When JOE “THE BEAST” SMITH JR. (now 25-3 20KO’s) and JESSE “HOLLYWOOD” HART
Joe Smith Jr. certainly took advantage of the opportunity, not only dominating Jesse Hart from start to finish, but once again showing why he is such a fan-favorite. From the opening bell, Smith Jr. made his dangerous intentions known, stalking Hart, ripping him to the body and head. In the second-round, Smith Jr. landed a short-left hook to the body that visibly unsteadied the Philly native, who immediately clinched to avoid an early night.
Hart, who entered the ring wearing an executioner mask in honor of his mentor, Bernard Hopkins – who Smith Jr. famously knocked out of the ring and into retirement in 2016 – was not shy about wanting to fight the Long Islander in honor of Hopkins. However, as the exciting main event marched on, Hart had no answer for the brute force and will of Smith Jr.
It wasn’t long before Smith Jr. had Hart in trouble once more, this time in the fourth-round, with a savage uppercut followed by a right hand to the temple that had Hart on edge once again. Like much of the fight, Hart would manage to clinch to avoid compounded damage.
After battering Hart around the ring, Smith Jr.’s effective work began to show, culminating in the seventh-round with a devastating sweeping right hand that landed flush, sending Hart to a knee. With only eleven seconds left in the round, Hart was able to survive the round.
“My career was on the line.” Said Smith Jr., “I had to come here and prove I belong.”
Over the final three-rounds Smith Jr. continued his overwhelming pressure, opening a cut over the left eye of Hart. It looked like Hart would be stopped in that round as well, but a 45 second doctor examination gave him some time to recuperate and avoid being knocked out, but nonetheless, Joe Smith Jr.’s continued his domination.
“I got two Philly guys now and it feels great,” Smith said. “It would have been nice to get [Hart] the same way [as Hopkins, via a knockout], but you can’t always do that” said Smith Jr. “He’s got a lot of heart, he’s very tough. He had the will to make it through the fight.”
Two judges, and the rest of the ringside observers saw the fight properly, 98-91 and 97-92 for Smith Jr., while third judge James Kinney, ridiculously and disgracefully had it 95-94 in favor of Hart. Smith Jr. earned the clear and complete victory, and the NABO Light Heavyweight Title.
What’s next for Smith Jr. is yet to be known, however a lot may be riding on the winner of the Eleider “Storm” Alvarez and Michael Seals fight, next Saturday January 18 from Turning Stone Resort Casino. “Light heavyweight is a hot division,” said Smith Jr’s promoter and CEO of Star Boxing JOE DEGUARDIA, “We will be there next week. Certainly the winner is a potential opponent for Joe. Whatever happens, this determined, all pressure, common-man has clearly re-established himself as a top light-heavyweight, and perhaps one of the most exciting fighters and humbling stories in boxing.”
As for what Joe Smith Jr. wants next, Smith stated: “Whatever my team thinks is best I will go with it,” Smith Jr.said “I never turn down a fight.”
Both of Salita Promotions undefeated Detroit-based welterweights, twin brothers Joseph and Jacob Bonas, and Russian heavyweight destroyer Apti Davtaev, remained undefeated with impressive victories last Friday night.
Fighting on the untelevised undercard of the Claressa Shields vs. Ivana Habazin showdown at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., Joseph “Detroit Bad Boy” Bonas moved his record to 7-0, 6 KOs by stopping Steubenville, Ohio’s Glenn Mitchell (3-5, 3 KOs) via TKO 2. Meanwhile, brother Jacob Bonas (now 5-0-1, 2 KOs) had to work a bit harder to gain a unanimous four-round decision over Highwood, Illinois’ Christian Rivera (1-1-1).
Showing marked improvement from his work in Detroit with SugarHill Steward, heavyweight crusher Apti Davtaev (19-0-1, 18 KOs) from Kurchaloi, Russia, overpowered Glenville, West Virginia’s Keith Barr (20-13-1, 8 KOs) in three brutal rounds.
