the NABA championship and as the saying goes, to the victor goes the spoils. Needless to say, Dovhun was not disappointed when the WBA announced him as their #6 world rated super bantamweight on Wednesday morning.


Intently watching the Figueroa-Fulton 122 lb. world title unification bout that took place on November 27, Dovhun is excited for the future "Great news! I am #6 in the world by the WBA," said Dovhun. "Thank you to my team and everyone that supports me. Next I want to fight anyone in the top 5. Let's go fight! God Bless America!"'


In October, explosive knockout artist, CLETUS "THE HEBREW HAMMER" SELDIN (26-1 22KO's) successfully defended his NABA Super Lightweight Title for the second time, defeating Brazilian William Silva by vicious seventh round KO via Seldin's classic "hammer" of an overhand right. As of Wednesday's announcement, Seldin is now rated #8 by the WBA and is looking towards a massive 2022. Seldin is also rated #14 by the IBF at 140 lbs.


Undefeated French super welterweight David Papot is now WBA world rated #10 at 154lbs. Papot, a former WBA Continental Middleweight Champion, now campaigning at super welterweight will look to place himself into world title contention with a victory in the onset of 2022. Papot is also world rated #6 by the WBO.


"I was pleased to be able to give our guys the great news of their new ratings with the WBA," said Star Boxing CEO JOE DEGUARDIA. "I commend the WBA in their effort of consolidating its title and ensuring that fighters who put in the work and take the tough fights are rewarded with opportunities such as being rated in the top 10 and eventually fighting for world titles. I congratulate Oleh, Cletus and David on this great accomplishment and look forward to big fights in 2022 for each of them."


Star Boxing's former WBO World Champion CHRIS ALGIERI is set to face off with rising welterweight prospect CONOR BENN on December 11, in Liverpool England LIVE on DAZN.

Pittsburgh Based Ukrainian Oleh Dovhun

Dominates In NABA Super Bantamweight Title Victory!

(November 17th) Undefeated super bantamweight OLEH "UKRAINIAN PITBULL" DOVHUN (13-0 5KO's) made the most of his opportunity Saturday night in Pittsburgh, thoroughly dominating power punching Baltimore native, GLENN DEZURN (then 14-2-1 10KO's) for the NABA Super Bantamweight Title.


In an important crossroads bout between two fighters on the precipitous of moving into world contender status, Dovhun and Dezurn went to battle in front of the Ukrainian filled crowd at the Cathedral Room at St. Nicholas in Pittsburgh. From the opening bell, Dovhun controlled the action with superior footwork and pinpoint accuracy. Finding success with a straight left and right uppercut, Dovhun continued to keep Dezurn off balance and in retreat.


In the fourth of the scheduled ten round title bout, Dezurn attempted to turn the momentum and launched an aggressive attack on Dovhun. Dezurn's aggression caused a clash of heads leaving a cut under the left eye of Dovhun. Unfazed by the cut with full focus on the NABA Title at stake, Dovhun continued to pick off Dezurn with a slew of combinations that left the power punching Dezurn unable to answer. Dovhun stayed sharp and consistent throughout the fight and won the NABA Super Bantamweight Title by a clean sweep unanimous decision (100-90 3x). With the win, Dovhun is set to move into the top 15 in the WBA rankings and is in line for a massive 2022.


"I want to thank everyone for their support," said Dovhun. "You are all the best. I heard everyone shouting loudly and it was incredible. With such support we will be world champion. God bless America!"


Dovhun vs Dezurn was co-promoted by Integrity Fighter Management and Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing.        

Magnesi Gets Up To Rock The House 

Star Boxing "Rockin Fights 40" Full Results!

By: Coach K

November 11th, The Paramount, Huntington, New York: In the main event of Joe DeGuardia’s popular Star Boxing “Rockin Fight” series Cave, Lazio, Italy’s, super featherweight, Michael “Lone Wolf” Magnesi and Bukidnon, Philippines, Eugene "Rambo" Lagos took Star Boxing “Rockin Fights” theme to heart bringing the high boxing IQ Paramount fans to their feet with nearly nine minutes of “rockin fight” action.


