Both JESSE “HOLLYWOOD” HART (Philadelphia, PA 26-2 21KO’s) and JOE “THE BEAST” SMITH JR. (Mastic Beach, Long Island 24-3 20KO’s) know that a lot is on the line when they step into the ring this Saturday night, January 11, at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City live on ESPN. Hart has turned this top light heavyweight battle into a “personal” vendetta against Smith Jr., who knocked his mentor, the legend, BERNARD HOPKINS out of the ring and into retirement, in 2016.
For the Long Island native, Joe Smith Jr., only business lies ahead at the Hard Rock, “I want people to talk about me the way Jesse Hart talks about Bernard Hopkins,” said a humorous Smith Jr. on yesterday’s national media tele-conference. With no love lost between the two, when asked about what his goal is in this fight, Smith Jr. pulled no punches, “it looks like I am going to have to let Philly down one more time.”
Coming off a tough battle with Russian Technician, DMITRY BIVOL in which Smith Jr. took the champion the full 12-rounds for the WBA World Light Heavyweight Championship, Smith Jr. knows a win against Hart is the only option. “I just always look to improving myself. I want to better my life. The way to do is to put on a great show and keep moving forward with my career,” said Smith Jr.
#HartSmithJr is the talk of the boardwalk and boxing leading up to this Saturday’s fight night, that is sure to bring heat to the new year. Tickets are available now at ticketmaster.com, and if you cannot make it, tune in starting at 10PM ET on ESPN.
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