Joe Smith Jr. is all set to defend his WBO Light Heavyweight Title against Steve Geffrard on January 15, 2022. This event will kick-off the Top Rank on ESPN 2022, and will live from the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY.
Keep on reading to find out all the details of Joe Smith Jr vs Steve Geffrard Top Rank on ESPN boxing event.
Date, Time, Location
On January 15, 2022, Joe Smith Jr will be in action as he defends his WBO Light Heavyweight Championship for the first against Steve Geffrard.
Smith Jr was supposed to defend his title against Umar Salamov in October 2021, but the bout was postponed due to Smith Jr.’s COVID-19 diagnosis. Salamov then moved on to challenge Dmitry Bivol after visa issues in US.
Callum Johnson emerged as the challenger for Smith, but he contracted COVID-19 just 8 days before the fight. Geffrard, who was preparing for a bout on the same day, accepted the short-notice title bout.
Smith defeated Jesse Hart and Eleider Álvarez coming off a loss against Artur Beterbiev. He then defeated Maxim Vlasov in the bout where he won the vacant WBO Light Heavyweight title.
On the other hand, Geffrard is on an 18 fight winning streak with 12 TKOs. While Geffrard might not be an ideal challenger, he is the best possible man available on 8 days notice.
Tale of the Tape
|Boxer Name||Joe Smith Jr||Steve Geffrard|
|NickName||The Irish Bomber/ Beast from the East||The One|
|Height||6′0 (183 cm)|
6′ 2″ (188 cm)
|Reach||74″(188 cm)||75″ (191 cm)|
Undercard (Fight Card)
- Joe Smith Jr(c) vs Steve Geffrard- 12 rounds, WBO Light Heavyweight Title Bout
- Abraham Nova vs William Encarnacion- 10 rounds, Featherweight Bout
- Raekwon Butler vs Omar Rosario, 6 rounds, junior welterweights bout
- Akeem Black vs Jahi Tucker, 6 rounds, welterweights bout
- Troy Isley vs. Harry Keenan Cruz Cubano, 6 rounds, middleweights bout
- Lyubomyr Pinchuk vs. Jose Mario Flores, 8 rounds, heavyweights bout
- Joe Smith Jr. – 174.5 lbs – vs Steve Geffard – 173.5 lbs (light heavyweight)
- Abraham Nova – 126.75 lbs – vs William Encarnacion – 127 lbs (junior lightweights)
- Omar Rosario – 139.25 lbs – vs Raekwon Butler – 138.25 lbs (junior welterweights)
- Jahi Tucker – 146.75 lbs vs Akeem Black – 145.75 lbs (welterweights)
- Troy Isley – 156.25 lbs – vs Harry Keenan Cruz Cubano – 156.25 lbs (middleweights)
- Lyubomyr Pinchuk – 194.5 lbs – vs Jose Mario Flores – 197½ lbs (cruiserweights)
News & Updates
January 13, 2021: Geffrard said in the press conference that he going to rise to the occasion and will show the world who Steve Geffrard is.
January 13, 2021: Smith said in the press conference that he believes Geffrard will try to take full advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
January 10, 2021: Geffrard said in an interview that to get this opportunity for the world title fight is insane for his due to his inactivity.
January 7, 2022: Steve Geffrard stepped in to replace Callum Johnson.
January 6, 2022: Callum Johnson tested positive for COVID-19 and has withdrawn from the event.
January 4, 2022: Johnson’s coach Joe Gallagher said that both Johnson and Smith can box well and will put everything on the line in this bout.
January 1, 2022: Callum Johnson expressed that he is going into this World title shot in a far better state mentally also. He believes he was good enough when he faced Artur Beiterbiev but the occasion got to him.
December 31, 2021: Smith Jr. said in an interview that he is feeling pretty good after recovering from COVID-19 and training more than 12 rounds every day.
December 24, 2021: Callum Johnson told Lincolnshire World that Christmas is cancelled for him as he is making sure he is in the best possible shape.
December 10, 2021: Bruce Carrington is announced for the undercard.
December 2, 2021: Abraham Nova vs Jose Enrique Vivas is announced as the co-main event.
December 2, 2021: The title fight between Smith and Johnson is made official for January 15.
November 24, 2021: Salamov was announced to face WBA World Champion Dimtry Bivol on December 11. Salamov was having visa issues to travel to US.
November 17, 2021: Smith’s co-promoter Bob Arum revealed that Smith will defend the title against Callum Johnson.
September 21, 2021: Smith was found COVID-19 positive and the bout against Salamov has to be postponed.