Joe Smith Jr.

Bio: Long Island’s light heavyweight hero, Joe Smith Jr., fight’s and trains out of Long Island, New York. Joe Smith Jr. was born into a tough life on the south shore of Long Island. Joe is the oldest of eight siblings. After moving in with his father, Joe Smith Sr., at the age of 13, Smith Jr. first laced up a pair of gloves at the Atlantic Veterans Memorial Boxing Club in Bellport, Long Island, for the first time. He credits boxing for saving his life as it kept him off the streets and away from trouble. Joe Smith Jr. represents the thrill and fascination with boxing. Perhaps one of the hardest punchers in all of boxing, Joe is known for the heralded punching power, downright toughness, grit, and simply homegrown American hard work. Joe is currently engaged to his fiancé Kelly, who he has dated for 7 years and plans to get married in 2021.

Joe graduated from William Floyd High School in 2007 and was later inducted into the William Floyd High School Sports Hall of Fame. Boxing during his teens, and high school days, Smith Jr. had an extremely successful amateur career. He fought in 50 amateur fights, where he won many titles including the Title World Championship in 2006, Junior Olympic Champion in 2004, 2005, and 2006, Empire State Champion in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and the New York Metro Champion in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. A few weeks after celebrating the birth of his daughter Liana in 2008, Smith Jr. would go on to defeat fellow Long Islander, Seanie Monaghan, at Madison Square Garden to become a New York Golden Gloves Champion.

Early in his career, Smith Jr. earned the moniker “The Beast” for his immense one-punch knockout ability. Later, Smith Jr. would be called “The Common Man,” as Smtih Jr. captured the hearts of working men and woman across the country who were captivated by his ‘common man’ quiet persona and dedication to his day job as a Local 66 union-laborer when not using his concrete fists to knock out opponents in the ring. Smith Jr. had always been a hard worker. He began his first job at age 14, stocking shelves at a Mastic Beach convenience store for $100 per week. Later, Smith Jr. would work with his father, for tree service companies on Long Island. Finally, when Smith Jr. met his trainer Jerry Capobianco, and manager Phil Capobianco, the opportunity arose to become part of Local 66. While at Local 66 Smith Jr. worked on major projects including building Hofstra University college dorm rooms, building the new wing at Stony Brooke Hospital, building a new train station in Long Island City. At one point, while working at the Bay Park Sewage Plant with RJ Industries, Smith Jr. spent his days literally power washing feces off of the walls of tanks. In 2017, because of boxing Smith Jr. was able to establish “Team Smith Tree Service” with his father, servicing Long Island. When he is not chopping fighters down in the ring with his heavy hands, Smith Jr. can be found chopping and trimming trees across Long Island.

“I had nothing growing up and boxing changed my life for the better” said Smith Jr.. I was able to get a good job in the union because of boxing. From there I was able to open my own company with my father and things are getting better and better with each fight I have.”

“Running into Jerry [Capobianco] and Phil [Capobianco] changed my life. Without them I wouldn’t have made it to where I am at today. I would still be a gym fighter” Smith Jr. continued, “and thank you to Joe DeGuardia and Star Boxing for the opportunities and believing in me.”

Professional Career:
Smith Jr. and his team signed a promotional contract with Star Boxing (Joe DeGuardia) in September of 2014. Joe had numerous offers to sign with other promoters but Joe and his management team (Capobianco brothers) knew that Joe DeGuardia was his best option. Star Boxing devoted its efforts to building Joe up locally. As a professional fighter, Smith Jr. made a name for himself early on in the metro area, headlining Star Boxing’s critically acclaimed “Rockin’ Fights” series at the Paramount. He quickly developed his craft and became knownfor his dangerous one punch knockout ability. In 2016, Smith Jr. exploded onto the national boxing scene, transitioning from local hero, to light heavyweight world title contender.

Joe Smith Jr vs Andrzej Fonfara | UIC Pavilion | June 18, 2016

In the main event on NBC Sports, Joe Smith Jr. entered as a 16-1 underdog and stunned the world with a win over then #2 world rated light heavyweight, Andrzej Fonfara, with a first round TKO victory at the UIC Pavilion in Fonfara’s adopted home of Chicago. After having Smith Jr. on his heels Smith Jr. landed a monstrous right hand that dropped Fonfara to the amazement of the sold-out crowd. Fonfara would get back to his feet where seconds later Smith would land a picture perfect five pinch combination, finished with a missile of a right hand that dropped Fonfara for the second time to end the fight. The fight would win “Upset of the Year” honors by “The Ring Magazine.” This domination ended Fonfara’s 15 fight undefeated streak at the UIC Pavilion and cast Joe Smith Jr. into the limelight as WBC International Champion.

