Is Joe Smith Jr Heading to Retirement?
In his last bout, light heavyweight contender Joe “The Common Man” Smith Jr (28-4, 22 KO’s) suffered his most decisive professional loss. In that unification prizefight, Smith was quickly buzzed, hurt and then stopped by WBO, IBF and WBC 175-pound champion Artur Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KO’s). In fact, the Russian freight train collected Smith’s WBO title with the spoils of war.
True, the boxing world was near unanimous in believing that the battle of heavy-hitters was destined to end before the twelfth. Even with this being said though, the break-neck speed in which Beterbiev dismantled The Common Man was impressive. Now, just days after being violently dethroned, Smith has taken to his social media to address the public. Honorably, the one-time light heavyweight champion made no excuses, gave credit and left his career on a cliff hanger.
Putting the back-alley beating nature of the loss to the side, this should not be the end of the world for Smith. Beterbiev is arguably the best fighter in the division. Said to say, there is little shame in losing to the best. Also, in terms of the stoppage itself, diehard Smith fans can also argue he got hit and hurt very early. With the theory being had he gotten warmed up, it might have been a whole different story.
In the end however, should Smith choose to continue his career, there will no doubt be a bevy of options for him. He is still an exciting, well-known, knockout-friendly fighter. Also, it’s very likely that, even with the loss, he’ll retain some favorable standings in the rankings. So, let’s sit tight and see what’s next in store for The Common Man.
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By: Bakari Simpson