Some expected Joe Smith Jr. to be a sturdy test for young champion Dmitry Bivol, but on Saturday night at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y., the Kyrgyzstani made it look easy.
Bivol (16-0, 11 KOs) did virtually whatever he wanted, when he wanted for 12 full rounds against Smith to retain his WBA light heavyweight strap. Bivol moved beautifully in the ring and countered Smith’s attacks all night and when he led with punches, he controlled the pace. Smith (24-3, 20 KOs) was never allowed into the fight and Bivol coasted to a landslide unanimous nod. The judges scored in favor of 118-110 and 119-109 (twice).
In the DAZN-televised co-feature, Maurice Hooker (26-0-3, 17 KOs) was equally dominant as he trounced Mikkel LesPierre (21-1-1, 10 KOs) for 12 rounds as well, also winning a lopsided unanimous decision. Hooker dropped LesPierre with a body shot in the ninth and won the judges’ verdict via tallies of 120-107, 119-108 and 118-109 to retain his WBO junior welterweight crown.
Also on the card, light heavyweight Callum Johnson improved to 18-1 by scoring his 13th career knockout when he blew away Sean Monaghan. Johnson felled Monaghan (29-3, 17 KOs) twice in the second and then finished him off with a barrage of punches when the referee finally stopped it 23 seconds into the third.
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