Joe Smith Jr. surprised most people when he completely blitzed Andrzej Fonfara en-route to a first round stoppage over the weekend (in a fight where Smith was a 25-1 underdog heading in). Jerry Capobianco, Smith's trainer, said that Smith executed the game plan beautifully as he set out to gain Fonfara's respect early. But Smith gained much more than just Fonfara's respect as he floored Fonfara twice in the opening frame before either man could work up a legit sweat.
So after that dazzling performance, Smith's team is already looking towards bigger and better things, and Capobianco would like Smith to get a crack at WBC light heavyweight titlist Adonis Stevenson, who he thinks is too old and slow to keep up with Smith. Here's what he had to say to RingTV.com:
"To me, I think Joe is stronger, he's faster and Stevenson is 38 years old," Capobianco told RingTV.com. "I'm sure he's declining a little bit and Joe is getting a little stronger. Joe is getting a little more mature and (Stevenson) is getting older. He knows he's stronger than Stevenson because Stevenson couldn't do what Joe did," he said, referring to Stevenson out-pointing Fonfara in 2014.
But Capobianco isn't just bluster in the aftermath of a big win. He does, for instance, state that with respect to someone like Sergey Kovalev, Smith could use a few more fights before taking on that challenge.
"If it was against Kovalev, I would say we can have a couple of fights before Kovalev," Capobianco said. "If think if it's Stevenson? I think Joe would do real well with Stevenson. If it's that other guy from German (Juergen Braehmer), I think Joe ought to knock him out. I think it depends on who it was. I wouldn't mind a couple of fights. He's only 26 years old. He has a couple years to grow but every fight he's getting better."
We'll see where Smith goes from here, but his phone should be ringing again soon with more opportunities for better money.