Dmitry Bivol vs. Joe Smith Jr. – weigh-in results
By Mike Smith: WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (15-0, 11 KOs) weighed in at 173.5 pounds on Friday for his title defense against challenger Joe Smith Jr. (24-2, 20 KOs) on Saturday night on DAZN at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, in Verona. Smith Jr. weighed in at 173 lbs.
Both fighters looked in great shape. There were no attempts at intimidation during the face off. Bivol, 28, stared at Smith Jr. with a blank look on his face. If anything, Smith looked kind of afraid, but he’s been looking that way in the meetings with the talented Russian Bivol.
Smith Jr. obviously knows what he has in store for him in taking on Bivol. Smith Jr. is a fighter that has won with his power, but he’s never shown that he can beat the better fighters. He was beaten by Sullivan Barrera in 2017, and that’s a guy that Bivol defeated a year ago by a knockout in the twelfth round.
Smith has no other options but to try and get a quick knockout in this fight, because he doesn’t have the boxing skills to hang with a fighter of Bivol’s class. The guy that Smith should be fighting right now is Sullivan Barrera, who beat him with ease two years ago.
In other weights on the card, WBO light welterweight champion Maurice Hooker (25-0-3, 17 KOs) weighed in successfully at 140 lbs for his voluntary defense against fringe contender Mikkel LesPierre (21-0-1, 10 KOs). Hooker weighed in a half pound over the limit at 140.5 lbs in his first weigh-in attempt on the scales. Hooker returned later and weighed in at 140.25 lbs on the second attempt. After returning to his dressing room to boil down some more, Hooker finally got down to 140 pound limit. He celebrated by shouting out, and the boxing fans cheered him. Had Hooker missed weight, he would have lost his WBO title. The fight would have still taken place, but the WBO 140 lb title would have only been available to LesPierre. For his part, the little known LesPierre weighed in at 138.75.
Unless Hooker is weakened from having taken off the weight, he should have no problems beating the 34-year-old LesPierre, who has faced no one that can be considered a talented fighter during his seven year pro career. The question that a lot of boxing fans have been asking is why did Matchroom dig up LesPierre for Hooker to defend his title against rather than a halfway decent contender? There are many better fighters in the World Boxing Organization’s top 15 that Matchroom could have selected for Hooker to defend against. It gives the impression that Hooker is someone that needs to be coddled rather than matched tough. For Hooker to become a an attraction, he’s going to have to be matched against much better opposition than this. The casual fans will not have heard of LesPierre, and neither will the hardcore fans.
Light heavyweight contender Callum Johnson weighed in at 173 lbs for his 10 round fight against Sean Monaghan. Seanie weighed in at 174 lbs. Johnson is a big puncher, who is coming off of a fourth round knockout loss to IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev. It was a competitive fight in which Johnson dropped Beterbiev. Johnson was stopped once Beterbiev figured him out in the fourth round. Monaghan, 37, is coming off of a one-sided 10 round decision loss to Sullivan Barrera in his last fight in November.
Heavyweight Sergey Kuzmin weighed in at 248 lbs, while his opponent journeyman Joey Dawejko weighed in at 250 lbs.
Other weights on the card are as follows:
Israil Madramov 151.5 vs Frank Rojas 152.5
Junior Younan 171.5 vs Derrick Findley 172
Otha Jones III 132.5 vs Giorgi Gelashvili 134.25
Nikita Ababiy 162.5 vs Corey Dulaney 160