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Forum Fight Results and Analysis


Forum Fight Results and Analysis
By Adam Pollack

July 15, Forum, Los Angeles – In a packed Golden Boy Promotions card, WBC Super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt won a clear unanimous workmanlike decision over Takashi Miura. Berchelt simply was the superior boxer, with faster hands, more compact punches, and better defense, using good footwork to maintain his range to outbox southpaw Miura. Berchelt didn’t just run, but let his hands go often enough to remain in control, and intermittently attacked both the head and body, finding the holes in the relentless Miura’s defense. Despite the movement, Berchelt hit hard enough to find some respect, and even decked Miura with a short left hook in the 1st round. Miura, though blessed with a very good chin, simply was not able to close the gap often enough, occasionally winging big bombs that mostly missed. Berchelt outlanded him by far.

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Judges Max DeLuca and Mauro DiFiore got it right with scores of 119-108 and 120-107 respectively, but judge Hu Minn seemed to find ways to give Miura rounds, scoring rounds 7 through 10 for Miura, while DeLuca and DiFiore both gave Berchelt rounds 8, 9, and 10. Min’s score was 116-111 for Berchelt, so he had the correct winner, but his scoring in those several rounds gives one insight into how fights often have controversial decisions, because even in a fight that was a total landslide, a judge found a way to make it seem semi-close and competitive on his card. What happens when it actually is close? A judge should never give out pity rounds, or rounds just because a fighter did better in that round than in previous rounds. Either you won the round or you did not win it, and Miura did not win those rounds.

The co-main event between WBA world superfeatherweight champion Jezreel Corrales and Robinson Castellanos was a matter of superior speed from the former versus the superior strength from the latter, and at times both had their moments in imposing their wills in this back-and-forth see-saw battle.

Southpaw Corrales used his faster hands and better footwork, outboxing Castellanos early on to win the first two rounds. But Castellanos was there to win, and when he got close, he landed the much heavier, more effective, thudding punches. Two of the three judges, Zachary Young and Carla Caiz, gave the 3rd round to Castellanos, but judge Pat Russell gave the 3rd to Corrales. Castellanos did hit Corrales low in that round, which he followed with a rabbit punch, which caused a break in the action to allow Corrales to recover. One could see though that Castellanos’ strength was coming on.

In the 4th round, a short hook decked Corrales in somewhat of a flash knockdown, though later on in the round, Castellanos decked Corrales yet again, with a powerful right, leading to the 10-7 round for Castellanos.

The 5th round again saw Castellanos dealing with Corrales’ speed by imposing his strength. Both judges Carla Caiz and Zachary Young gave Castellanos the round, yet Pat Russell again disagreed, awarding the round to Corrales.

All three judges agreed that Corrales outboxed Castellanos in the 6th, using his footwork to do so.

In the 7th round, Corrales scored a knockdown over Castellanos, a powerful straight left thrown from his southpaw stance. Hence, it was a 10-8 round for Corrales.

The judges agreed that Corrales won the 8th as well. Castellanos appeared to have suffered a cut in that round.

The judges also agreed that Castellanos came back to win the 9th round.

However, the 10th round terminated after only 30 seconds of action. Castellanos suffered badly from a cut under his eye as a result of a head butt, and the doctor requested that the fight be terminated.

As a result of the accidental foul, as per the rules, the round would be scored, and a technical decision would be rendered. But it can be quite difficult to accurately and fairly score a round that only lasts 30 seconds without doing an injustice to one or the other, especially when not a great deal of action occurred. Zachary Young took the Solmonic approach, and did the right thing in scoring it 10-10. Carla Caiz scored it 10-9 for Corrales, the first time she disagreed with Young. Hence, Young had the bout 94-94, but Caiz had it 94-93 for Corrales. Both are respectable scores.

Like Young, Pat Russell scored the 10th round even, and his final score was tallied at 96-92, much wider for Corrales, who won the majority decision to vociferous boos from the crowd. Russell’s score was out of line from what the crowd and the other two judges saw, primarily because of the fact that he saw the close rounds for Corrales rather than Castellanos.

