Boxing Results: WBO World Light Heavy Champ Joe Smith, Jr. Stops Steve Geffrard!

By Boxing News - 01/16/2022 - Comments

By Ken Hissner: At the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, in Verona, New York, over ESPN and ESPN+ Saturday night promoters Bob Arum (Top Rank) in association with Joe DeGuardia (Star Boxing) presented in the Main Event WBO World Light Heavyweight champion “The Beast from the East” Joe Smith, Jr. returning to action after nine months stopping late sub Steve Geffrard. In the co-feature event, the No. 3 ranked WBO Super Featherweight Abraham Nova stopped No. 7 WBA ranked William “El Gago” Encarnacion in eight rounds.

In the Main Event WBO World Light Heavyweight champ “The Beast from the East” Joe Smith, Jr., 27-3 (21), #174 ¼, of Long Island, NY, late sub Steve Geffrard, 18-2 (12), #173 ½, of Bell Ray Beach, FL, at 0:37 of round nine of a scheduled 12 rounds.

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In the first three rounds, it was all Smith landing overhand rights to the head of Geffrard, who kept his hands high, landing nothing more than some return jabs. In the fourth round, Smith was getting through the defense of Geffrard, easily taking another round.

In the fifth round, Smith continued on the attack having Geffrard in trouble in the final half-minute of the round with an overhand right on the chin driving him into the ropes. In the sixth round, Smith using a double jab, followed up with rights on the head, forcing Geffrard on the defense throughout the round.

In the seventh round, Smith used effective right uppercuts to the chin bringing down the guard of Geffrard wearing him down. In between rounds Geffrard complained of his left arm not feeling right. In the eighth round, Geffrard was throwing more rights than previously, but Smith continued outworking him. In the ninth round, Smith drove Geffrard to his knees with over a dozen punches for the count from referee Mark Nelson as the latter’s trainer Kevin Cunningham was coming up the steps to stop it.

In the co-feature super featherweight Abraham Nova, 21-0 (15), #126 ¾, of Catuaga, PR and Albany, NY, stopped late sub 2012 Olympian William “El Gago” Encarnacion, 19-1 (15), #127, of San Juan de la Maguana, DR, at 0:55 of the eighth round of a scheduled ten rounds.

In the first round making his USA debut, Encarnacion had Nova backing up as promised. He got Nova’s attention halfway through the round, landing a solid right on the chin. In the second round, it was Nova becoming the aggressor putting in more offense taking the round. Coming down from 130 to 126 may have been an adjustment for Nova. In the third round, Nova set up Encarnacion with lead rights followed by a left to the body. In the final minute, Encarnacion turned southpaw, slowing the offense of Nova down.

In the fourth round, Nova using a good body attack, had Encarnacion holding on, getting a warning from referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. In the fifth round, Nova continued having Encarnacion grabbing him with a left hook to the body, hurting him. At the bell, both were throwing punches forcing referee Esteves to separate them. In the sixth round, halfway through, a clash of heads caused a small cut on the right eyebrow of Nova. Nova continued wearing down Encarnacion, keeping him against the ropes and outworking him.

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In the seventh round, Nova stepped up the action hurting Encarcion several times. He ended the round with a right having Encarnacion hurt at the bell. In the eighth round, the bodywork of Nova caused Encaacion’s corner to call a halt to referee Esteves. Nova is managed by multi-boxer David McWater.

On the undercard over ESPN+ Cruiserweight Lyubomyr “Demolition Man” Pinchuk, 14-2-1 (8), #194 ½, of Lviv, UKR, out of Pittsburgh, PA, defeated late sub Jose “Bazooka” Mario Flores, 8-3-2 (4), #197 ½, of Washington, DC, over eight rounds.

In the first round, the taller Pinchuk used an effective jab against the always coming forward Flores, who outworked his taller opponent with a decent jab of his own. In the second round, after a minute, a clash of heads caused a cut on the left eyebrow of Pinchuk. In the final thirty seconds, Flores rocked Pinchuk with a right on the chin.

In the third and fourth rounds, Pinchuk started landing combinations having two good rounds keeping Flores on the defense. He even had a 3-punch combination taking a lot out of Flores in the final minute.

In the fifth round, Pinchuk rocked Flores with a right on the side of the head. He had Flores on the defense until the bell. In the sixth round, Flores opened up the cut for the first time since the second round.

In the seventh round, Flores got his second wind outworking Pinchuk in another close round. In the eighth and final round, Pinchuk knocked out the mouthpiece of Flores halfway through the round. With a minute left again, Pinchuk knocked out the mouthpiece of Flores having a big round. The referee was Charley Fitch.

Scores were 80-72 and 79-73 twice, with this writer 77-75.

Super Lightweight Omar “New Era” Rosario, 6-0 (2), #139 ¼, of Caguas, PR, defeated southpaw “Sugar” Raekwon Butler, 4-2 (2), #138 ¼, of Brooklyn, NY, six action rounds.

In the first round, Rosario came out firing with both hands. Halfway through the round, a right from Rosario on the chin hurt Butler. Rosario, in the final minute, landed half a dozen punches without return having referee Charley Fitch taking a good luck about stopping the onslaught. In the second round, Rosario came out looking for a stoppage when a clash of heads slowed things down. Butler started throwing lead lefts, trying to keep Rosario off of him with little success.

It was all Rosario until the final seconds when Butler landed his best punch, a left on the chin.

In the third and fourth rounds, Butler showed more offense holding his own though not enough to win the rounds from Rosario. In the fifth round, Butler had his best round, even doing some showboating, keeping Rosario’s offense limited. In the sixth and final round again, it was a competitive round with both having their moments, with Butler finishing the better of the two.

Scores were 58-55 and 59-53 twice. This writer had it 58-56.

Middleweight Olympian Troy “Transformer” Isley, 4-0 (2), #156 ¼, of Alexandria, VA, impressed in defeating gutsy southpaw Harry “Dragon Fly” Keenan Cruz-Cubano, 6-3 (2), #156 ¼, of PR and Jacksonville, FL, six rounds.

In the first round, an awkward southpaw Cruz-Cubano came out throwing punches until about half a minute when Isley started going to the body well. In the second round, Isley hurt Cruz-Cubano early with left hooks to the chin, causing blood from the nose of Cruz-Cubano.

In the final minute, Isley had Cruz-Cubano hurt again with a body shot from a left hook. In the third round, Cruz-Cubano never gave up forcing Isley to the ropes until Isley uppercuts had him backing off.

In the fourth round, Cruz-Cubano never stopped coming forward while Isley countered well taking having Cruz-Cubano bleeding from the nose, right cheek, and mouth.

In the sixth and final round halfway through, referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. took a point from Isley for a low blow after previous warnings earlier in the fight. Isley continued working the body and head, having Cruz-Cubano hurt with a minute left in the battle with a right uppercut on the chin. Isley is trained by Philly’s Al Mitchell.

Scores were 59-53 and 59-54 twice, with this writer 59-54.

Welterweight 18-year-old Jahi Tucker, 6-0 (4), #146 ¾, of Deer Park, NY, impressed in stopping Akeem Black, 6-5 (2), #145 ¾, of Chicago, IL, at 1:18 of the second round of a scheduled six rounds.

In the first round, Tucker came out with bad intentions head hunting having Black on the defense throughout, dropping Black in the final ten seconds with a combination on the chin, taking an 8-count as the bell sounded. In the second round, three right uppercuts on the chin from Tucker hurt Black causing referee Mark Nelson to waved it off.

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