Light heavyweight contender Joe Smith Jr. (23-2, 19 KOs) is headed for the operating room later this week to repair a broken jaw suffered in his unanimous decision loss to Sullivan Barrera this past Saturday on HBO. RingTV confirms the bad news in their report.
“Somewhere during the second round I was injured and was in a lot of pain, but I did not want to let it show and I refused to quit,” Smith, 27, said in a statement posted on his social media accounts. “As the fight went on it got much tougher for me as the pain was just increasing more and more. I came very close to calling it.”
So if anyone was wondering why Smith was running around the ring more than usual in this fight, there’s your answer. This is obviously a bad break for Smith (no pun intended) as he’s suffered a broken jaw is both of his losses, the first coming seven years ago.
“My corner was amazing, thank you Jerry (Capobianco) and Phil (Capobianco) for the advice and inspiration giving me the strength to keep me going — you guys are the best. Stitch (Duran), thank you for keeping down all the swelling. After the fight I went to the hospital for the second time in my career, it turns out I had my jaw fractured just as I expected so I fought about nine rounds with this. So I am very proud. I will be taking some time to heal and to make maybe the biggest decision of my career.”
The fact of the matter is anyone who can continue fighting for nine rounds with a broken jaw is a tough SOB. But this statement from Smith does seem to suggest that he’s at least considering the possibility of retirement.