Joseph Bonas showed some newfound patience in waiting for the right moment to pounce on the long-limbed Mitchell. And when the opening finally presented itself, he lowered the boom with a three-punch combination that brought things to a decisive end at 1:55 of round two.
Jacob Bonas survived a momentary scare when a surprise right hand from opponent Rivera got his attention quickly in round one. Showing his extensive amateur pedigree, however, Bonas made adjustments and eventually cruised to a comfortable four-round decision (scores 39-37 x 3).
Early on, Barr looked ready to rumble with his big Russian foe until a few punches from the Eastern Bloc strongman had him in full survival mode. 38 seconds into round three, the super naturally powerful Davtaev had his most impressive victory to date.
“All our fighters had terrific nights on Friday,” said Dmitriy Salita. “The Bonas brothers look to be turning into excellent professional fighters. They did what they are supposed to do with their early opponents by dominating. And Apti Davtaev is clearly getting stronger and stronger as his career advances. He is ready for a step-up fight against another up-and-coming heavyweight. His power is something the boxing world should have a look at soon.”
LAS VEGAS (January 13, 2020) – Undefeated Mexican welterweight Santiago “Somer” Dominguez will be going for his 21st pro victory and 17th knockout on Thursday, January 30, when he defends his World Boxing Council (WBC) United States Silver title on the first 2020 installment of RJJ Boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS®.
Promoted by Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions, in association with Sanman Boxing, RJJ Boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS will be streamed live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS®, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports, starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, from Legends Casino and Hotel in Toppenish, Washington.
Headlined by a sensational 10-round main event, in which unbeaten Ernesto Delgadillo (11-0-2, 2 KOs) will tangle with undefeated, world-rated Jade “Hurricane” Bornea (14-0, 10 KOs) for the vacant North American Boxing Federation (NABF) super flyweight title, RJJ Boxing’s first show of 2020 has the full potential to be the best its ever promoted on UFC FIGHT PASS.
Dominguez (20-0, 16 KOs), fighting out of Fort Worth, Texas, takes on former Brazilian champion Vitor “La Amenaza” Jones Freitas (16-5, 10 KOs) in the 8-round, co-featured event. The exciting Dominguez, 28, has increased the level of opposition since fighting on RJJ Boxing cards in two of his three four fights. The big puncher stopped 17-2 Ravshan Hudaynazarov in the first round, 23-9-2 Fabian Lyimo in the second.
Riding an 8-fight KO streak, Dominguez faces an experienced challenger who has been in tough against International Boxing Federation (IBF) lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez, WBC World Youth lightweight titlist Jamaine Ortiz, Georgian prospect Enriko Gogokhia and Canadian favorite Sebastian Bouchard.
“I feel that either hand has knockout power,” Dominguez said, “but I could damage all my opponents during the early part of my career with precise left hook to the body. Now, my physical training continues to improve power ion both my hands.
“UFC FIGHT PASS has really motivated me since I am finally getting more exposure. The RJJ Boxing guys are super nice and make me feel welcome. They make me feel welcome and that I belong with them. I will not disappoint my manager, Terry Hollan, Roy Jones Jr. Boxing and UFC FIGHT PASS.”
Dominguez had a sterling 62-4 amateur record with 36 knockouts. His strict father kept Santiago sway from bad influences in their native Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico. He turned pro in 2014, immediately displaying power in both hands.
“My opponent has smaller but quicker hands,” Dominguez added. “I assume he will try to move rather than stand in front of me. I am working with some faster guys right now to prepare. He is really open to an over-hand right.
“In 2020, I plan to fight often and train hard in the USA. There are many great fighters in the division, but I am preparing and ready to win a championship if given the opportunity”
Delgadillo, fighting out of Dallas, is a former World Boxing Council (WBC) United States super flyweight and Texas State flyweight titlist, who will be fighting for the first time since the summer of 2018.
Filipino prospect Bornea, rated No. 10 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and No. 15 by the World Boxing Association (WBA), is a former IBF Youth World champion who will be fighting in the United States for the first time.
