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Boxing Results: Joe Smith Jr defeats Maxim Vlasov to win WBO 175-lb title


By Allan Fox: The punching power of Joe Smith Jr (27-3, 21 KOs) bailed him out on Saturday night with his 12 round majority decision win over Maxim Vlasov (45-4, 26 KOs) at the Osage Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The scores were 115-113, 115-112 for Smith, and 114-114.

Vlasov, 34, was out-boxing Smith through the first 10 rounds, but then he hurt the Russian fighter in the 11th. Smith finished strong with a nice 12th round with him landing big shots.

Vlasov hit the deck in the 11th, but the knockdown didn’t count because Smith had hit him with a rabbit punch while attempting to finish him.

Smith already had Vlasov hurt before the rabbit punch, but the referee focused on the foul and didn’t count the knockdown. In the 12th, Smith continued to land good shots against the still hurt and tired-looking Vlasov.

Smith hurt Vlasov in the seventh round with a big right hand to the head that had him staggering. That was a big Smith round, as he battered Vlasov for the full three minutes.

At the end of the round, Vlasov went back to his corner on shaky legs, and it looked like he wasn’t going to make it through the eighth. Somehow Vlasov was able to recuperate, and he came back strong in the 8th round to get the better of Smith.

From rounds 8 through 10, Vlasov got the better of Smith with his head movement and nice volume punching. Smith literally couldn’t keep up with Vlasov, and he was bothered by a cut that he suffered over his left eye in the first round.

Smith was landing some big shots throughout the fight, but Vlasov took the power shots well. Although Vlasov showed no signs of being visibly hurt, he was bleeding from the mouth in the fifth, and taking punishment but he was able to continue to fight hard.

Smith made his job much harder with all the wide hooks he was throwing, and he wasn’t able to connect those punches.

If Smith had focused on straight shots down the middle, he would have had more success in hitting the elusive Vlasov.

Also, Smith wasn’t throwing a lot of body shots in the fight, and that made it easier for Vlasov to avoid his punches upstairs. In the championship rounds, Smith started doing well when he began to concentrate on Vlasov’s body.

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