In the third televised bout, Sullivan Barrera won a clear unanimous decision over Joe Smith, Jr., who has one of the heaviest punches in boxing, but simply did not have the sufficient output, speed, or overall defense and ring generalship that Barrera had. The fight had some quite exciting moments, for although Barrera was outlanding Smith throughout, occasionally Smith would land a leaden blow, often as left hook counters, and intermittently hurt Barrera, even decking him in the 1st round. But Barrera had a solid chin, and even when hurt, managed to come back and mostly remain in control, occasionally stunning Smith, who attempted to move and box, but not with effect, for he was not active with his hands on the back foot, and often was too passive with his defense. As the fight progressed, it became apparent that Smith was looking to kill the clock, and occasionally load up to fire a big shot, hoping to land the big one, but it was not a winning strategy against a man of Barrera’s caliber. The scores were 97-92 twice by Eddie Hernandez, Sr. and Fernando Villareal, and 96-93 by Omar Mintun.

There is one concerning new trend in boxing officiating that I have to discuss, which reared its head in the 1st round of this fight; and this sport should address it. Barrera mostly won the 1st round, and hurt Smith with a right over the top, but Smith then nailed him with a counter left hook that decked Barrera. Barrera rose, and though stunned, clearly was able to continue when the mandatory 8 count was reached. Referee Jack Reiss should have allowed the action to resume at that point, and allowed Smith the opportunity to try and finish him, if he could. However, after counting 8, Reiss then had Barrera walk away from him to the side, and then walk back to him. Then he had the action resume. Essentially, the rules of boxing have defacto been changed by some referees, for instead of a boxer having to continue after the mandatory 8 count, or the fight being stopped at that point, the boxer now gets an extra recovery period as he saunters back and forth across the side of the ring, which prejudices the fighter who just scored the knockdown.

I understand that some referees want an extra assessment tool, to decide whether or not to stop a fight. Safety is a concern for this sport. But referees are paid and selected for their judgment. And if a referee does not have good judgment, he shouldn’t be utilized. The walk-back-and forth left-right is a tool, and it is a tool that should be used sparingly, only in close-call situations wherein a referee isn’t really sure whether or not he should allow a bout to continue. When it is clear that the fighter is okay to continue, as was the case in this contest, the fight should resume immediately without the use of this tool. When the fight should be stopped, then also it should be stopped without the use of this tool. But when it comes to those close-call gray-zone moments, where a referee is having doubts about whether to stop or not to stop it, then yes, I have no problem with this tool being used as an extra precautionary assessment method. But it should not be used every time a fighter gets decked. And in the undersigned’s opinion, it should not have been used in this fight for that knockdown.

Other results:

Ryan Garcia KO 1 Mario Macias. Garcia was way too fast, powerful, and talented for Macias, whom he overwhelmed and decked twice in the 1st.

Mercito Gesta TKO8 Martin Honorio. Gesta was a bit too fast, sharp, and skillful for Honorio, decking him with a southpaw left in the 4th round, and mostly outboxing and outpunching him carefully thereafter. That said, referee Tom Taylor’s stoppage in the 8th seemed a bit premature. Gesta landed a single left that slightly staggered Honorio in the manner that one might see when one trips but then quickly recovers his balance. But without any follow-up occurring, Taylor stepped in and stopped it. In fairness, he possibly might have thought Honorio was not being competitive enough, and took the opportunity to end matters. Nevertheless, the stoppage brought some pretty fierce booing from the crowd.

Dihul Olguin WUD8 Horacio Garcia. 77-73, 77-73, and 76-74. This is one of those times when the “B” side fighter scores the upset. Olguin was much faster and effective, scoring knockdowns in the 2nd and 8th rounds. Garcia seemed slow as molasses by comparison, which isn’t a good sign for one’s career when up against a nearly .500 type fighter.

Manny Robles, Jr. KO5 Christian Esquivel.

Recky Dulay KO3 Jaime Arboleda.

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Press Release: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor Press Conference Quotes


Press Release: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor Press Conference Quotes

Unbeaten boxing legend Floyd “Money” Mayweather and UFC star “The Notorious” Conor McGregor went face-to-face for the first time on Tuesday, in a highly anticipated press conference in front of over 11,000 fans at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles as the two global stars discussed their Saturday, August 26 showdown at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in an event that will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME PPV.

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Photo Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

The fighters posed for the first face-off of the unprecedented event that has captured the imagination of sports fans around the world. Mayweather and McGregor will meet in a super welterweight contest that serves as the first time champions from boxing and MMA will meet in a sanctioned boxing match.

The Mayweather vs. McGregor world tour will continue on to Toronto, New York City and London as the superstars deliver all the spectacle of the summer’s biggest event directly to the fans who demanded it.

Here is what the press conference participants had to say Tuesday:

FLOYD MAYWEATHER

“Everyone knows I’ve never backed down from anybody. You line them up, and I knock them down like bowling pins. On August 26, I’m knocking Conor out.

