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Sullivan Barrera defeats Joe Smith Jr. by one-sided decision

Photo by Tom Hogan / Hoganphotos-Golden Boy Promotions
15
Jul

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Power doesn’t mean much when you can’t land punches.

Joe Smith Jr., who made such a splash by stopping Andrzej Fonfara and Bernard Hopkins last year, put Sullivan Barrera down in the opening round but otherwise was outboxed and outworked in a 10-round light heavyweight bout on the Miguel Berchelt-Takashi Miura card Saturday night at The Forum.

Barrera (20-1, 14 knockouts) defeated Smith (23-2, 19 KOs) by scores of 96-93, 97-92, 97-92. RingTV.com had it 98-91 for Barrera.

“I feel very happy about this win. Joe Smith, Jr. is a great champion, and I respect him very much,” said Barrera, THE RING’s No. 8 light heavyweight. “This title wouldn’t have been possible with my amazing team, and my father here tonight was also amazing. When Smith, Jr. knocked me down in the second round, I got back up cause that’s who I am. In my fight with Shabranskyy the same thing happened. I shoot back up to get the victory.”

Photo by Tom Hogan / Hoganphotos-Golden Boy Promotions

The 35-year-old Cuban defector demonstrated from the opening seconds that he was the superior boxer, as he landed consistently and avoided the big punches of Smith. The Long Islander did send Barrera to the canvas late in the opening round with a left hand but struggled to find the target from then on.

Barrera never hurt Smith but it didn’t matter. He controlled the fight and clearly landed many more punches than Smith, THE RING’s No. 5 175-pounder entering the contest.

Barrera has now won three consecutive fights since he lost a unanimous decision to Andre Ward in March 2016. He figures as a possible opponent for promotional stablemate Sergey Kovalev in the Russian’s proposed November return.

  • ceylon mooney

    barrera looked good–hell, great. smith looked gunshy and clumsy for most of the fight. looked like a different fighter from his last
    few fights–it wasnt just barreras great performance smith wasnt any good. hw blew it.

    kellerman and jones were right btw–watchin barrera this time helps u appreciate how good andre ward is.

  • Charlie U.

    Maybe that Andre Ward guy ain’t so bad.

    • left hook

      Ward has always been good…u guys just need to dump your hating bias glasses away and get a good one.

      • Charlie U.

        I was being sarcastic, obviously. But you’re so quick to jump in with the race stuff that you can’t see it.

        • left hook

          Race? U brought it up not me buddy. Do u hate ward cuz his African American?

          • Charlie U.

            Are you trolling?

          • left hook

            Didn’t u bring up race? You always bring up race. Your problem is, u think anybody that supports Ward or Mayweather is black.

          • Charlie U.

            “Hating bias glasses”? That was your comment.

          • left hook

            Yep..whats racial about that? U could be bias towards other things…like his type of boxing skills. U always bring up race.

      • Kudos

        We wuz kangz

        • JV316

          kathy’s had one too many drinks. take a nap kathy

  • Kiowhatta

    I wonder what now for Smith Jr? Did he have an off night, or is he just not a good technician?

    • KillaBlu

      He isn’t a good technician. He has a lazy jab, doesn’t know how to make in-fight adjustments, and throws wild shots that most top fighters will see a mile away. I like Smith Jr. but he isn’t a world beater like a lot of people where hyping him up to be. He isn’t nearly as experienced as many other top contenders and it showed tonight, yeah he has two big names on his resume but one of those names didn’t even last a round and the other was a 52 year old who hadn’t fought in 2 years coming in, not a lot of real experience he could get out of that. I don’t want to hate on Smith Jr. but he needs to improve a LOT in order to stay at the upper escapades of the division.

      • April Ulm

        Ok so I feel compelled to speak up here.. Joey got his jaw broken sometime in the second round and kept going all ten! Joey is a true champion and has amazing skills have your jaw broken and fight at that level !!! He has proved himself and all you haters can hate all you want! He is an amazing young man athlete and champion

        • Mauro Hermida

          Are you related to him? I think a lot of us on this site like Smith. You have to be realistic. He has elite level power but club fighter skills at this point. He should get a trainer in there that will help him develop whatever he can at this stage. He got his jaw broken, ok. Why didn’t he try to end the fight as soon as possible? He ended up not punching at all and taking a beating. Why do that? I would have rather had him stop the fight and live to fight another day at 100 percent because he looked lost in there. It was pretty obvious that anything he landed on Barrera shook him. He will be lucky to get back on HBO with this type of performance. Its not some proud achievement to go 10 with your jaw messed up because he still lost and looked terrible doing so.

    • Dee Money

      I think he becomes the gate keeper to the upper echelon of one of boxing’s best divisions. Maybe he takes on Jack after he gets his feet wet at 175, or Yarde in a year or so.

