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Joe Smith Jr
Ike at the Fights

Joe Smith Jr. vs Steve Geffrard Preview, Picks

by Ike Feldman
Updated On: January 14, 2022, 11:26 am ET

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-1250 Joe Smith Jr. (27-3: 21 KOs) vs. +650 Steve Geffrard (18-2: 12 KOs)

TURNING STONE RESORTS, Verona, NY – A big fight takes place in boxing’s light-heavyweight division between Long Island, NY native Joe Smith Jr. and Miami, FL’s Steve Geffrard for the WBO title tomorrow night on ESPN. While much of the boxing community’s attention has been focused on the action and headlines from the heavyweight and lightweight divisions, the fight between Smith Jr. and Geffrard is a chance to spread the love and bring some positive attention to two soft-spoken gladiators.

Backdrop

It’s been a long, winding road to get to the main event of tomorrow’s Top Ranked Boxing’s main event between Smith Jr. and Geffrard. After dealing with multiple opponents dropping out and a stint with Covid-19, Smith Jr. is finally stepping back in the ring for the first time since he won the vacated (Canelo Alvarez) WBO title against Maxim Vlasov in April 2021. It’s all about timing for Geffrard; Not only is he trying to time a counter strike, but he is getting an opportunity of a lifetime to prove he is worthy of the big stage by pulling off one of the biggest main event upsets in recent memory.

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Who Wins?

Smith Jr. is an extreme pressure fighter with a long reach and power in both hands. When needed, he also possesses the tough man’s style of taking one to give one. Smith Jr. fought two very stylistically different opponents in his last two fights. He played "rock ‘em sock ‘em" in his fight against Eleider Alvarez until the Colombian could take no more, falling through the ropes after getting cracked with a clean right by Smith Jr. In his next fight, Smith Jr. faced Maxim Vlasov, a more elusive and stylish fighter. Once again Smith Jr.'s power and heart were on display to earn the WBO vacant title fight in a close decision. Now, Smith Jr. tries to chop down another tree in Geffrard, who is also a pressure fighter in his own right. While Geffrard hasn’t faced nearly the caliber of opponent that Smith Jr. has, Geffrard understands how ‘surreal’ this moment is for him and will definitely be putting his best foot forward. I don’t see Smith Jr. looking past Geffrard to the much bigger fights on the horizon against Dimitrt Bivol or Artur Betebiev. I believe Smith Jr.’s very long layoff has created a fire and he will come out guns blazing. As both men’s style presents an unwillingness to give up an inch, I like Smith Jr. to break down Geffrard’s defense first, land heavily and retain the title. Smith Jr. wins.

Does The Fight Go The Distance?  +400  YES,  -700  NO

If this fight were to go the distance, we’re looking at a potential fight of the year nominee. With these two men’s never-back-down style, I’m expecting a couple of knockdowns that eventually lead to a stoppage. It’s not a friendly line at -700, but if I were to pick an exact round, I’d say by the ninth round, Smith Jr. should have his timing firmly locked in to land the fight-ending blow. Fight Does Not Go The Distance.

Enjoy this fight and as always, stay locked in to NBC Sports EDGE for all of your combat sports betting coverage!

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Ike Feldman

Ike Feldman is not only a longtime combat sports practitioner, but he is also an Edgy broadcaster that has been covering and handicapping combat sports on a high level since 2016. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @IkeFeldman to get unrivaled MMA and Boxing content, insight and entertainment.