The 26-year-old, unbeaten “Lone Wolf” and the “Rambo” tagged Lagos went right to work battling in close quarters, exchanging ill intended punches with Lagos landing the first decisive shot dropping the aggressor Magnesi for a flash knockdown and a referee Al Lobianco eight count with a sharp counter near the close of round one.


Beginning where they left off appearing fully recharged Magnesi returned to his "stochastic terrorism" stalking Lagos forcing the action bringing the solid two-way action to peak landing with cleaner, harder shots through round two flooring “Rambo” and brining the ‘dogfight” to a climatic close landing qwith a series of follow up power shots forcing referee Lobianco to call the action to a close at 2:56 of round three.


Running his current KO streak to seven the still unbeaten Italian sensation Magnesi improves to 20-0, 12Ko’s while the take no quarter Lagos five bout win streak comes to a close at 16-6-3, 11Ko’s.

In the co-feature, a battle of southpaw, super lightweights, Bellport, Long Island, prospect, Alex “El Toro” Vargas continued his winning ways running unbeaten streak to twelve with a comprehensive display of boxing and banging, walking down, turning and spinning Buenos Aires, Argentina’s, Sebastian Gabriel Chaves into a wide variety of punches and combinations and a commanding one sided 60-54, 59x55 times two unanimous decision win. Showing signs of improvement every time out and quickly becoming a Paramount favorite for his all-in style Vargas moves to 12-0, 4Ko’s while the rugged but out gunned Chaves falls to 5-3, 2Ko’s.

In light heavyweight action Moate, Ireland, 2016 Olympian and amateur standout, Joseph Ward put his extensive amateur pedigree on display out boxing Woburn, Massachusetts, Leandro Silva over six rounds scoring with sharp southpaw jabs, clean solid straight lefts and combination capping right hooks out classing and out pointing the 35-year-old Brazilian to heavily slanted 60-54 times three unanimous decision win. Ward moves to 5-1, 2Ko's, the defeat an avenged injury 2nd round TKO loss in his pro debut while Silva 2-2 in his last four drops to 3-5, 2Ko's.

LA based Lebanese super middleweight, Nadim Salloum working behind accurate measuring jab and long purposeful right hands dislodged Tuscaloosa, Alabama’s, Delvecchio Savage mouthpiece four times drawing a referee Al Lobainco warning enroute to a shutout 60-54 times three unanimous decision win. Salloum on a five bout win streak, rises to 6-1, 3Ko’s while single punching Savage, winless in his last six drops to 3-8-1, 3Ko’s.

In a four round light heavyweight pairing, a rematch of their September majority draw, 27-year-old, Bronx, New York, fire fighter, Louis Maietta grabbed his first pro win answering Cheektowaga, New York’s, Perez Aughtry 40-year-old jab with consistent right hands to the body grabbing the judges’ eyes for a 40-36, 39-37, 38-38 let’s do it again majority decision win. Maietta bumps up to 1-0-1 while Aughtry still in search of his first win falls to 0-3-1.

In a special female featherweight match Mississauga, Ontario, Canada’s three-time amateur national champion, Amanda Galle remained unbeaten, out maneuvering, out throwing and out landing New York City based Haitian, Jaica Pavilus, 59x55 times three after six. Galle stays unbeaten at 5-0 while Pavilus winless in her last three falls to 1-4-1, 1Ko.



FITE is a premium digital live streaming network. With live programming from 250+ partners from over 30 countries, FITE delivers MMA, Professional Wrestling, Boxing, and Kickboxing events live to it’s million registered viewers. Since its launch in February 2016, FITE has presented over-1,500 live events and offers over-12,000 hours of video library available to watch on demand. FITE proprietary instant streaming technology allows viewers to seamlessly cast premium live events to connected screens across the world. FITE is available as a mobile app on iOS and Android mobile devices, online at and on the Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Android TV platforms.



