Light heavyweight contenders Jesse Hart( 26-2, 21KOs) and Joe Smith Jr. (24-3,20KOs) will face off has the headline Top Rank’s ESPN card of 2020. The fight is scheduled for 10 rounds and will take place at the Etess Arena at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey and will be presented live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 10PM/ET
Smith has power, with 20 of his 24 wins coming by way of KO. He has notable wins against Andrzej Fonfara, which ended in a first round stoppage, and an eight round stoppage of boxing legend Bernard Hopkins, who was knocked out of the ring by Smith. Smith suffered a decision loss against former world title challenger Sullivan Barrera in which he suffered a badly broken jaw early into the fight but still fought to a decision which shows how tough and rugged Smith is.
Hart also touts a high KO percentage with 21 of his 26 wins coming by way of KO. Hart stated that he is taking this fight personally because fellow Philadelphia product Hopkins is a mentor of his and he would like to avenge the loss Hopkins suffered against Smith. For Hart this fight is more personal than business and calls it a “Philly thing”. Hart’s only losses come at the hands of Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez, first in September 2017 when her challenged for the super middleweight world title and again in the rematch in December of 2018. Both losses were competitive. Hart has a unanimous win against Barrera when he moved up to light heavyweight back in June of 2019.
Both these light heavyweights pack a mean punch. Either one can make it an easy night in the blink of an eye. They look to make that step up to challenge but they have to get past each other first. We will definitely see some hard shots at the Hard Rock!