MatchroomUSA, Star Boxing, and World of Boxing held a press conference to announce the site and date of the highly anticipated light heavyweight showdown between undefeated WBA World Champion DMITRY BIVOL (St. Petersburg, Russia, 15-0 11KO’s) and title challenger, the “common man” JOE “THE BEAST” SMITH JR. (Mastic Beach, NY, 24-2 20KO’s)
With a room full of media in attendance, Bivol’s exciting and eagerly anticipated fourth title defense against Long Island’s own, Smith Jr. was announced and is set to take place on MARCH 9TH at TURNING STONE RESORT & CASINO located in Verona, New York. The fight will be live on DAZN.
Bivol is coming off of a 2018 that included three title defenses against SULLIVAN BARRERA, ISSAC CHILEMBA, and JEAN PASCAL. Argued by many as the top light heavyweight in the world, Bivol will be taking on a challenge in the arguably the hardest hitting light heavyweight in the world, Smith Jr.
Smith Jr., burst onto the boxing scene as a fighter of the year finalist and knockout of the year winner in 2016 due to his devastating knockout of hometown favorite, ANDRZEJ FONFARA, and later that year, his unimaginable knockout of legend BERNARD HOPKINS through ropes.
QUOTES AND PHOTOS:
CEO of Star Boxing Joe DeGuardia:
“We know about [Joe Smith Jr.’s] humble background as a laborer, working with the union. He comes from a real hard working background.”
“Joe always seems to be doing the things that are not expected. I know he’s humble, but he has a real knockout punch”
“Joe has made the best of his opportunities. He did it against Fonfara and he did it against Bernard Hopkins. We are very excited for him to have this opportunity to go win a world title.”
Matchroom Promoter Eddie Hearn:
“The main event for the WBA Light Heavyweight Championship of the World is going to be a fabulous fight”
“This is a big opportunity for Joe Smith, and its a pleasure again to be working with Joe DeGuardia”
JOE SMITH Jr. addressed the media:
“This is a huge opportunity for me and I am going to take advantage of it.”
“I’ve worked very hard, trained very hard. I’ll give it everything I have and come March 9th, hopefully take the title home.”
“Thank you DAZN, Bivol and Star Boxing for giving me this shot.”
DMITRY BIVOL said this about March 9TH:
“Thank you all the guys who work with me and help me. I am glad that my team decided the way of my career, and the way we will work with DAZN.”
“Thank you [to] Joe Smith Team and Joe Smith for taking this fight. I think we will make a good fight. I will keep my belt.”