“I am guaranteeing you this. You are going out on your face or on your back. So which way do you want to go?

“Twenty one is the number. They ask me why is that the number? Because that’s how long I’ve been kicking ass. I don’t care about a ring or an octagon. Put me in there and I’m going to kick ass.

“It takes two warriors to bring an event like this together. The two biggest forces in combat sports made this happen.

“This was something that the fans wanted to see. I spoke to my team and said that the Mayweather-McGregor fight can be the biggest fight in history. That’s what we’re here to turn into reality.

“McGregor is a professional, stand-up fighter. The only loss he took was when he was on the ground. He’s a tough competitor and I’m taking him very seriously.

“Everyone knows I’ve been doing this for a long time. I’ve been here before. He’s a tough guy though and a warrior. The best must fight the best. The fans wanted this fight, me and McGregor wanted the fight. It’s going to be blood, sweat and tears on August 26.

“Training camp has been rough. I know deep in my heart that this is the last one. I’m taking care of my body and giving myself time off to allow my body to rejuvenate.

“Conor really wants to win. Extremely badly. Other fighters it usually plays out two ways. Some guys play it safe and then some like Marcos Maidana go for the kill. I think he’s the Maidana-type. He’s a heavy-hitter so I have to be cautious. It’s going to basically be a toe-to-toe battle.”

CONOR MCGREGOR

“My mind is blown. I’m absolutely honored to be here in front of you fans for this great spectacle. Somebody’s 0 has got to go.

“He’s got little legs and little hands. I’m going to knock him out inside of four rounds. Mark my words.

“I’m a young, confident, happy man. I’ve worked extremely hard for this. I’m going to embrace everything. No one can do anything to me. I’m going to have a good time.

“Floyd will be unconscious inside of four rounds. The power and ferociousness that I have, he’s never experienced it before. I don’t fear him.

“Even if he catches one of my punches with his glove, it will still hurt him. I’m like nothing he’s ever seen before.

“Twelve, three minute rounds is going to be a breeze for me. Not to take anything away from this sport, but I have no worries about going twelve rounds with Floyd.”

“Floyd is the perfect motivation for me to go in and conquer the supposedly unconquerable. What more motivation could you need? This pushes me on to do these record-breaking events.”

LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions

“This is a great fight that the fans have demanded. That’s exactly what we’re going to give them on August 26.

“Floyd Mayweather is the undefeated, pound-for-pound king and The Best Ever. He’s here to give the fans what they wanted and that’s his huge event a memorable fight on August 26.

“Mayweather Promotions is all about giving the fans exactly what they want, and this battle between Floyd and Conor is going to deliver all of that and much more.

“This is the can’t-miss event of the summer and this crowd at STAPLES Center proves just how big it’s going to be. This whole week we’ll be bringing all the excitement of a fight week to sold out venues throughout the world.”

STEPHEN ESPINOZA, Executive VP & General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports

“Over the last several years, SHOWTIME has teamed up with MGM and Mayweather Promotions to give fans the biggest and most exciting events in sports. Record-breaking event after record breaking event. We also have a long history of MMA in SHOWTIME and are glad to be in business with UFC and Conor McGregor.

“We will be working to deliver this event to the fans in unprecedented ways. We will give you new ways to experience the preparation leading up to the fight and then fight night, like never before. We’ll bring you behind the scenes and up close and personal with the “All Access” series. Your backstage pass to this fight premieres on July 28 on SHOWTIME.

“They said this fight could never be made, they said this fight would never happen, but this fight is no surprise. 10 years ago Floyd decided to leave his promoter and become his own boss. He became his own boss and broke PPV record after PPV record. Here we are, 49-0, he’s fought 24 world champions, and never lost. Floyd Mayweather has generated 20 million PPV buys and 1.3 billion dollars in PPVs. He is by far the number one attraction in sports and entertainment. There is no one else who is even close.

“Am I surprised that this fight is happening? Especially against someone younger, bigger and stronger than he is. Not at all. This is Floyd’s plan. To put on the most exciting and spectacular events that the sports world has ever seen. That’s what August 26 will be. That’s been the plan all along. ”

DANA WHITE, President of UFC

“This is the biggest fight any of us have ever been a part of. People have just rallied behind this fight. Don’t judge a fight until the fight is over. You never know what’s going to happen, especially with a guy like Conor who hits like a truck. When he hurts someone, he puts them away.