Undefeated middleweight Connor “The Kid” Coyle (11-0, 4 KOs), representing Northern Ireland, returns against Miguel Dumas (11-2, 9 KOs), of Mexico, in an 8-round bout. Coyle has become a UFC FIGH PASS regular having already fought on the streaming giant three times.
Two undefeated Northwest light heavyweight prospects, Seattle’s popular Richard Van Sicien (7-0, 3 KOs) and Oregonian Abraham Martin (5-0, 5 KOs), open the UFC FIGHT PASS stream in a 6-round match.
Italy, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Colombia will make the final cut before the qualifiers for Tokyo 2020
Nearly 60 boxers from five countries will gather in Medellin from February 1 to 11 to set up a training camp in the city, promoted and sponsored by the World Boxing Association (WBA), for the qualifying tournaments for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Boxers from Colombia, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Italy have confirmed their attendance to this training camp, which will offer them the opportunity to make final technical adjustments and to fight, as part of the ultimate stage of their preparation prior to the Olympic qualifiers.
“The WBA’s impulse to this initiative is part of our ‘Future WBA Champion’ program, which we have designed to promote and strengthen Olympic boxing, making available the tools, values, experience and institutional support that a centenary organization like ours can offer for their development and growth,” said Gilberto Jesús Mendoza, president of the World Boxing Association.
In the course of the concentration, the WBA Academy will offer the delegations workshops and courses directed to trainers and technical staff.
“For the WBA, boxing is one, by definition and based on its principles. Since we launched the ‘Future WBA Champion’ program last December we have sponsored several events in the United States and Europe, contributing, building value, working for the integrity of boxing and sharing the athletes’ dreams of qualifying for Tokyo 2020 and becoming Olympic champions. That is why we are committed to giving these boys coming to Medellin a chance for better preparation in search of their place in the Olympic Games and to fight for a medal, the dream of every athlete,” added Mendoza.
The oldest boxing organization in the world remains committed to making the integration of Pro/Am boxing as organic and ideal as possible, an objective of President Gilberto Jesús Mendoza’s “One Boxing” plan.
Unbeaten WBC International Super Welterweight Champion Abass Baraou (8-0, 5 KOs) will face Mexico’s Abraham ‘Pitbull’ Juarez (16-4, 6 KOs) on January 25th at the ‘Work Your Champ Arena’ in Hamburg, Germany.
Baraou, one of Germany’s most exciting contenders, will be facing Mexican opposition for the second time in his career having outpointed former World Champion Carlos Molina over 12 rounds in February 2019 to win the WBC International Super Welterweight title in Koblenz.
A successful 2019 saw Baraou claim four victories from four fights and the unbeaten 24-year-old is hoping to take his good form into 2020 as he works towards a World title.
“I am looking forward to this fight,” said Baraou. “I’m feeling good and I’ve been preparing myself properly as always. I am 100% focused on getting another victory.”
Mexico’s Juarez, nicknamed ‘Pitbull’ due to his tenacious come-forward style, believes he has the ingredients required to cause an upset.
“It’s no secret that Mexicans have the biggest heart and bravery,” said Juarez. “I’m not sure if Baraou can handle that. The last time he faced a Mexican, Carlos Molina, it was the toughest fight of his career. I am going to give him hell on January 25th and I will return home with the victory!”
Promoter Nisse Sauerland is looking forward to the exciting Baraou once again putting on a show for the spectators.
“Seeing Abass in the ring is a real pleasure,” said Sauerland. “He improves technically and tactically every fight and he’s rightly among the top 10 and top 15 in the world with two of the governing bodies.”
Also on the card is IBO International Super Lightweight Champion Artem Harutyunyan (8-0, 5 KOs), Robert Harutyunyan (8-0-1, 3 KOs) and James Kraft (16-0-1, 9 KOs). Further fights and opponents will be announced shortly.
All the action from the Work Your Champ Arena will be broadcast live on SPORT1 in Germany.
Promoter Sampson Lewkowicz proudly announces he has signed Bangkok, Thailand, slugger Apinun Khongsong to a co-promotional contract, along with Jimmy Chaichotchuang of Kiat Kreerin Promotions.