Since Opening in September 2011, The Paramount has become a top live entertainment venue. Located in Huntington, Long Island, New York; The Paramount - in concert with TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank® - hosts a variety of concerts, comedy, boxing and other special events. Booked by Live Nation and utilizing Ticketmaster ticketing; The Paramount hosts an average of 200 events per year. In less than 5 years since opening, The Paramount has quickly established itself as the premier live venue on Long Island - the 20th largest U.S. media market (*2.5M HH-Arbitron: Nassau/Suffolk MSA). Pollstar Magazine ranked The Paramount as the #11 club venue worldwide (*Att. Q3 '15). With almost 70k+ Facebook fans & 10k+ Twitter followers, the venue was also ranked by Billboard Magazine as the "23rd Hottest Club" in 2014.

“TrillerVerz III Results: Cletus Seldin Ko’s William Silva

With “The Hebrew Hammer” In The 7th Round 

Danny Gonzalez Falls Short By Majority Decision

In Bloody Battle With Petros Ananyan!

(October 17th) After 558 days, boxing returned to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn via “Trillerverz III” last night as CLETUS “THE HEBREW HAMMER” SELDIN (now 26-1, 22KO’s) successfully defended his NABA super lightweight title over WILLIAM “BABY FACE” SILVA (now 28-4 16KO’s) by a vicious 7th round KO. The knockout punch may well be the KO of the year.


The opening rounds saw a patient Seldin, stalking down Silva, who wisely did his best not to find himself in front of the man dubbed the “Hebrew Hammer.” Seldin, working behind a ‘changing levels' jab, began to close the distance quickly and landed his first big punch in the 4th round. Silva took it well, but the more Seldin closed the distance the more dangerous he became.


Late in the 5th and 6th round, Seldin would buzz Silva who was on unsteady legs, but the crafty veteran would survive the round. 27 seconds into the 7th, Seldin delivered two picture perfect right hands on the button causing Silva to crumble on the canvas. With no chance of of beating the count, Silva remained on the canvas for a scary two minutes, before he thankfully was able to get up and sit on his stool. The knockout was Seldin’s second NABA title defense since winning the title against 5x former World Champ Zab Judah.


“This was the hardest training in my life” said Seldin. “Just a year ago I was sleeping on the floor, dealing with covid and three fight cancellations. I am 100% giving myself an A+ on this, for all the hard work and mental determination I had to get here.”

In the ten-round super lightweight battle, Brooklyn’s PETROS ANANYAN, (now 16-2-2, 7 KOs), won a majority decision over DANNY “EL GALLO” GONZALEZ, (now 20-3-1, 7 KOs), of Woodhaven, NY in an gritty, back and forth bloody war that thrilled fans. Scores were 95-95 and 96-94 twice for Ananyan.


Gonzalez got off to a slow start as Ananyan took advantage. In the middle rounds, Gonzalez found his footing and began to step on the gas. In the 4th-round Gonzalez was cut badly over the left eye. While managing the first cut, just a round later Gonzalez was cut once more on the right eye and blood began pouring down is face, on the ref and in the ring. Fighting off the blood and gruesome nature of the fight, going into the final two rounds, the fight was hanging in the balance. Ananyan was able to clinch the final round over Gonzalez, who valiantly stayed on his feet in the final minute of the fight after taking a barrage of punches. The performance saw Gonzalez’ stock rise in spite of the narrow loss.


CEO of Star Boxing, JOE DEGUARDIA had this to say, “What an entertaining night of fights in Brooklyn. Cletus Seldin has now positioned himself for some major opportunities at 140 lbs. with a sensational knockout over a crafty veteran in William Silva. Danny Gonzalez left his all in the ring, and all of us at Star Boxing are proud of his effort. Congratulations to Triller, Barclays Center and everyone involved on a great event!”


TrillerVerz III was promoted by Triller Fight Club, DiBella Entertainment and Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing.


ABOUT STAR BOXING ®: For over a quarter century Star Boxing has consistently delivered boxing events of the highest canight liber 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.

Cletus Seldin: The Hebrew Hammer

From Shirley To Boxing's World Stage!

