In the main event of Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing “SLUGFEST at the SUN” on June 30th, JOE “THE BEAST” SMITH JR. (23-2 19KO’s) will make his extremely anticipated return to the ring at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Embracing his moniker as the “Common Man,” Local 66 Laborers Construction Union worker, Smith Jr., exploded onto the national scene beginning in 2016.
Backed by his union brothers, Smith Jr. would wield a sledgehammer by day and lace up his gloves to train by night. His work ethic and humble personality gravitated fans towards him, as he quickly became the national champion of the working man.
2016 was truly the year of “THE BEAST,” as Smith Jr. took the boxing world by storm. In June, Smith Jr. marched into Chicago, the hometown of, at the time, #2 world rated light heavyweight contender ANDRZEJ FONFARA (then 28-4 16KO’s).
Pre-fight numbers had Smith Jr. as a 16-1 underdog against the mighty Pole. However, just 1:57 into the first round Smith Jr. threw a right hand that caught everyone in the IUC Pavilion by surprise, dropping Fonfara.
Smelling blood in the water, Smith Jr. did not give Fonfara any time to breath, smothering him with a flurry of punches, dropping him for the second time in just over 2 minutes, earning the WBC International Light Heavyweight title, putting his name on the map in the stacked division.
Fast forward to December of 2016, and “THE BEAST” was at it again, this time at the Fabulous Forum in California, on HBO, taking on boxing legend and former world champion, in his final fight, BERNARD “THE EXECUTIONER” HOPKINS (then 55-7 32KO’s).
At the final press conference, Hopkins (then 55-7 32KO’s) promised that he would give Smith Jr. the boxing lesson he needed.
However the next night, Hopkins found himself staring at the ceiling of the Forum, as he had been viciously beaten out of the ring with a five punch combination late in the 8thof the scheduled 10 rounds. Smith Jr. became the first ever boxer to knock out the legend Bernard Hopkins.
In his return to The Forum in July of 2017, Smith Jr. took on contender SULLIVAN BARRERA (then 19-1 14KO’s).
After a brutal right hand that hit Barrera flush on the forehead, sending him to the canvas, Smith Jr. had his jaw broken late in the first round. “THE BEAST” went on to grit through the full fight (10 rds) to the judge’s decision, broken jaw and all, impressing fans yet again, this time for his will and determination.
After having his jaw wired shut for over six months, on June 30th, Joe Smith Jr. returns to the ring at the historic Mohegan Sun Arena, focused on climbing the ladder, back to Light Heavyweight supremacy.
JOE SMITH JR. had this to say about his return, “I cannot wait to get back in the ring on June 30th. I have been looking forward to this day since I was told I needed surgery. I plan on showing why I am still one of the best in the Light Heavyweight division.”
JOE DEGUARDIA, CEO and President of Star Boxing said this, “Joe Smith Jr. turned the boxing world on its head in his wins against Fonfara and Hopkins.
“I believe he is the hardest hitting light heavyweight, and he proves it every time he is in the ring. I am very excited to have him back on June 30th at the beautiful Mohegan Sun Arena.”