Joe Smith Jr was unproven and all but unknown coming into tonight’s fight with Andrzej Fonfara. He was a massive underdog. He was expected to lose. The biggest hope, really, was that he’d come to fight and make Fonfara "work for it."
Instead, Smith (22-1, 18 KO) drilled Fonfara (28-4, 16 KO) with a big right hand that put the Polish Chicago favorite on the canvas and in a bad way, and finished Fonfara off shortly after with a strong flurry of punches, putting Fonfara down again, with the referee rightly stopping the fight.
It was a real shocker, a contender for Upset of the Year, as the Long Island native was picked by nobody, and this fight was even, to be completely honest, all but ignored even as a main event on NBC.
"I expected to go 10 rounds. Andrzej, he’s a great fighter, but I worked real hard, trained harder than I ever have in my life," Smith said after the shocker. "Each fight I’m working harder and harder. I came here today to prove a point, that I belong here with the best. I proved that tonight. He’s fought the best fighters in the world and no one’s dominated him the way I have."
Joe Smith Jr has arrived, and he’s a factor in the light heavyweight division now. As for Andrzej Fonfara, this is a real stunner, obviously, but at 28 he’s not necessarily finished as a contender.