(October 16th) How does a kid from Shirley Long Island make it onto the world stage of professional prize fighting? Enter, CLETUS SELDIN (Shirley, NY 25-1 21KO's). Seldin is set to defend his NABA Super Lightweight title against tough Brazilian, WILLIAM SILVA (28-3 16KO's) in a 10-round cross-roads fight at Triller Fight Club tonight (10/16) live from the Barclays Center.


Seldin grew up on Long Island's south shore and from a young age had a no quit attitude. While attending Longwood high school, Cletus was a talented multi-sport athlete as both a state champion wrestler and starting cornerback for the Long Island Champion Longwood Lions. It was during this time Cletus decided he would become a professional athlete.


At 5'7", a professional football career was out of reach. Instead, Seldin turned his sights to becoming a professional body builder, competing in a few meets. While finding some success, it would not be his passion. At the age of 22, Cletus walked into a boxing gym for the first time.


After a year of getting beat up, Cletus began to see a change, becoming the aggressor - and the "Hebrew Hammer" was born. Cletus' strong work ethic and hunger to win translated to dominance in the ring. His come forward, throwback style reminiscent of the greats of boxing's past like Marciano created a fear in his opponents. He becomes the cerebral assassin that abuts you with the left and puts you to sleep with the "Hebrew Hammer" right.


Saturday night marks an important test for Seldin. Entering the fight on a four-bout knockout streak and, more importantly, on the fringe of world title contention. In his way is stablemate, William Silva, who finds himself in the same position as Seldin, but simply on the other side of the ring. Only one man will have his hand raised, and to the victor goes the spoils. Will the "Hebrew Hammer" put an abrupt stop the fight as he has done 21 times prior, or will Silva put out the flame and take the belt and victory back to Brazil? Tune in tonight to find out.



Super Lightweight, Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin fights and trains out of Shirley, Long Island. Cletus is promoted by NY and CT Hall of Fame promoter, Joe DeGuardia. Cletus was born into a tough line of Jewish Americans; his Grandfather was the leader of the Brooklyn biker gang known as the Dragons and his father is known as the “Iron Man”. Cletus has become a huge fan favorite. His take no prisoners style and one punch knockout power has electrified fans time and time again. He is the current NABA Super Lightweight Champion and former WBC Silver International Champion.


As a kid Cletus was a gifted athlete, his natural ability allowed him to quickly excel to the top level of competition. Cletus was a New York State championship wrestler as well as an All Long Island cornerback for Longwood Highschool, where received the “Bulldog” award due to his tenacious style of play. In a televised game, Cletus hit a player so hard that the replay was prohibited from being on air because it was too violent.


Cletus’s strong work ethic and hunger to win translated to dominance in the ring. His come forward, throwback style reminiscent of the greats of boxing’s past like Marciano creates a fear in his opponents. He becomes the cerebral assassin that baits you with the left and puts you to sleep with the “Hebrew Hammer” right.


Cletus is currently 25-1 (21KO’s) as a pro. Cletus uses his strong punching ability to break down opponents. His willingness to go to the end and his no quit attitude allow him to excel in the ring, while his punching power keeps you on the edge of your seat at every moment.



Seldin vs Bayan Jargal | The Paramount | December 20, 2014

In front of a sold-out crowd in the Paramount in Huntington, NY, power punching prospect Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin captured the vacant WBC International Jr. Welterweight title with a thrilling 9th round TKO over tough Bayan “The Mongolian Mongoose” Jargal.


The Boxing voice writes, “Seldin started like a house on fire as the bell rang for round 1 as he charged right at Jargal and dropped him almost immediately with a picture-perfect right hand. The next three rounds saw toe to toe exchanges much to the delight of the crowd as each fighter landed numerous blows. Seldin exploded as the bell sounded for round 7 dropping Jargal for the second time with a 3-punch combination.


The 2 combatants continued to throw everything they had at each but eventually Seldin would get to Jargal late in the 9th round of the scheduled 10 round bout and finally got the stoppage win at 2:46 of the round after a barrage of hard punches to the head.

