WBC International Light Heavyweight Champion JOE SMITH JR., (23-1-0, 19 KO’s) met with a group of his labor union brotherhood following today’s final press conference at The Fabulous Forum for his showdown this Saturday night, July 15 against highly ranked contender SULLIVAN BARRERA, (19-1-0, 14 KO’s), telecast live on HBO’s Boxing After Dark (9:50 p.m. ET/PT).
“It’s great to have the support of the local chapter of LIUNA (Labor International Union of North America) while they’re on the job here building the new football stadium across from the Forum.” said the 27-year-old Smith, himself a long-standing, full time member of LIUNA on Long Island, New York. “LIUNA has been great to me and I’m proud to represent them this Saturday night.”
“The national support of LIUNA for Joe is outstanding as we’ve seen in New York City and now in Los Angeles,” said JOE DEGUARDIA, CEO and President of STAR BOXING.
At the press conference Smith Jr. met with a large gallery of Los Angeles media and posed for photos with Barrera before being interviewed by HBO’s KIERAN MULVANEY.
Known as “The Common Man”, Irish-American Joe Smith Jr. burst onto the international boxing scene last June, knocking out the highly favored, former world title challenger Andrzej Fonfara in the first round of a nationally televised contest (NBC) from the Pole’s hometown of Chicago.
Six months later Smith challenged future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins at the Fabulous Forum and live on HBO. Dominating the legend on December 17 through the first seven rounds, the construction union laborer Smith drilled Hopkins to the canvas and out of the ring earning the knockout in the eighth round.
Sullivan Barrera is riding a two bout knockout streak with victories over Paul Parker on April 15 and Vyacheslav Shabaranskyy on December 16, 2016. His only loss was to light heavyweight champion Andre Ward in March 2016, and Barrera is considered one of the top fighters in the stacked divsion.
Smith vs. Barrera is presented by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and Main Events. This fight is part of a sensational triple header featuring Miguel Berchelt vs. Takashi Miura, a 12-round fight for the WBC Super Featherweight World Championship and the WBA Super Featherweight World Championship with Jezreel “El Invisible” Corrales defending his title against Robinson “Robin Hood” Castellanos. Berchelt-Miura is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Zanfer Promotions and Teiken Promotions.
The event is sponsored by Tecate, BORN BOLD and Casa Mexico Tequila and will take place on Saturday, July 15 at Los Angeles’ “Fabulous” Forum and televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark at 9:50 P.M EST/PST.
Tickets are priced at $25, $50, $75 and $125, not including applicable service charges and taxes, with a total ticket limit of 12 per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or the Forum Box Office (Monday through Friday 11:00 a.m. PST to 7:00 p.m. PST) at (310) 330-7300. Tickets will also be available for purchase at www.fabulousforum.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
Sullivan Barrera vs. Joe Smith Jr. analysis
When Sullivan Barrera (19-1, 14 KOs) and Joe Smith Jr. (23-1, 19 KOs) square off on Saturday night for Smith’s WBC International Light Heavyweight Title it will be an exciting match-up of power against power. Both fighters are coming off monster wins. Smith stopped future hall-of-famer Bernard Hopkins and Andrzej Fonfara in his last two fights and Barrera stopped Vyacheslav Shabranskyy to end 2016. Saturday night they will open the HBO Boxing After Dark® telecast (9:50 p.m. ET/PT)with a 12-round light heavyweight battle. Below is the scouting report for this match-up:
Joe Smith Jr
23-1 (19 KOs)
19-1 (14 KOs)
Smith is a strong fighter who wastes little time once the bell rings. He applies smothering pressure and can end the fight with any punch.
Barrera has solid endurance and a granite chin. He has a strong jab that he uses well and has shown great patience in breaking down his opponents.
The Long Island native also tends to get wild when fighting fire-with-fire. If Smith lets his guard down, Sullivan is a heavy hitter who can end the fight early.
Sullivan can get wild so he needs to keep it together and stay sharp in order to avoid one of his opponent’s thundering blows.