Joe Smith Jr. vs Bernard Hopkins | The Forum | December 17, 2016
Later in 2015, boxing legend, multi time and division world champion, Bernard Hopkins announced that he would be having his farewell fight on December 17, 2016 on HBO, hand picking Smith Jr. to be his opponent. Come fight night Hopkins would regret his decision. Entering as an 8-1 underdog, the upset minded Smith Jr. became the first fighter in Hopkins illustrious career to knockout the legend, in the most memorable of ways. Deep into the 8th round of the scheduled 10 round fight, Smith Jr. had Hopkins pinned on the ropes and once again landed a five-punch combination that sent Bernard Hopkins clear through the ropes Smith Jr. retained his WBC International Light Heavyweight Title and would become the only fighter to defeat Hopkins via knockout in his 28 year hall of fame career.

Joe Smith Jr vs Dmitry Bivol | Turning Stone Casino | March 9, 2019
Smith Jr. found himself at the pinnacle of boxing, fighting for the WBA Light Heavyweight World Championship against champion and Russian technician, Dmitry Bivol at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY on DAZN. In classic workmanlike fashion, Smith Jr. brought all that he had to the ring, boxing with the grit and determination that made him a fan favorite.

Bivol wasted no time showing off his world class boxing ability, but in round ten Smith Jr. rocked the world of the champion Dmitry Bivol with a huge right hand that had Bivol staggering back to his corner, holding onto the ropes for support. Saved by the bell, Bivol was able to survive the round, and would retain his belt by unanimous decision victory. Despite the tough loss, Joe Smith Jr. was able to leave it all in the ring and has high praise for the champion.

"If I only had 10 more seconds in that tenth round, maybe things would be different. Bivol deserves the credit, he is the best fighter I have faced. I think he's the best out there at the moment.”

Joe Smith Jr vs Jesse Hart | Hard Rock Hotel | January 11, 2020
Returning from his first world title challenge, Smith Jr. jumped right back into the fire as anunderdog, against #2 rated light heavyweight (WBO) Jesse Hart for the NABO Light Heavyweight Title at the Hard Rock Hotel in the main event on ESPN. The bad blood began to spill over when Hart announced his plan to knockout Smith Jr., as retribution for his mentor, and fellow Philly product, Bernard Hopkins. Smith Jr. showed a vast improvement in his boxing ability, using his much larger frame to pin Hart in against the ropes, and in the corners. Hart quickly disposed of the thought of a fire fight with Smith Jr. In the second round, huge right hand had Jesse Hart on unsteady legs. In the 7th, Hart thought he was spinning out of harm’s way, moving to his left away from the corner, but Smith Jr. threw a sweeping right hand that clipped him on the jaw, sending Hart to the canvas. To Hart’s credit, he survived the round and made it through the full 10 rounds against “The Beast” – a feat in its own right. Smith Jr. earned the decision victory, and immediately replanted himself in the light heavyweight elite.

Joe Smith Jr vs Eleider Alvarez | The Bubble at MGM Grand | August 22, 2020
Entering the WBO World Title Eliminator tournament, Joe Smith Jr. was slated to face then #2 rated light heavyweight (WBO), and former world champion, Eleider Alvarez in a main event bout at the Bubble in Las Vegas. Smith Jr. continued to show improved boxing ability, and footwork, piecing together thudding combination after thudding combination. Smith Jr. set a relentless pace, walking through any punch Alvarez threw, while thrilling fans and blasting away at Alvarez. Smith Jr. punched the clock with impressive volume, chipping away at the Colombian, behind a stinging jab. In the 5th round, he had visibly hurt Alvarez. In the 9th, the fight came to a stunning end, as Smith Jr. landed a left right combination, that sent Alvarez through the ropes, reminiscent of his 2016 Bernard Hopkins knockout. Like his knockout in the Hopkins fight, Smith Jr. became the first fighter to knockout the former world champion, Alvarez. With the victory, Smith Jr. is set to challenge for the vacant WBO World Light Heavyweight Title.

"Every time he hit me, I wanted to come and stop him in his tracks, and I did that, said Smith Jr.. “I stuck to my game plan, and it was a great fight."
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