Why Steve Geffrard Was Shocked To Be Booked For Joe Smith Fight
A fight against Joe Smith Jr. was on Steve Geffrard’s wishlist in 2021.
This year, he will get to live his dream when he shared the ring with Smith on January 15 at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.
Geffrard was willing to be a late replacement for Maxim Vlasov last year.
Vlasov had contracted COVID-19 and was in doubt to box Smith for the vacant WBO light heavyweight title. Geffrard had won a regional WBO light heavyweight title and was ready to step in, but Vlasov recovered just in time.
Exactly a year later, Smith Jr was slated to box Callum Johnson, but the latter tested positive for the virus.
This time, Geffrard wasn’t expecting to feature in the title fight. In fact, he was preparing for a stay-busy match on a club show in Florida.
Just two days before the fight, he got what he longed for.
“All of the sudden I get a call from my coach Kevin Cunningham, and he says man, Steve, you’re never going to believe this. They just called you to fight Joe Smith Jr. for the world title. I couldn’t believe it,” Geffrard said.
The reason he was stunned to be given the title fight was his inactivity in recent years. He is coming off a win against Denis Grachev in March of 2021, which was his first fight in the last three years.
“For me to get a call like that is insane. I know how hard it is to even get a world title shot. I have friends like Erickson Lubin who’s been ranked No. 1 in his division and stuff, and he keeps on having to title eliminator after title eliminator. I’ve seen guys like Dillian Whyte have to wait and stuff. I’ve barely been active, so for me to even get that call and that opportunity is insane,” he continued.