Saturday night boxing was supposed to be a battle between two top-five light heavyweights in the world. Unfortunately, COVID-19 forced a different matchup for the WBO Light Heavyweight title match. On short notice, Top Rank was able to fill the vacancy with Steve Geffrard to challenge for Joe Smith Jr. in the latter’s first title defense. Smith Jr. is ranked fourth in the world in the light heavyweight division, while Geffrard comes in at 107th in the world, 15th in the United States. The title fight between Smith Jr. vs Geffrard on Saturday, January 15, 2022, will take place at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, Italy.
How to watch Joe Smith Jr. vs Steve Geffrard Fight
- What: WBO Light Heavyweight Title Fight
- What: Joe Smith Jr. vs Steve Geffrard – WBO Light Heavyweight Title Fight
- When: Saturday, January 15, 2022, @ 9 p.m. EST / 6 p.m. PST
- Where: Turning Stone Resort & Casino – Verona, Italy
- TV Broadcast: Sky Sports Arena PPV/ ESPN/ESPN+
- Live Stream: FightPass
Smith Jr.’s original opponent was supposed to be top-ranked light heavyweight Callum Smith. A week before the fight, it was reported that for WBA belt-holder had to withdraw from the fight after testing positive for COVID-19. Both Smith Jr. and Geffrard deserve recognition for agreeing on this fight so quickly.
Joe Smith Jr. vs Steve Geffrard – WBO Light Heavyweight Title Fight Preview
Joe Smith Jr.
It may not be the title defense that Joe Smith Jr. (27-3-0, 21 KO) was expecting for his first major belt. At the end of the day, however, a payday is still a payday, and a title defense is still just that – as long as it is successful.
Smith Jr. earned his hardware last April, claiming the vacant WBO World Light Heavyweight title in a match with Maxim Vlasov. Going the distance, the champion got the result by a majority decision. To earn the opportunity, had to bounce back from a loss in his last major title fight, a 2019 loss to Dmitry Bivol for the WBA belt in the division. A rebound victory against Jesse Hard in January 2020 followed by a TKO of Eleider Alvarez in 2020 was enough to put him against Vlasov. Saturday night’s defense attempt will take place in the same place he lost that Bivol fight, Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, Itay.