Seldin vs Roberto Ortiz| Nassau Coliseum | November 11, 2017

Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin couldn’t have scripted his HBO debut any better. In the first round, Cletus in typical fashion, came out of the gate strong, and dropped Ortiz twice after a succession of body shots, before finishing Ortiz in the third from a powerful right hand.


With his debut fight on HBO, Cletus was able to show how his athletic ability and his pictureperfect right hand could take the division by storm. His desire to not only compete but win in style shows why he had become a fan favorite.


Rating his performance Seldin had this to say: “I give myself an A! I could’ve took him out a little bit earlier, but I showed my determination, I kept coming, trying to land that big shot. I could do it with either hand, I was really trying to set him up. You could see how rough and tough and old school style I fight. You gotta be in great shape to take me down.”


“I put the work in. You can see what happens, just going three or four rounds with me. I am a wrecking machine from Long Island!”


Just six weeks later, Seldin became only the third fighter in history to fight on HBO in back to back months, alongside only Hall of Famers Mike Tyson, and Roy Jones Jr.

Seldin vs Zab Judah| Turning Stone Resort Casino | June 6, 2019

Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin captured one of the biggest wins in his career defeating former two-time division title holder Zab Judah at the 1:40 mark of the 11th round for the impressive TKO decision.


After a barrage of heavy left and right hands to the head in the early round, Cletus was able to deal tremendous punishment and establish his dominance. He never looked back and won by a TKO in the 11th round, capturing the NABA Super Lightweight Championship.


Amateur Career:

Seldin had a successful amateur career with a record of 26-2.

● Fought in the Finals of the New York State Golden Gloves and National Golden Gloves.

● Ringside Amateur World Champion in 2009

● 2010 Long Island Amateur Champion


For more On ThrillerVerz III (click here)

Star Boxing’s “Rockin Fights” Returns

With A Roar Alex “El Toro” Vargas

Improves To 11-0 With Shutout Victory!

(all photo's Star Boxing/ Sal Acquista)

(September 4th) It was a long 19-month COVID hiatus, but Star Boxing’s “Rockin’ Fights” series came back with a roar last night at the Paramount in Huntington, Long Island. The packed house was rowdy and ready for boxing’s return to Long Island from the opening bell of the evening.


Bellport, Long Island’s undefeated super lightweight Alex “El Toro” Vargas (11-0 4KO’s) was thrust into prime time role as his fight against Colombian, Alejandro Munera (6-3-4 5KO’s) was elevated to the main event, when the Seldin-Vazquez fight was called off due to Vazquez failing a medical.  Vargas did not let the bright lights scare him as he dominated the fight from the first punch. The crowd, filled with purple “El Toro” t-shirts, was loud and proud, chanting for Vargas.


Vargas displayed excellent boxing skill, putting together combinations, and keeping Munera on his heels. In the middle rounds Vargas began sitting on his punches, causing a cut over the nose of Munera. Munera was game, standing tall, taking Vargas’ punishment and attempting to return the favor. Unfortunately for Munera, his bravery would not be enough, as Vargas dominated the fight, winning by a shutout unanimous decision (60-54 x3). Vargas improved to 11-0.

On the undercard, NY firefighter, Louis Maietta (Bronx, NY) and Perez Aughtry (Buffalo, NY 0-2) battled it out over 4-Rounds in their light heavyweight tilt. Both Maietta and Aughtry came out slugging and did not stop until the final bell. Maietta-Aughtry had the fans on their feet the entirety of the fight. At the close of the bout, the judges scored the bout a majority draw. Post-fight, Maietta and Aughtry exchanged words that spilled onto social media. Both seem to be on a collision course for a rematch.


Boca Raton’s, Miranda “She Hulk” Barber (2-2) took it right to Ayanna Tramont (Buffalo 1-1 1KO) mauling her way inside, and dropping Tramont two times before the referee stopped the fight right after the bell sounded to signify the end of the first round. Barber improved to 2-2.


Star Boxing Boss, Joe DeGuardia had this to say about the return of Rockin’ Fights, “This was a fight night we had been looking forward to for so long, and couldn’t be happier that it finally came. It was great to fill the Paramount with fans who had been in much need of an entertaining night out, capped off by a dominating win from Alex Vargas. Another Rockin’ Fights is in the books and we look forward to being back at the Paramount on November 11.”



