Joe Smith Jr. Returns With Devastating KO
Returning to the ring after an 11-month layoff due to a
broken jaw, Joe "The Beast" Smith, Jr. provided early
fireworks last night (Saturday, June 30) in the latest
installment in the popular "Slugfest at The Sun" series,
presented by Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing, at Mohegan Sun
Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
"Slugfest at The Sun" was taped live and will air July 19, 8
-10 p.m. ET, on New England Sports Network (NESN). Star
Boxing's next event, "Rockin' Fights", September 21 at the
Paramount in Huntington, NY, will also air via tape- delay
Rated No. 3 and No. 7 in the world, respectively, by the
World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Association
(WBA), Smith (24-2, 20 KOs) hurt Melvin "The Romantic
Redneck" Russell (11-5-2, 7 KOs) with the first punch he
landed and finished the show, two devastating knockdowns
later, in the opening round.
"I hit him with a decent shot when I was walking him down
and saw that I hurt him," Joe Smith Jr. explained. "So, I
looked to end it. I would have liked to have gotten some
rust off, but I'm happy with my performance. My jaw feels
"We're looking to go to the top," Smith's promoter Joe
DeGuardia stated. "Joe's plan and goal has always been to be
world champion. We wanted (Sergey) Kovalev before this
fight, but it didn't work out. We're hoping to get him in
"Kovalev looks great, he motivates me," Smith noted. "I
think I can take advantage of his conditioning."
Coming off her historic fight this past May against the
undefeated Queen of Boxing Cecelia Breakhus, who won a
10-round decision in the first female fight to air on HBO,
three-time world champion Kali "KO Mequinonoag" Reis
(14-7-1, 4 KOs) cruised past Mexican welterweight Patty "Las
Elegante" Ramirez (11-6, 5 KOs), a former world title
challenger, winning all eight rounds.
"She was a survivor," Reis commented. "There was a lot we
wanted to work on, body shots, jabs and more ... getting
more comfortable. I executed the plan my corner gave me and
got the job done.
A Native American from Rhode Island, Reis wants a rematch
with Breakhus, "I know I need to stay busy, active and
remain fighting at welterweight to get the rematch," Reis
added. "I'm going to stay on her tail. I'll be ready when it
happens, I really want it to happen."
In the television opener, undefeated junior welterweight
"Action" Anthony Laureano (8-0 3KO's) lived up to his
nickname, never taking a backwards step, as he pounded Juan
Rodriguez (8-10-1 6KO's) in the center of the ring from the
opening bell through the end for a dominant six-round
unanimous decision. The 2016 New England Golden Gloves
champion Laureano, who fights out of East Hartford, CT, put
on an entertaining show in front of his large, loud
contingent of fans. Laureano effectively used every punch in
his vast arsenal to break down a tough, game Rodriguez.
"I thought I did well," Laureano said after the fight, "but
I'd like to see more angles. I want to see more power, too.
It's there, he felt it; it's coming. I have a long road.
Next fight, I'd like to have an eight-rounder. We're adding
more people to the team. I hope everyone see that I'm
getting better each fight. I have more tools and my
discipline is there."
Undefeated junior middleweight Wendy "Haitian Fire"
Toussaint (9-0, 3 KOs) lit up an overwhelmed Andy Gonzalez
(6-3, 5 KOs), battering him from pillar to post, until
referee Steve Willis waved off the fight in the third round.
Haiti-native Toussaint, now living in Huntington, NY, used
his superior power and speed to make an impressive
Popular South Boston southpaw Joe Farina (3-0, 2 KOs)
overcame a flash knockdown during the opening seconds of the
fight, using a relentless attack to defeat junior
welterweight Steve Moore (1-4, 1 KO), by way of a four-round
Irish junior welterweight "Lethal" Larry Fryers (formerly
known as Gleeson) improved his record to 7-1 (2 KOs) with a
six-round unanimous decision over Anthony Woods (1-7-1).
Fighting out of Yonkers NY, Fryers floored Woods with a left
hook at the end of round two. Woods was penalized a point
near the end of the final round for an intentional head
Former U. of New Haven basketball star Cassius Chaney (13-0,
7 KOs), fighting out of New London (CT), kept his undefeated
record intact, dropping Mexican heavyweight Elder Hernandez
(5-3, 3 KOs) twice before referee Willis halted the match
near the end of the opening round.
The opening bout of the evening ended in the second round
and ruled a "No Contest" because of an accidental head butt
that left both fighters -- William "The Silent Assassin"
Foster III (8-0, 6 KOs) and Tyrome Jones (4-3-1, 1 KO) -
with serious head cuts and unable to continue.