Joe Smith Jr Knocks Out Steve Geffrard To Retain Light Heavyweight Title
Joe Smith (27-3, 21 KOs) made his first title defense for his WBO light heavyweight strap on Saturday night when he knocked out late replacement Steve Geffrard (18-2, 12 KOs) in the ninth round.
Things were looking uncertain in the build-up to the fight as Smith went through two different opponents as COVID-19 stopped them from participating. Geffrard accepted the offer just eight days ago.
“They tried to get me everybody, but nobody wanted to take the fight on short notice,” the WBO champ said in the post-fight interview.
“I just wanted to fight. But at the same time, I didn’t want to fight another top guy and not be prepared enough for it.”
Geffrard never gave Smith a run for his money.
He had a high guard from the beginning, which seemed to be quite effective against Smith’s sluggish punches in the opening rounds. But the guard wore off after first two rounds as he was only throwing return punches in short intervals.
A barrage of punches without throwing anything back in the ninth round, taking a knee and being cornered made it easy for the referee to stop the contest at 0:37.
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) January 16, 2022
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez wants to conquer the cruiserweight division for now. Smith is open to defending his title anytime the Mexican star wants.
“I believe I deserve a payday. I’ve had a lot of tough fights,” he said. “He’s the pound-for-pound king and I want to fight the best. That’s it. That’s the motivation for me to fight the best.”