23-year-old Khongsong (16-0, 13 KOs) is the mandatory challenger to WBA and IBF Super Lightweight World Champion Josh Taylor of Scotland. Khongsong became the IBF’s mandatory by scoring a fifth-round knockout over Akihiro Kondo this past February.
Co-promoter Chaichotchuang says he and Khongsong were in attendance for Taylor’s World Boxing Super Series unanimous decision victory over Ivan Baranchyk last May and the pair say they see holes in the Scotsman’s game.
“We are very confident,” said Chaichotchuang of Taylor. “We know we can beat him. My fighter is a very, very hard puncher and he will beat Josh. And when he does he will go on to become the ‘Pacquiao of Thailand.’
”Chaichotchuang says he’s happy to be working with his old partner Lewkowicz on the promising Thai’s career.
“I’ve known Sampson for almost 20 years and he’s a good man. I feel very good about this deal and for my fighter’s future.”
Lewkowicz, who says he will begin negotiations almost immediately for the Taylor vs. Khongsong match-up, says he’s also happy to have inked this co-promotional.
“I’ve known Jimmy for many years, and we’ve done a lot of good business together,” said Lewkowicz. “Jimmy is very loyal and honest and I’m very proud to be helping him represent the best fighter from Thailand in all of boxing. Khongsong is a very hard puncher and not many fighters will be able to take his punches, especially at 140 lbs.”
Dmitriy Salita proudly announces the signing of undefeated Detroit-based welterweight Joseph Bonas to a co-promotional contract.
Bonas (6-0, 5 KOs), a four-time national champion as an amateur and twin brother of also undefeated welterweight Jacob Bonas, is an immensely popular Romanian American with star potential.
The 26-year-old puncher trains with top-tier chief second Javan “Sugarhill” Steward at the new Kronk Gym and says he’s got big plans now that he’s inked a contract with the up-and-coming Salita.
“I feel great about singing with Dmitriy Salita,” said Bonas. “Me and (now co-promoter) Cameron Dunkin (of Now Promotions) knew it was going to be a great decision. He is making a lot of big moves and putting fighters in great positions and his shows are on a big level. He’s based in Detroit, close to me and is making real noise as a promoter. His work speaks for itself. I know where Salita can get me and it’s the very top.”
The confident Bonas revealed some ambitious plans for his fistic future.
I want to fight as much as I can this year and work on dropping my weight to 140 while racking up wins. I’m currently fighting at a catch weight from 147 to 152. My overall goal in boxing is to, of course, become a world champion and make as much money as I can and put my family in a better place. I also want to show people that I am the next Detroit great. I will take this sport over and win titles in more than one weight class
Bonas will have his first fight as a Salita Promotions fighter this Friday, January 10, a four-rounder against Steubenville, Ohio’s Glenn Mitchell (3-4, 3 KOs) on the untelevised undercard of undisputed middleweight champion Claressa Shields’ 10-round main-event showdown for the vacant WBC and WBO 154-pound titles against Croatia’s Ivana Habazin (20-3, 7 KOs) at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. and live on SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
“Joseph Bonas is one of the best prospects in boxing and I am very excited about working with him,” said Dmitriy Salita. “He comes from the old Kronk Gym and is the connection between the rich history of the past and the future. I believe that he, along with his brother Jacob, will bring big championship fights to the city of Detroit.”
Brother Jacob Bonas (4-0-1, 2 KOs) will also appear this Friday in a four-rounder against Highwood, Illinois’ Christian Rivera (1-0-1).
In the night’s other televised bouts, undefeated welterweight Jaron Ennis (24-0, 22 KOs) will take on hard-punching Bakhtiyar Eyubov (14-1-1, 12 KOs) in the 10-round co-main event and in the telecast opener, WBA Super Middleweight Champion Alicia Napoleon Espinosa (12-1, 7 KOs) meets IBF Champion Elin Cederroos (7-0, 4 KOs) in a 168-pound world title unification.
The event is promoted by Salita Promotions in association with T-REX BOXING PROMOTIONS. The Napoleon-Espinosa vs Cederroos fight is promoted by Salita Promotions in association with DiBella Entertainment.