Created in 2011, the "Rockin' Fights" series has developed elite boxing talent and has produced current WBO Light Heavyweight World Champion, the "Common Man", JOE "THE BEAST" SMITH JR. (Mastic, Long Island 27-3 21KO's) and former WBO Super Lightweight World Champion, CHRIS ALGIERI (Huntington, NY 24-3 9KO'S), two of only four Long Island World Champions EVER.



Since Opening in September 2011, The Paramount has become a top live entertainment venue. Located in Huntington, Long Island, New York; The Paramount - in concert with TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank® - hosts a variety of concerts, comedy, boxing and other special events. Booked by Live Nation and utilizing Ticketmaster ticketing; The Paramount hosts an average of 200 events per year. In less than 5 years since opening, The Paramount has quickly established itself as the premier live venue on Long Island - the 20th largest U.S. media market (*2.5M HH-Arbitron: Nassau/Suffolk MSA). Pollstar Magazine ranked The Paramount as the #11 club venue worldwide (*Att. Q3 '15). With almost 70k+ Facebook fans & 10k+ Twitter followers, the venue was also ranked by Billboard Magazine as the "23rd Hottest Club" in 2014.

Algieri Dominates Lespierre On Thriller!

(August 4th) The Mecca of boxing was alive and well last night, filled with the wholesome sound of cheers once more as fans poured into the Hulu Theatre at MSG for the Triller Fight Club card seen live on FITE.TV.  Long Island’s own former WBO Champion of the World, CHRIS ALGIERI (now 25-3 9KO’s), made his ring return for the first time in over 2 years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, against tough southpaw, and fellow New Yorker, MIKKEL LESPIERRE (now 22-3-1 10KO’s).


From the opening bell, Algieri looked sharp. In custom form, Algieri stayed active throughout the entire bout, throwing 910 punches over the 10-round distance. The fight saw Algieri showcase his boxing IQ, experience and ring-generalship, turning LesPierre on multiple occasions, blocking, parrying, slipping punches and countering with a sustained body and head attack.


In the third-round, Algieri landed a right-hand flush on the jaw of LesPierre, but to LesPierre’s credit, he took it and marched on. Algieri took full control of the bout in the fourth round, throwing a flurry of punches, keeping LesPierre on his heels. From that point on, Algieri simply dominated.


LesPierre did land a right hook and straight left with seconds remaining in the sixth-round, but Algieri took it well and continued with his victorious game plan. A right-left combination in the ninth-round hurt LesPierre, leading to an all-out assault that saw Algieri throw nearly 30 consecutive punches.  LesPierre remained standing and finished the ten-round bout.  Algieri pretty much swept the entire fight, winning every round on two scorecards in his dominating unanimous decision victory (100-90 x2, 99-91). With the win, Algieri takes another step towards his ultimate goal of fighting for another world title, creating opportunity for bigger fights in the near future.


Chris had this to say about his victory, "I'm thrilled to be back. After a few rounds I really felt at home. I wanted the feather in my cap of being the first guy to get a stoppage [against LesPierree] and almost got it- but ultimately I’m happy with my performance... I didn’t want an easy fight back. Mikk is a really solid, class fighter who came in great shape. I showed that I’m a different class and deserve bigger fights in the very near future.”

Star Boxing CEO, JOE DEGUARDIA echoed Algieri's sentiment, "From start to finish, Chris performed at a world class level boxing. Mikkel is a tough veteran fighter, but Chris fought very sharply and broke Mikkel down like the true seasoned pro he is. With this win, Chris is right back in the fold in the super lightweight division, and we are actively exploring the biggest opportunities out there for him." DeGuardia continued, "Congratulations to Triller, Verzuz and Ryan Kavanaugh on a fantastic show. It was great to see Madison Square Garden filled with happy fans again. The event was truly vibrant"

REWIND "ROCKIN' FIGHTS" 38 (February 28, 2020)

Rockin' Fights 38: Cletus Seldin vs Luis Flores NABA Title Bout

CLETUS "THE HEBREW HAMMER" SELDIN returned to the Paramount to face off with late replacement LUIS FLORES in a WAR for the NABA Super Lightweight Title.