“This is a completely full event today, not a seat left. We had to move to a bigger venue in Toronto. Barclays Center sold out and then today tickets sold out at Wembley in 10 minutes. There’s never been anything like this.

“Floyd is almost 41 years old. Conor is a young southpaw who hits hard. We’ll see how it plays out. It’s crazy to think that Conor won’t connect with him.

“Conor McGregor believes in himself like nobody I’ve ever seen before. What he thinks about, he manifests into reality. The boxing media will get to know Conor on this tour and see the mental warfare that he engages in. Then on fight night, Conor is going to try to knock Floyd out.”

RICHARD STURM, President of Sports and Entertainment, MGM Resorts International

“Thank you to all the great fight fans around the globe watching this event. We’re thrilled that this event will be held at T-Mobile Arena, the home of the biggest events in the sports and entertainment industry. In only 15 months the T-Mobile Arena has become an industry leader and home to many of the greatest entertainers and athletes in the world.

“Las Vegas and the T-Mobile Arena will be the center of the sports universe for this great spectacle when two great champions bring these two sports together for the first time. It’s going to be an absolutely electric weekend. We look forward to delivering an unforgettable experience to all the fans who travel from around the world to this great event.”

More Full Coverage: Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor

Press Release: Floyd Mayweather To Meet Conor McGregor In Unprecedented Boxing Event


Saturday, August 26 Live on SHOWTIME PPV®
From T-MOBILE ARENA in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (July 11, 2017) – A worldwide audience will witness a one-of-a-kind sporting event when legendary boxer and pound-for-pound king Floyd “Money” Mayweather returns to the ring to battle all-time MMA great and UFC champion “The Notorious” Conor McGregor in a 12-round boxing match. The fight announcement on June 14 captured the world’s attention as fans across the globe anticipate the outcome of this once-in-a-lifetime showdown taking place Saturday, Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The event will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME PPV and promoted by Mayweather Promotions.

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A 12-time world champion in five weight classes, the 40-year-old Mayweather retired undefeated in September 2015 as one of the greatest to ever step in the ring, buoyed by box office success that saw him shatter nearly all of the revenue records in the sport’s history. Now, he returns to challenge the bold, powerful and popular McGregor, whose elite striking skills put him in the record books as the first athlete to hold two UFC titles simultaneously, all while soaring to the mantle of the sport’s No. 1 PPV attraction at only 28 years old.

Mayweather and McGregor will meet in a super welterweight contest (154-pound limit), serving as the first time champions from boxing and MMA will meet in a sanctioned boxing match.

“There was only one name that could bring me out of retirement and that’s Conor McGregor,” said Mayweather. “I’m excited to give the fans what they’ve all been asking for. I always want to do something different and groundbreaking and this fight with Conor is that perfect opportunity. He’s a young, skilled and powerful guy who I’m not going to take for granted. I expect to come out victorious, but anything can happen in the ring. This is a must-see event live or on pay-per-view on August 26. The whole world will be watching Mayweather vs. McGregor.”

“This is a historic fight and will be the greatest spectacle in combat sports history,” said McGregor. “I am about to change the entire approach to fighting as it stands today. On August 26 I will shock the world. Again.”

The SHOWTIME PPV on-air team will call the action on the telecast beginning live at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. The telecast also will be available in Spanish using secondary audio programming (SAP).

Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, said, “Floyd has been a trailblazer his whole career and this event proves that he is still the marquee name in the fight game. This is the kind of event that Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions are known for and we’re proud to bring this exciting night of action right to the fans. We know that Conor McGregor is a dangerous fighter who believes 100 percent that he is going to win this fight. I’m expecting to see as sharp a Floyd as always and I anticipate him doing what he always does, going in there and winning. You will not want to miss this once-in-a-generation showdown on August 26 in Las Vegas and live on SHOWTIME PPV.”

Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports, said, “We are proud to reunite with Floyd Mayweather, Mayweather Promotions and the MGM Grand to deliver this unprecedented global event. Never before, in the vast experience of SHOWTIME PPV which includes worldwide events featuring record-setting events with Mike Tyson, Julio Cesar Chavez and Floyd Mayweather, have we experienced a reaction like we have to Mayweather vs. McGregor. Both Floyd and Conor are trend-setting personalities who have transcended their respective sports. They carry unmatched reputations for spectacle and athleticism, and together they create a truly can’t-miss event.”

