It looks like the WBO Light-Heavyweight Title fight between Joe Smith Jr. and Maxim Vlasov has a new date.
Smith and Vlasov were expected to compete for the vacant 175-pound gold in February. That plan was derailed after Vlasov tested positive for COVID-19. Luckily for both men, the fight has reportedly been rescheduled.
BoxingScene.com reports that Top Rank Boxing will be booking Smith vs. Vlasov for April 10. The title fight will be airing live on the major ESPN network. A venue for the title showdown hasn’t been decided. The two were initially going to compete inside the MGM Grand Conference Center.
Before the first booking was delayed, Smith spoke to FIGHT SPORTS on the title matchup with Vlasov. “The Irish Bomber” revealed that he expected the bout to go all 12 rounds.
“Vlasov, I feel his strengths are just that he’s very busy, an aggressive guy, and he’s 6’3 and a half I believe so he’s got some reach on him. But I believe if I just keep the pressure on him and avoid some of his shots then I’ll come home with the win.
“I’m expecting to go the distance because he’s never been stopped. He’s a tough, durable guy but if I can get him out of there I’m gonna do so.”
Smith scored a ninth-round knockout victory over Eleider Alvarez back in August 2020. The win extended Smith’s streak to two and earned him a major title opportunity. Vlasov hasn’t fought since November 2019, defeating Emmanuel Martey via unanimous decision. Vlasov is on a three-fight winning streak.