He has managed to stay active throughout his young career. He also gained valuable experience in the past year with wins over Andrzej Fonfara and Bernard Hopkins
He is an experienced fighter who has been in with some of the best in the division: Andre Ward, Vyacheslav Shabranskyy and Karo Murat.
Smith has devastating power in every punch he throws. He delivers nasty combinations to the body and comes out swinging with the first bell.
Sullivan has a powerful jab and a devastating right hand that have been instrumental in the majority of his stoppage wins. His previous eight wins all came by way of knockout.
Joe’s speed comes on full display when he realizes his opponent is in trouble and the end is near.
Sullivan has average speed; he turns it up a notch once he smells blood and goes for the finish.
Smith’s endurance is somewhat of a question; he went 10 rounds once but has yet to go a full 12.
Barrera proved he can go 12 rounds when he came up short in a decision loss to current titleholder Andre Ward.
He has very effective accuracy when he can work his way to the inside or force his opponent to the ropes.
Sullivan’s accuracy is on point when he gets his jab going and puts his punches together behind it.
Joe’s offense is his best defense; he does an exceptional job at smothering his opponents with an over-aggressive style that wears his opponents down.
If Barrera commits to the jab, it can be very effective taking his opponent out of his element, making it difficult to get anything going offensively.
Smith was stopped once in his lone pro defeat in 2010. Since then, he has not been in any real danger.
Sullivan has been knocked down but recovered well and finished strong.
Junior is an aggressive, in-your-face fighter who overwhelms his opponents with a vicious onslaught of punches and combinations.
Barrera is a technical fighter that likes to stick his jab and set up his shots. He also has a brawling style that inevitably comes out when his opponents show that they are willing to engage.
Coming off the two biggest wins of his career over Bernard Hopkins and Andrzej Fonfara, Smith is wasting little time in getting back into the ring with the best in the division. A win here could stamp his spot amongst the top of the division rankings and earn him a well-deserved title fight.
Sullivan has been very vocal in his desire to fight the best in the light heavyweight division and there are very few light heavyweights riding the momentum like Smith is now. Sullivan is willing to take out anyone in his path, and he knows a win over Smith can solidify another shot at a world title.
Smith has a crowd-pleasing style that won the support of boxing fans in Los Angeles when he defeated Hopkins, so the New York native is expected to have substantial crowd support for his return to “The Fabulous” Forum.
With his last eight wins coming by way of knockout, Barrera earned fan support and established himself as a fan-friendly fighter. His last big victory over Shabranskyy also took place in California, so he should have some fans returning to see him.
1. Will Barrera frustrate Smith with his boxing ability?
2. Will each fighter be able to handle the other’s power?
3. Who is going to dictate the fight?
4. Will Barrera fall into Smith’s aggressive style?
According to Main Events’ matchmaker and 2015 NABF Matchmaker of the Year, Jolene Mizzone, “This is a great fight in the ring and kudos to both guys for stepping up and agreeing to fight each other. The winner of this fight will be in a very good position in the light heavyweight division. This fight has bombs away written all over it: both guys have power in both hands.”
Berchelt vs. Miura, a 12-round fight for the WBC Super Featherweight World Championship, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Zanfer Promotions and Teiken Promotions. Corrales vs. Castellanos is presented by Golden Boy Promotions. Smith vs. Barerra is presented by Star Boxing in association with Main Events. The event is sponsored by Tecate, BORN BOLD and Casa Mexico Tequila and will take place on Saturday, July 15 at Los Angeles’ “Fabulous” Forum and televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 9:50 P.M EDT/PDT.
Tickets are priced at $25, $50, $75 and $125, not including applicable service charges and taxes, with a total ticket limit of 12 per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or the Forum Box Office (Monday through Friday 11:00 a.m. PDT to 7:00 p.m. PDT) at (310) 330-7300. Tickets will also be available for purchase at www.fabulousforum.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
For more information visit www.goldenboypromotions.com and www.hbo com/boxing, follow on Twitter at @GoldenBoyBoxing, @hboboxing, and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoldenBoyBoxing, visit us on Instagram at @GoldenBoyBoxing, and follow the conversation using #bercheltmiura.