Joe Smith Jr.

Long Island’s WBO light heavyweight World Champion, Joe Smith Jr., fights 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 recently married his long time girlfriend Kelly, who he had dated for 7 years.

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 known for his dangerous one punch knockout ability. In 2016, Smith Jr. exploded onto the national boxing scene, transitioning from local hero, to light heavyweight world champion.

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.

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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.

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