Joe Smith Jr. Braces For Title Defense Against Umar Salamov
WBO light heavyweight champion Joe Smith Jr. is reportedly in talks with his management to defend his title against Russia’s Umar Salamov soon.
According to an ESPN report, both boxers will clash in October or November this year.
They have reportedly signed on the dotted lines to make sure the title fight goes down at the Madison Square Garden Theatre in New York.
Smith, 31, won the vacant light heavyweight title back in April when he defeated Salamov’s compatriot Maxim Vlasov in a potential fight of the year.
Earlier, it was being expected that Smith will unify the division against WBC and IBF champion Artur Beterbiev, but it seems unlikely after ESPN’s latest report was published.
In a conversation with ESPN recently, Smith’s co-promoter Joe DeGuardia had hinted that his boxer’s next fight is likely to take place in his home state — New York.
“I think it’s the perfect place for Joe to make his first world title defense. We’d certainly pack it, that’s for sure,” DeGuardia said.
There were also rumors circulating that the 31-year-old boxing champ is on the verge of sealing a two-fight deal at Madison Square Garden.