Joe Smith Jr. is an American boxer who holds the WBO light heavyweight title since 2019. He also became the first boxer to stoppage victory against Bernard Hopkins. Smith had his first debut on professional boxing in 2009, where he won against David Brown by a technical knockout in Round 1. Then, he won his next five fights but lost to Eddie Caminero on his 7th fight.
His career rises in 2016-2017 after he defeated Fabiano Pena after knocking him out in the 2nd round. Then, he became the number 2 WBC challenger against Andrzej Fonfara for the light heavyweight title. Their fight was called the Upset of the Year after Smith had knocked out Fonfara via a technical knockout in the 1st round.
Smith proceeded to fight Bernard Hopkins and Hopkins personally had chosen Smith to become his last opponent on his farewell fight. On a crowd of more than 6,000, Smith once again defeated Hopkins via technical knockout on the 8th round. It’s no doubt that after years of boxing, Smith had dramatically improved his techniques that surprised Hopkins.
In March 2017, Smith had confirmed that he would fight Sullivan Barrera. In the end, Barrera won the judges’ favor with scores 97-92, 97-92, and 96-93. Even though Smith has more thrown punches, but Barrera’s punches landed more accurately. Smith also has sustained a head injury after the fight. Being sports as he is, Smith congratulated Barrera and told the press that Barrera is a good fighter.
After his surgery, he decided to rest for a while from the ring. In January, Smith was looking forward to making a comeback in May 2018. In May 2018, his promoter Joe DeGuardia confirmed that Smith will be fighting Melvin Russell. Smith has made an easy comeback as he dropped Russell twice in the first round. Eventually, the referee stopped the fight in only 1 minute and 45 seconds.