Wednesday, March 22, 2023  |



Joe Smith Jr. is in talks with Jean Pascal for a possible fall fight

Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

Joe Smith Jr. is in preliminary talks to face former titleholder Jean Pascal in a possible fall clash, Smith’s promoter Joe DeGuardia told

DeGuardia rejected the idea that Smith would face former Olympic bronze medalist Oleksandr Gvozdyk in a WBC world title eliminator, saying the WBC had not yet formally mandated the match. Smith is currently rated No. 2 in the WBC’s light heavyweight ratings while the Ukrainian Gvozdyk is No. 6

Rather, DeGuardia said he’s working on a possible fight with Pascal for Smith if a bout with WBC light heavyweight titleholder Adonis Stevenson can’t be made. DeGuardia also mentioned Yunieski Gonzalez, another fighter he promotes who lost to Pascal in 2015, and even fellow Long Islander Seanie Monaghan, as possible back-up options.

Smith (22-1, 18 knockouts) is a hot commodity after his shocking first-round knockout of heavily favored Andrezej Fonfara in June. Stevenson (28-1, 23 KOs) is coming off a fun fourth-round stoppage of Thomas Williams Jr. last Friday. Pascal, 33, was thrashed in seven rounds by unified champion Sergey Kovalev in January.

“Right now we’re waiting to see a couple options and we’re trying to figure out the best scenario for him,” DeGardia said in a phone interview. “He had a spectacular win and certainly we’re looking for the biggest fights out there. Right now I’d love to see Joe fight Adonis Stevenson so if they’re going to order something that’s what I would hope they would order.”