Joe Smith Jr. was born and raised in Mastic Beach and is an asset to the Long Island community. Smith graduated from William Floyd High School in 2007 and is a member of the William Floyd High School Sports Hall of Fame.
Smith is a proficient and vigorous fighter who is arguably the most accomplished boxer to hail from Long Island in recent memory. He is not only a stalwart, accomplished athlete with a decorated resume, but also a hardworking, hard-nosed, blue-collar man.
Very proficient, dedicated, and career-driven in which failure is not in his vocabulary, Smith has spent many years of service employed with Local 66 Labor Union. Smith has worked on many significant venues and areas that are required necessities to Long Islanders, such as constructing some of Hofstra University’s dormitories, one of Stony Brook Hospital’s brand-new wings, helped assemble the recently added train station at Long Island City, and worked on the Bay Ridge Sewage Plant. Smith owns a tree service company called Team Smith Tree Service, giving a helping hand to the homes of many Long Islanders by trimming trees and much more.
Jerry Capabianco is Smith ‘s trainer, and he has trained Smith since he was 18. Smith is a marvel at his craft, and Heavy Hitters Boxing in Ronkonkoma is where the Herculean fighter trains virtuously to perfect his expertise capabilities. Smith has three nicknames: The Common Man, The Irish Bomber, and The Beast From the East.
One of his most elevated feats was when Smith came in as a heavy underdog at 8-1 and matched up with future Boxing Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins at the Forum in Los Angeles, on Dec. 17, 2016. In the eighth round, Smith clearly had the upper hand on the future Hall of Famer. J Smith went with five different lethal punches to knock Hopkins out of the ring. It was the first time in Hopkins’s storied career, which consisted of 67 fights where he was knocked out.
On Jan.11, 2020, Smith and Jesse Hart put up their dukes at the Hard Rock Hotel in Atlantic City. Smith again wore the label of underdog, where he has a tendency to utilize that as his motivation, and Smith defeated his opponent in 10 hard-fought rounds.
On Aug. 22, 2020, Smith faced Eleider Alvarez at MGM Grand Las Vegas, and in the ninth round Smith put Eleider through the ropes to declare another massive victory. April 10, 2021, it was Smith vs. Maxim Vlasov and the venue was Osage Casino in Oklahoma. In an ultimate 12-round melee, a see-saw affair was witnessed. A vacillating beatdown terminated in a majority decision when the judges declared Smith the victor, where he had the slight upper hand, and the Mastic Beach native won the WBO Light Heavyweight World Championship Title.
This January, at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, upstate New York, Smith beat Steve Geffrard. The ninth round was the deciding round, with Smith hammering away with 16 consecutive punches, forcing Geffrard to fall to his knees conceding Smith to a triumphant victory as he defended his title and brought another belt home to Long Island.
Smith and his wife Kelly reside in Bellport and have a child on the way. June 18 was basically a homecoming for the Long Island lifer, as he squared off against Artur Beterbiev at Madison Square Garden. Tons of Smith ‘s friends and family were in attendance at “the world’s most famous arena” to watch two titans with the figure of a Roman gladiator put up their dukes in the sport known as the “sweet science.” Beterbiev is 37 years old and two-time Olympian, born and raised in Russia and currently residing in Montreal, Canada. Beterbiev is 5 foot 11 and weighs 175 pounds.
Smith is 32, stands at 6 feet tall and weighs 174.6 pounds, both practically identical in height and weight. The only advantage that Smith has is his extended arm reach. Smith has a 76-inch arm reach opposed to his adversary’s arm reach of 73 inches. Beterbiev averages 63.4 punches thrown in each round and Smith averages 52.4. The average number of punches thrown in the light heavyweight class is 51.4.
Coming into the fight at MSG, Beterbiev donned an undefeated record of 17-0 and all 17 victories were knockouts. Smith is lifetime 28-3 with 22 career knockouts, coming into the World Championship fight sporting a career 2-1 record in World Championship bouts with one KO.
ESPN admirably highly regarded Smith, ranking him as No. 4 in the Light Heavyweight Class, and Smith has induced six KOs in his last 10 fights. In Round 1, Beterbiev culminated the tail end of the round with a knockdown of Smith 10 seconds before the bell rang. In Round 2, Beterbiev generated another knockdown with 2:20 remaining. In the second round, Beterbiev dropped Smith with 1:47 to go, and the conclusion of the fight was Beterbiev triggering the knockout blow with 44 seconds remaining. At 2:19 of Round 2, Beterbiev defeated Smith and is now 18-0 with 18 career knockouts.
Beterbiev is now a three-time Belt Unified Lightheavyweight World Champion, is 7-0 with seven knockouts in World Championship fights, and is the only current World Champion with a 100 percent knockout rate.
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