Joe Smith Jr. vs. Melvin Russell next Saturday
Like the boots they strap on to wear to work every morning and the boxing gloves they strap on to wear for training every night, both Joe Smith Jr. and Joe Farina know exactly what it means to put in a hard day’s work.
Joe Smith Jr. resides in Mastic, Long Island. His days begin, while most others are sleeping, at the hour of 4:30 AM, and he is on the job site by 6:00 AM. Smith Jr. is a laborer for Union Local 66. Wielding a sledge hammer, busting through concrete, working on projects such as the LIJ hospital in Stony Brook, Smith Jr. puts in a full day’s work, which is usually enough for an average person; however, Joe Smith Jr. is not that.
Post-construction work, the boxing work begins. Training mainly out of “Unique Fitness Xtreme” in Shirley, Long Island, Smith Jr. meets long time trainer Jerry Capobianco to put in hours of conditioning and boxing drills. Working on his devastating strength and speed, Smith Jr. finishes his day long since he first began it, and most impressively, does it all again the next day. It is this work ethic that finds Smith Jr. rated #3 (WBC) and #7 (WBA) in the world.
Joe Smith Jr. said this about how the Union made him into the fighter he is today, “It was good working around a lot of hard-working people,” continued Smith Jr., “men and women that get up every morning bright and early, drive into work, and work a long day. It was great to build mental toughness and give me motivation to work even harder in the ring and the gym ”
Bursting into stardom from his working man roots, Joe Smith Jr. hit the national stage when he viciously knocked out Andrzej Fonfara on NBC in Chicago, and later knocked out, multi-division world champion, and boxing legend, Bernard Hopkins, out of the ring, on HBO in California.
Born into an Italian family, and raised in South Boston, Joe Farina amassed great amateur experience both state-side and in Ireland. Farina, true to his Boston heritage, still trains and lives in South Boston, and even more impressively is a railroad laborer for Union Local 941. Like Smith Jr., Farina is up before the sun rises, works a full, hard day, and trains by night.
Farina had this to say about how the Union has helped in inside the ring, “Having solidarity behind you in your corner can take you a lot further than going into a fight alone.”
Farina made his professional debut as a late replacement in December 2017. Unfortunately for middleweight Lionel Young, the late notice for Farina was of no issue, stopping Young in three rounds. He is trained by John Curran, longtime cut man for two-time world champion Demetrius Andrade.
Both men trade in their work tools on June 30th in exchange for boxing gloves. Although Smith Jr. is a twenty-five fight veteran, and Farina will be stepping in for his third professional fight, the two have the bond of being true working men, attempting to reach the pinnacle of the American dream. Joe Smith Jr. will be featured in the main event of “SLUGFEST at the SUN” and Joe Farina will appear on the undercard of the stacked card on June 30th.
“SLUGFEST at the SUN” will feature immense talent from the New England area. Along with the much anticipated return of Joe Smith Jr., fans will also see the return of New England’s power punching star, Kali Reis, in the co-feature bout, coming off of a brilliant performance against undisputed women’s champion Cecilia Braekhus. Also highlighted on the undercard are undefeated New England prospects, Anthony Laureano, Cassius Chaney and Joe Farina.
After eleven months out of the ring due to a broken jaw, the “Common Man”, Union Local 66 laborer, Joe Smith Jr. returns at the beautiful Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. After coming off a stellar KO win on NBC against Andrzej Fonfara, and knocking out the legend, Bernard Hopkins, clear out of the ring, on HBO, Smith Jr. has his eyes set on winning a world title. Smith Jr. is currently rated #3 (WBC) and #7 (WBA) in the world.
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