ABOUT SALITA PROMOTIONS
Salita Promotions was founded in 2010 by Dmitriy Salita, a professional boxer and world-title challenger who saw the need for a promotional entity to feature boxing’s best young prospects and established contenders in North America and around the world. Viewers watching fighters on worldwide television networks including Showtime, HBO, ESPN, Spike TV, Universal Sports Network, UFC Fight Pass, DAZN, ESPN+ and MSG have enjoyed Salita Promotions fight action in recent years. We pride ourselves on offering our fighters opportunities inside and outside the ring. Salita Promotions looks forward to continuing to grow and serve the needs of fight fans around the globe.
JOE “THE BEAST” SMITH JR. (24-3 20KO’S) made his pro-debut in 2009 and spent much of his early years in boxing developing in the New York boxing scene, most notably at Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing praised “Rockin’ Fight” series at The Paramount. Fast forward to 2016 and the year of “THE BEAST” was truly upon us.
Starting in June of ’16, Smith Jr. traveled to Chicago, the hometown of then #2 world rated light heavyweight, ANDREZJ FONFARA. In a stunning upset, Smith Jr. unleashed a furious double-handed attack, delivering a perfectly placed right to the temple of the home-town 16-1 favorite, dropping Fonfara just 64-seconds into the fight. Fonfara wearily rose to his feet, but it wasn’t long until Smith Jr. resumed his onslaught, planting Fonfara on the canvas for good, at the 2:32 mark of the first round. Smith Jr. earned the WBC International Light Heavyweight Title as well as upset of the year honors.
With momentum on his side, Smith Jr. was hand-picked by boxing legend, BERNARD HOPKINS as the opponent for his farewell fight on HBO at The Forum in California. However, come fight night, Smith Jr. was the one bidding farewell, as he landed a devasting multi-punch combination in the eight-round, sending Hopkins clear out of the ring, and into retirement. Smith Jr. would be the first, and only, fighter to knockout the legend, Hopkins. With this TKO victory, Smith Jr. defended his WBC International light heavyweight title and became the #2 rated light heavyweight in the world.
Turning to 2017, Smith Jr. found himself going toe to toe with Cuban veteran, SULLIVAN BARRERA, back at The Forum on HBO. Once again showing his immense power, a one punch overhand right landed flush on the top of Barrera’s head, putting the Cuban on the floor. To the vet’s credit, Barrera would stand inside the 10-count and continue the fight. In the second-round, Smith Jr. would break his jaw, but incredibly continued to fight for the remaining eight-rounds of the bout. Smith Jr. would fall short by decision, but received praise for his insane toughness, and fortitude.
Finally recovered from his injury, Smith Jr. made his triumphant return to the ring at Mohegan Sun Arena in 2018, taking on tough southerner, MELVIN RUSSELL. Wasting no time returning to his power punching ways, Smith Jr. devoured the over-matched Russell by a devastating upper cut, causing referee Steve Willis to stop the action just 2:40 into the first round.
2019 saw Smith Jr. get his first crack at a world title against Russian technician, DMITRY BIVOL at Turning Stone Resort Casino for the WBA World Light Heavyweight Championship. Smith Jr. would take the champion the full 12-rounds, highlighted by a massive right hand that landed at the end of the tenth-round leaving Bivol on unsteady legs, however, without enough time left on the clock to capitalize. Smith Jr. would fall short by unanimous decision to Bivol in the championship fight.
With the start of 2020, Smith Jr. returns to familiar territory, fighting his way into world championship contention. The “Common Man” as he is affectionately known by his fellow union members, must first take on former two-time world title challenger, JESSE “HOLLYWOOD” HART (Philadelphia, PA 26-2 21 KO’s) in a top light heavyweight battle. Hart, mentored by Bernard Hopkins, believes this is his chance to get revenge for the way Hopkins was defeated by Smith in 2016. Smith Jr. knows a spectacular victory over the likes of Hart, puts another world title challenge at arms-length. One thing is for sure, fireworks are bound to be set off, and a great main event lies ahead this Saturday night.