Dana White, President of UFC said, “My goal has always been to put on the greatest fights the world has ever seen, whether they take place inside an Octagon or a boxing ring. Floyd Mayweather is one of the best fighters of all-time but he has never faced someone like Conor McGregor. Throughout his UFC career, Conor has proven that he should never be underestimated and I believe this will be no different. On August 26th, we will see the biggest fight in history. The world will be watching to see if Conor can follow through on another promise and make history once more. No matter the outcome, this will be a historic night in sports and we are honored to give the fans what they have been asking for.”

Richard Sturm, president of entertainment and sports for MGM Resorts International, said, “It is an honor to have the opportunity to host the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight at T-Mobile Arena, our industry’s leading venue for major sports and entertainment. Las Vegas is known for its summer heat but nothing will be hotter than this championship event on August 26.”

One of the most decorated fighters in the history of the sport, Mayweather, of Grand Rapids, Mich., and fighting out of Las Vegas, used his trademark speed, defensive prowess and ring generalship on his way to 24 triumphs over world champions during his illustrious career. Among those 24 victories are the biggest names in the sport, past and present, including Manny Pacquiao, Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Canelo Alvarez, Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Zab Judah and Arturo Gatti.

In addition to his in-ring accomplishments, Forbes, Fortune and Sports Illustrated have all named Mayweather the world’s highest paid athlete multiple times. His events amass record-breaking numbers; he has headlined four of the six highest-grossing pay-per-view events of all-time and holds the all-time record in gross pay-per-view receipts. His 2015 showdown with Pacquaio shattered the all-time pay-per-view television record with 4.6 million buys while the event grossed a staggering total of more than $600 million.

Mayweather, the only fighter to have headlined three events that each generated more than 2 million pay-per-view buys, has garnered numerous “Fighter of the Year” awards over his storied career, including five ESPY Awards and two Boxing Writers Association of America awards.

Representing his hometown of Dublin, Ireland, McGregor’s larger than life personality and devastating power have helped him become his sport’s No. 1 attraction. He became the first MMA fighter to crack Forbes highest-paid athlete list in 2016 and was even higher on the list in 2017.

He became the undisputed UFC featherweight world champion by delivering pinpoint left handed shots that quickly ended the nights of top fighters Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes. McGregor then moved up in weight for a pair of blockbuster matchups with Nate Diaz that saw him set a new mark for UFC pay-per-view buys when he defeated Diaz in the rematch last August.

After dispatching Diaz, McGregor set his sights on history as he headlined at Madison Square Garden against lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez. McGregor put on a striking clinic against Alvarez knocking him down five times before getting the second round knockout and adding the lightweight title to his featherweight world title, becoming the first UFC fighter to ever hold two belts concurrently.

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SmackTalk: Mayweather, McGregor Talk A Big Game At LA Press Conference


SmackTalk: Mayweather, McGregor Talk A Big Game At LA Press Conference
By: Sean Crose

“This is all about the Benjamins.”

So said Mauro Ranallo as part of Showtime’s live stream of the first press conference for the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor August 26th 12 round bout. Ranallo was flanked by Paulie Malignaggi, who might become a McGregor sparring partner, and Brendan Schaub, an MMA announcer whose job was clearly to hype up McGregor’s chances in the fight. To listen at times to Schaub, whose a likable guy, you would get the impression that only an idiot would pick the 49-0 Mayweather to beat McGregor, whose never had a professional boxing match in his life. Never mind the fact that Schaub is also an expert on the sport of boxing, as well as MMA. This was all about the Benjamins indeed.

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When it was time for the event to begin, McGregor stepped on the stage wearing a crisp suit and a serious expression. He then strutted around for a bit in a frat boy strut. A few moments later, Mayweather arrived…after making McGregor wait a bit. Wearing casual TMT attire, he looked considerably smaller than McGregor once he took to the stage. McGregor started moving about and talking smack. Floyd just looked at him, unphased. Ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. then started announcing the speakers. The MMA fans, who probably made up most of the crowd – indeed, who probably make up the core fan base for the fight – booed. UFC President Dana White then announced McGregor and the crowd went insane.

One thing that became clear, however, was that McGregor was not being allowed to dominate a press conference the way he generally likes to in the UFC. There would be little, very little, back and forth between he and Mayweather. “He’s in a fucking track suit,” McGreogr quipped about the boxer. “He can’t even afford a suit any more.” Then, McGregor got to the heart of the matter. “He is fucked there’s no other way about it,” he said. “I’m going to knock him out inside four rounds, mark my words.”