      • Mauro Hermida

        Based on what I saw, Jack would beat him. I think Jack beats Barrera too.

        • ceylon mooney

          jack-barrera would be a fantastic matchup, but i favor barrera

        • Dee Money

          I’ll be interested to see what he can do at 175. I’d love to see him become a force and add on to an already stacked division.

        • DRE

          What about Jack versus either Stevenson or Kovalev?

  • Michel Desgrottes

    This makes Andre Ward look even better

    • left hook

      Bruv…it doesnt make him better but makes him excellent.

    • Kudos

      You would say that

  • Chris Stans

    Smith was overly cautious from the start, weird how he just ran and threw haymakers

    • ceylon mooney

      yea wtf was that? when the ref went to his corner i thought ok theres somethin goin on here.

      • April Ulm

        He did break his jaw! Sometime in the second round

        • ceylon mooney

          ah. that makes sense. bet it was that uppercut.

      • Mauro Hermida

        Where was the guy that went after BHOP? I know he was a 50 year old, but he is and was more skilled and crafty than Barrera. It was weird how he just decided to stay in heavy bag mode.

        • DRE

          At his best BHop was more crafty and skilled than Barrera. When he was still in 40s and beating guys like Tarver and Pascal. But not only was BHop past 50 he was faded, rusty and inactive after getting beat up by Kovalev in 12 lopsided rounds.
          And Barrera was better than most of us figured him for. So he lost to Andre Ward. So did Mikkel Kessler, Carl Frosh, Chad Dawson and Sergei Kovalev.

    • Mauro Hermida

      Broken jaw would explain much.

  • John Swan

    That’s why they call him “Average” Joe Smith.

    • left hook

      Lol

  • left hook

    Many guys on this site tried to hype Joe Smith up after beating a 100 years old Hopkins…lol. he was just lucky with Fonfora.

    • Kudos

      Know one hyped him up you race baiting piece of shit

      • left hook

        Huh! I guess your wife left you.lol.

  • Mike M.

    This fight confirmed what everyone should have known about Joe Smith. He’s just a big strong slugger. Good win by Barrera but still don’t see Barrera beating any of the top fighters of the division.

    • Mauro Hermida

      Not with his ok chin. Kovalev will put him to sleep early.

      • whatupdoe

        Kovalev’s chin isn’t great. He may very well get ko’d by Smith Jr.

      • left hook

        Weren’t you part of the hype train of smith
        ? Didnt u give him so much credit for beating a 50 years old Hopkins?

        • Mauro Hermida

          Dude, fuck you for trying to troll me. People should give smith credit for punching hops into retirement. I never said he was a world beater. I was happy to have another player at 175, which is what he is. He got his jaw broken early which explains his lack of fire, so I will interested to see how he bounces back. He has to improve if he wants to be a top guy. Barrera was there to be beat and he mailed it in. Kovalev will bury barrera early or do you disagree?

          • left hook

            No am not trolling u, am just pointing out your bias mentality.
            U gave Smith credit for beating a grandpa but discredit another (Floyd) for beating champions not near Hopkins age.
            I could give u more of your inconsistencies if u require.
            On Barrera Smith fight. Guess what, Bererra broke the jaw..whose fault is that…the aim is to deliver the maximum damage to your opponent. Isn’t that what you blood thirsty guys like? Same thing u said after Garcia beat Lucas. You blamed Lucas eye. As if his eye was swollen before the fight.
            Berrera just beat a guy u rated high, give credit where is due. U already saying he will lose to Kovalev…lol. well we don’t know until they fight. Kovalev has been rocked or dropped by non punches and Barrera can punch. So we just have to wait and see.

      • DRE

        Maybe. But wasn’t Smith suppose to make easy work of Barrera as well. Kov off course a better fighter than Smith but he does have stamina issues and if Barrera can get past the middle rounds he might pull off another upset.

        • Charlie U.

          Barrera was actually the betting favorite in that fight.

  • Left Hook2

    Let’s call it like it is…Joe is a fighter with great power and limited skills. He caught Fonfara with a huge shot as he was getting pasted himself, and he beat a 52-yr old. Barrera looked like a different fighter than the deer-in-the-headlights bout with ward. I think maybe he was too much in awe of andre and froze. Let’s just enjoy Joe for what he is and thank him for kayoing bhop into retirement. For that I will always be grateful.

    • Stephen M

      I have to give credit to Ward for making Barrera look ordinary.

      • ceylon mooney

        man no shit. its like barrera and smith fought totally different people

      • left hook

        Wow…u give Ward credit? I guess u born again too.

        • Stephen M

          Not sure why you are off of it, but back you go on my blocked list!

          • left hook

            Oh u blocked me before? Didnt even notice..lol. no big deal if u are born again..u need Jesus anyway.