WBO light heavyweight champion Joe Smith Jr. makes his first title defense on Saturday, after two separate fight changes. Smith faces last-minute replacement Steve Geffrard atop a card that will air on ESPN. The fight will be available via live stream on ESPN+.
The preliminary card gets underway at approximately 8 p.m. ET and will air exclusively via live stream. ESPN will broadcast the main card starting at 10 p.m. Smith and Geffrard are expected to make their ring walks early in the 11 p.m. hour.
Smith is 27-3 and is finally defending a title he won against Maxim Vlasov in a unanimous decision win last April. Smith was scheduled to face Umar Salamov last October but Smith came down with COVID-19. He was then scheduled to face Callum Johnson in this fight, but Johnson withdrew due to COVID-19.
Geffrard was added eight days ago. He is 18-2 and while he has faced nothing but tomato cans during his career, he has won 18 straight fights after an 0-2 start to his career. He’s a +700 underdog at DraftKings Sportsbook while Smith is a -1200 favorite. The favored fight outcome is Smith winning by KO, TKO, or DQ.
Full Card for Joe Smith Jr. vs. Steve Geffrard
- Main event: Joe Smith Jr. vs. Steve Geffrard, 12 rounds, for Smith’s WBO light heavyweight title
- Abraham Nova vs. William Encarnacion, 10 rounds, featherweight
- Lyubomyr Pinchuk vs. Jose Mario Flores, 8 rounds, heavyweights
- Omar Rosario vs. Raekwon Butler, 6 rounds, junior welterweight
- Troy Isley vs. Harry Keenan Cruz Cubano, 6 rounds, middleweight
- Jahi Tucker vs. Akeem Black, 6 rounds, welterweight