Light heavyweight Joe Smith Jr. (24-2, 20 KOs), fresh off his comeback win over Melvin Russell this past weekend, is looking towards a much bigger fight later this year. Smith had taken a tough loss to Sullivan Barrera last summer, which left him with a fractured jaw, but after this bounce back win over a lesser opponent he feels ready to target a bout with titleholder Sergey Kovalev (32-2-1, 28 KOs).
“We’re looking to go to the top,” Smith’s promoter Joe DeGuardia stated. “Joe’s plan and goal has always been to be world champion. We wanted (Sergey) Kovalev before this fight, but it didn’t work out. We’re hoping to get him in the fall.”
”Kovalev looks great, he motivates me,” Smith noted. “I think I can take advantage of his conditioning.”
Kovalev most recently scored a stoppage over Igor Mikhalkin in March and is currently scheduled to take on Eleider Alvarez next month with his WBO title on the line. If he were to win that bout a prospective fight against Smith would seem to make for a fan friendly contest later in the year.
Do you think Smith’s high motor could wear down Kovalev over the course of a fight, or is Kovalev too technically refined for a fighter like Smith? Sound off in the comments below.