Former light heavyweight titleholder Joe Smith Jr (28-4, 22 KOs) has come out to publicly address his supporters following his prompt destruction at the hands of Artur Beterbiev over the weekend. Taking to Instagram, Smith thanked those who’ve supported him and expressed his disappointment in not becoming unified champion, who then also mentioned he will be taking some time to decide on where he goes from here.
“I would like to start off by saying thank you to everyone who supports me and my career,” Smith wrote. “I enjoy fighting for each and every one of you. This past weekend did not go as planned as I lost my focus on the game plan after making a mistake that led me to getting caught behind my ear, knocking off my equilibrium that I could not recover from.
“No excuses, I should have took a deep breath, relaxed and got back to boxing. I just wanted to fight which (led) me into the same traps.
“I would have loved to bring home all the titles for you all. I am going to take some time, stay in shape and decide what the future holds for me.”
Smith, 32, has been known as a hard and dedicated worker which has endeared him to many, but if he has true world title aspirations in the future things could be tough for him going forward as we’ve likely seen his ceiling.
Beterbiev now holds three of the four major world titles at light heavyweight and after a fight like this Smith is unlikely to see a rematch any time soon. And the other world titleholder, Dmitry Bivol — if he doesn’t unify with Beterbiev — would also be strongly favored against Smith if that fight could possibly be made.
Long story short, it’s really a question of how much Smith is motivated to become champion again as he doesn’t strike me as the type who just does this for the money. But with an extremely uphill battle to climb, it could be time for Smith to walk away.