Smith Gets Decision over Hart

Joe Smith Jr. was unable to get the knock out of Jesse Hart, as he did Hart’s mentor, Bernard Hopkins, three years earlier. But Smith still dominated Hart en route to a deserved decision win — albeit a split one.

The fight headlined a Top Rank Boxing card at the Etess Arena at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Hart attempted to gain revenge for his mentor and position himself into title contention. Instead, Smith is the one who puts himself in a position to potentially fight for the vacant WBO light heavyweight championship.

Smith came out at the start looking to pressure Hart, and he set the pace for the night before rocking Hart late in the second round. Hart battled back in the third, but Smith brought the power back in the fourth, rocking Hart before going on to thoroughly control the next couple of rounds.

Hart attempted to work his jab to bring the fight back to him in the seventh, but all that happened was Smith’s power overwhelming him, with “The Beast” scoring a knockdown.

Smith continued to outwork Hart, cutting him above his eye in the ninth round. The fight was ultimately not stopped, but all Hart was able to do was get the bout to the final bell.

Somehow, one judge scored the bout 95-94 for Hart — but the decision was saved by scores of 97-92 and 98-91 in Smith’s favor.

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