Poll: Will Dmitry Bivol or Joe Smith Jr. Win the Title Match in Verona?
A full card of boxing is coming to Turning Stone Resort & Casino on Saturday, March 9, but the main event is light heavyweight world champ Dmitry Bivol's fifth title defense — this time, against Joe Smith Jr. (Click here for ticket info.)
Here's a look at what the two competitors bring to the ring:
Record: 15-0, 11 KOs
Career highlights: He has held the WBA light heavyweight title since May 2016, after winning the Russian national amateur boxing championships in 2012 and 2014. He also won a bronze medal at the 2008 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in the middleweight division; his amateur boxing record is 268-15.
Quote: “I want to say thank you to all of you guys who work with me and help me," Bivol said in a news conference Jan. 18, according to BoxingNews24.com. "I am glad that my team decided the way of my career and the way that we work with DAZN. Thanks to Joe Smith and his team for taking this fight. I think we will make great fight and I will keep my belt.”
Joe Smith Jr.
Record: 24-2, 20 KOs
Career highlights: According to Wikipedia, he "held the regional WBC International light heavyweight title from 2016 to 2017. He rose to prominence in 2016 by scoring an upset knockout victory over Andrzej Fonfara, and later becoming the first boxer to score a stoppage victory over former undisputed middleweight world champion Bernard Hopkins, who retired after their fight."
Quote: “This is a huge opportunity for me," Smith said in a news conference Jan. 18, according to BoxingNews24.com. "I am going to take full advantage. I want to thank DAZN and Bivol for giving me this shot. I want to thank everyone who made this fight happen. I have had a lot of ups and downs in my career. Come March 9, I will be 100 percent and hopefully will be taking that title home with me.”