Rockin' Fights 38: Carlos Takam vs Fabio Maldonado

Heavyweight contender CARLOS TAKAM made his Paramount debut when he took on tough Brazilian, FABIO MALDONADO over 10-rounds in the heavyweight division


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.



Since Opening in September 2011, The Paramount has become a top live entertainment venue. Located in Huntington, Long Island, New York; The Paramount - in concert with TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank® - hosts a variety of concerts, comedy, boxing and other special events. Booked by Live Nation and utilizing Ticketmaster ticketing; The Paramount hosts an average of 200 events per year. In less than 5 years since opening, The Paramount has quickly established itself as the premier live venue on Long Island - the 20th largest U.S. media market (*2.5M HH-Arbitron: Nassau/Suffolk MSA). Pollstar Magazine ranked The Paramount as the #11 club venue worldwide (*Att. Q3 '15). With almost 70k+ Facebook fans & 10k+ Twitter followers, the venue was also ranked by Billboard Magazine as the "23rd Hottest Club" in 2014.

Thrilling Joyce / Takam Heavyweight

Fight Prematurely Stopped

With Takam Leading On All Cards!

(July 25th) In what was a spectacular 5 rounds, CARLOS TAKAM traveled to the UK, the home of opponent and undefeated heavyweight JOE JOYCE, as a 7-1 underdog and took the fight right to the man known as “The Juggernaut" for the WBO International, WBC Silver and Commonwealth Heavyweight Championships.

Takam immediately found a home for his overhand right, setting up the power punch with stiff jabs to the body. In the first two rounds, Takam was agile on his feet while throwing two and three punch combinations to the head and body of Joyce. A back and forth third round, saw Takam continue his assault with the same overhand right that seemed to land every time it was thrown, while Joyce finally began to establish his jab, and dug to the body. Takam’s right hand began causing swelling under Joyce’s eye.


The thrilling action continued in the fourth and fifth round, with Takam maintaining he lead.


In the sixth round, Joyce came out of his corner quickly and hurt Takam.  Joyce rocked Takam and sensing an opportunity, put together sequence of punches as Takam parried, slipped and blocked in an attempt to avoid the onslaught.  Although Takam seemed alert and able to defend himself, he didn’t return punches and referee Steve Gray stopped the fight.  The stoppage was premature in the eyes of an outraged Takam, who immediately protested the stoppage. As the fight was waved off, the shocked and disappointed Takam was shouting ‘why, why, why’ to the referee.  It was an exceptionally entertaining heavyweight fight that Carlos Takam and the fans that filled the SSE Arena wanted to see continue.    At the time of the stoppage Takam was up on all three judges’ scorecards.

Carlos Takam had this to say on the premature stoppage, “Joe Joyce was punching at me yes, but I see that he was getting really tired, so I tried to keep my hands up, that was my strategy, to come back after he was tired and put him out. He stopped the fight and I ask [the ref] why? Why? I used my experience, I know what I am doing, but he stopped the fight.” Takam felt that Joyce was punching himself out in the sixth round barrage and was planning a counterattack.


CEO of Star Boxing JOE DEGUARDIA was disappointed in the outcome, “[Takam] was alert. You could see in his eyes he was aware of what was going on, and was defending himself.  While certainly a factor, it’s not just about whether a fighter is throwing punches back.  When you have an experienced veteran fighter like Carlos, who is clearly winning an important heavyweight fight, it’s important to get it right.  The referee must also know who is in that ring, his acumen, experience, basically his ring generalship.  These are things that must be taken into consideration in order to make the right call.  Unfortunately for Carlo’s tonight, we believe the wrong decision was made and that he was alert and defending himself while waiting to launch his counter-attack at the right precise moment.  We think a rematch is warranted.”


As for what’s next for Carlos Takam, that remains to be seen. He once again established that he can go toe to toe with the top heavyweights in the world.

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


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.

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