Eleider Alvarez vs Joe Smith Jr on Aug.22 on ESPN+
Leave the judges at home because Eleider “Storm” Alvarez and Joe “The Beast” Smith Jr. are coming for the knockout.
Alvarez and Smith will face off in a WBO light heavyweight world title eliminator in Top Rank’s return to the MGM Grand Conference Center Saturday, Aug. 22. Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM), Alvarez vs. Smith and a co-feature will stream live on ESPN+ starting at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
“I can’t wait to sit back and watch this fight, which features two of the light heavyweight division’s biggest punchers,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “It’s a 50-50 fight and a great way to kick off our return to MGM Grand.”
Said Alvarez, “This fight is critical for both of our careers. I respect Joe Smith, who has proven to be an elite fighter. However, I have all the tools to beat him, and that’s what I intend to do. My goal is to become a two-time light heavyweight world champion.”
Said Smith, “This fight means everything to me. It’s my path to a world title fight, and I know this is my second chance to turn my dream into reality. Alvarez is a former world champion, and in my mind, I am treating this as a world title fight. To get there, I have to, and will, win this fight.”
Alvarez (25-1, 13 KOs) is a former Colombian Olympian who has made Montreal his home since turning pro in 2009. He gained widespread recognition following victories over Lucian Bute and Jean Pascal, but his August 2018 knockout win over longtime champion Sergey Kovalev earned him the WBO light heavyweight world title and recognition as one of the world’s top fighters.
Alvarez lost a decision to Kovalev in a rematch the following February, but after recovering from a foot injury, he returned stronger than ever. He headlined a Top Rank on ESPN main event January 18 and knocked out Michael Seals with a single right hand. The knockout, an instant viral video sensation, became an early frontrunner for Knockout of the Year.
Smith (25-3, 20 KOs), from Long Island, rose to prominence in 2016 as the construction worker member of the Laborers Local 66 union who knocked out top contender Andrzej Fonfara and living legend Bernard Hopkins in back-to-back fights. He fell short in his only world title shot, a March 2019 decision defeat to WBA champion Dmitry Bivol.
The Bivol fight was a minor hiccup, as he returned in January and neutralized Jesse Hart over 10 one-sided rounds in a Top Rank on ESPN main event in Atlantic City. Smith, who now owns and operates a residential tree service company on Long Island, hopes to punch his ticket to another title shot. A win over Alvarez will assure him of that opportunity.
Joe DeGuardia, Smith’s promoter, said, “I just love watching Joe Smith Jr. fight. He is a true throwback, a fan-favorite with tremendous punching power. It will be thrilling to see him against Alvarez, who is one of the top fighters in the game.
Not only will boxing fans see two of the toughest light heavyweights battle it out in a fight that will ultimately determine the WBO world champion, but this has all the makings of the Fight of the Year.”
WENDY “HAITIAN FIRE” TOUSSAINT TO FIGHT ON UNDERCARD OF JOE SMITH JR.’S WBO TITLE ELIMINATOR VS ELEIDER ALVAREZ ON AUGUST 22
TOUSSAINT TO TAKE ON DETROIT’S, ISIAH JONES
Undefeated, Haitian born, Long Island super welterweight WENDY “HAITIAN FIRE” TOUSSAINT (11-0 5KO’s) has been making a name for himself in the tri-state area since his pro-debut at Star Boxing’s “Rockin’ Fights” series.
Now, the 28-year old Toussaint will lace them up in Las Vegas for the first time in his toughest test to date, against Detroit’s ISIAH JONES (9-2 3KO’s). The bout will take place on the undercard of Toussaint’s fellow Long Island sparring partner and Star Boxing stablemate, #4 world rated (WBO) light heavyweight, JOE “THE BEAST” SMITH JR.’s (25-3 2KO’s) WBO World Title Eliminator against #3 world rated (WBO) light heavyweight, ELEIDER “STORM” ALVAREZ (25-1).
Toussaint has found dynamite in his hands as of late, winning five of his last six bouts by knockout. This past February, Toussaint took on the always tough Jermaine Corley at The Paramount. With his full arsenal on display, Toussaint disposed Corley via second round TKO after a vicious uppercut, followed by a right hand.
Watch the full fight, HERE.
Toussaint had this to say about the opportunity, “I am ready to fight. I am always ready to fight. Nothing changes for me. The Haitian Fire is ready, anytime, anywhere.”
Jones will be making his third straight appearance at The Bubble, against his fourth consecutive undefeated opponent. In his most recent bout, Jones earned a tough fought majority decision over previously unbeaten Donte Stubbs. The 26-year-old Detroit native will look to keep the momentum on August 22.
“Wendy is a talented boxer,” said Star Boxing CEO JOE DEGUARDIA, “he has a very high ring IQ and power in both hands. He has tremendous potential. Jones will be a great test for Wendy.”
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