McGregor proceeded to focus on the sport of boxing, which is about to make him a very rich man. “I don’t fear him,” he said of his opponent. “I don’t fear this limited set of fighting…this is a limited set of rules that makes this half a fight, a quarter of a fight….if this was a true fight, it wouldn’t take one round.” Before stepping down from the mic, however, the bold Irishman verbally swaggered a bit more. “All these rules, all these restrictions, it doesn’t phase me, it amuses me,” he said. “All I need is a gum shield, line me up to the ring and I’m good to go.”

Mayweather responded in kind when it was his turn to speak, making it clear whose show it was. “We knew I was the A-side,” he said. “That’s why this bitch had to come to the boxing ring.” Mayweather also took to mocking McGregor’s earnings, turning the UFC star’s usual verbal attack against him. “This bitch made three million dollars his last fight,” he said of MCGregor. “But we know that’s training camp money for me.” The longstanding undefeated fighter then took it to McGregor directly. “I’m not the same fighter I was,” he admitted, “but I got enough to beat you.”

Not yet done, Mayweather, then got on McGregor for “tapping out” in some MMA battles. “And we know Mr. Tapout like to quit,” he said, referring to McGregor. “You goin’ out on your face or you goin’ out on your back.” Afterwards, both men engaged in procrastinated verbal jawing during the staredown. They’re good salemen, these two. Here’s the truth, though:

Floyd Mayweather doesn’t fight unless he has all the advantages, both in and out of the ring. That means McGregor couldn’t interrupt incessantly during today’s press conference. Such a thing might have given the witty Irishman a mental edge. Perhaps, then, there was more than one way to take one of Mayweather’s digs at his opponent:

“Sit quiet, you little bitch.

More Full Coverage: Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor

Interview with Joe Smith Jr. “I never thought an opportunity to fight Bernard Hopkins would ever come up”


Interview with Joe Smith Jr. “I never thought an opportunity to fight Bernard Hopkins would ever come up”
By: Matthew N. Becher

​Earlier this year, Joe Smith Jr. shocked the boxing world when he went on the road to Chicago, Illinois and knocked out Andrzej Fonfara in one round. Smith was a relatively unknown who rarely fought outside of the New York area and in an instant he had placed his name onto the Light Heavyweight division map. On December 17th, Live on HBO, from the Famous Forum in Inglewood, California, Smith will take on a living legend, and become the final opponent for the one and only Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins. Smith was nice enough to take some time away from training camp to speak with Boxing Insider.

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Boxing Insider: You were working as a Union construction worker and moonlighting as a boxer. How did that work as far as schedule wise?

Joe Smith Jr.: I’d get up, go to work in the morning, usually worked till about 3 or 3:30. And depending on how dirty I was that day, I’d either go home and take a shower or I’d just go straight to the gym. Depending on the day, if we go sparring, we have to travel to the city. Other days we go for 2 hours.

Boxing Insider: And are you a “Full Time” boxer now?

Joe Smith Jr.: Ya, once I got called up to fight Bernard Hopkins, my trainer told me that we got the fight. I was actually at work and had to tell my boss that I needed some time off.

Boxing Insider: So then this just happened, even after the Fonfara fight?

Joe Smith Jr.: Yes, I went right back to work after that. I may have to go back to work for a little bit after this fight. I haven’t made that big payday yet.

Boxing Insider: Up until the Fonfara fight, you were mostly a New York fighter. What did traveling to Chicago to face a big name fighter teach you that may help ahead of your California fight with Hopkins?

Joe Smith Jr.: I love to travel, I like going place to place to fight. Of course I love to fight in my hometown of New York. But traveling and getting the different experiences, I enjoy that.

Boxing Insider: In December, you will be traveling to fight Hopkins, who is a living legend. What does it mean to you, to be fighting someone of his stature?

Joe Smith Jr.: It’s great. I never thought an opportunity to fight Bernard Hopkins would ever come up. Once I got that news, I was very happy.

Boxing Insider: What are your thoughts on fighting a man, whose first fight was before you were even born?

Joe Smith Jr.: I can’t believe this guy is still around. It’s great. I give him a lot of respect for that. But he’s jumping in there with me now, he’s trying to stop me from moving forward and doing big things in my career. So I gotta stop him and get him out of there.

Boxing Insider: What should fans expect, especially a lot of new ones that will be introduced to Joe Smith Jr.?

Joe Smith Jr.: They are gonna see a different fighter. They are gonna see a powerful and more all-around fighter. I’m going to show off my boxing skill, with my speed and my power. It’s gonna be a great show.

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