Photo by Amber Williams/RBRBoxing
On Saturday, June 18, 2016, Joe Smith Jr. (22-1, 18 KOs) scored an upset knockout victory against Andrzej Fonfara (28-4, 16 KOs) at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois.
The scheduled 12-round Light Heavyweight fight was televised on NBC.
Fonfara, a 28-year-old Polish fighter, was the favorite going into the fight with odds as large as 14-1 in favor of Fonfara. Though born in Poland, he lives in and fights out Chicago, which brought out a strong crowd to support Fonfara.
However, Smith, a 26-year-old of Long Island, New York, had other plans for Fonfara. After being slightly hurt from a combination by Fonfara early on, Smith landed an overhand right that immediately dropped Fonfara.
A fight-finishing flurry would soon end matters in front of a shocked crowd.
“Once I started hitting him and pushing him back he fell away and left himself open for the right hand. I thought this would be more of a fight, but I took him out early and it feels great,” said Smith.
“There’s no feeling like this. I’m happy to take this victory back home to New York to all my fans. I’ll talk to my promoter but I’m hoping for another big fight to get myself to a world title,” said Smith.
“He is a heavy puncher,” said Fonfara. “He hit me with a great punch. It happens.”
“I’m disappointed because I thought I would win the fight, but it is boxing. I will rest and get back in the ring. I’ll get back to work,” said Fonfara.
What do you think is next for both fighters?
Check out the stoppage below:
— RoundByRoundBoxing (@RBRBoxing) June 19, 2016
Gabe Rivas has written for Round By Round Boxing since July of 2013. He studies Literature and Philosophy, tutors English, and teaches Boxing. Follow him on Instagram and on Twitter @GabeRivas03.