A combination of heavy hands, volume punching and a relentless “ready or not here I come” attitude, helped 🇺🇸Joe “The Beast” Smith Jr. come up with a huge win over former WBO Champion 🇨🇴Eleider “Storm” Alvarez Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, headlining a card broadcast on ESPN+.
From the opening bell, it was clear Smith was going to make Alvarez prove that he could handle the heavy onslaught of power shots round after round, never letting the 36 year old Colombian off the hook. Winging multiple shots from all angles, Smith’s thudding blows worked overtime on Alvarez, who held a technical advantage but was blown away by the Long Islanders pressure, and by the mid rounds Alvarez’s face had really been busted up and blood oozed from his nose.
A rare momentary lapse in work rate in the seventh round saw Smith get caught with a right hand from Alvarez, his best shot of the night, that put Smith on shaky legs for a moment but he would recover and get back to business.
Smith (26-3-1, 21KO) would bring the night to an end in the ninth round when his right hand sent a battered Alvarez (25-2-0, 13KO) through the ropes and nearly all the way out of the ring, leaving him broken and befuddled.
As far as the blue collar workmanlike performance he is known for, this was Smith’s strongest and has the biggest payoff for him as he is now in line for the WBO title, and will fight the winner of Maxim Vlasov and Umar Salamov later this year. As far as Alvarez goes, we now wait and see what his next move will be. Does he try and climb the ladder again or give serious thought to wrapping his career up?
Fighting Words: “I knew I had to work on my boxing, I wanted to be sharp and throw a lot of straight punches.”
“Sergey Kovalev kind of set the way to beat him, so we watched that and worked off of it. I knew I had to box a bit more because he’s got that great right hand. He caught me with it a couple times, but every time he hit me, I wanted to come back and stop him in his tracks. I stuck to my game plan and it’s a great night.”
-Joe Smith Jr.
Beating the odds: Joe Smith overcame the odds as the bookmakers had him set as the +175 underdog.