When Joe Smith Jr. lastly embarks on his honeymoon, he’ll achieve this because the WBO gentle heavyweight titleholder.
Smith and Vlasov engaged in an action-packed, aggressive bout earlier than a sold-out crowd at Osage On line casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Nevertheless it was Smith, who accomplished his journey from union laborer to championship prizefighter, strolling by hell to rally within the championship rounds to edge Vlasov by majority resolution to win the vacant belt.
In a bout that was initially postponed for eight weeks after Vlasov examined optimistic for COVID-19, the 31-year-old Smith (27-3, 21 KOs), who received by resolution for simply the second time since 2015, battled by a horrible lower above his left eye for a lot of the combat.
The 6-foot-3 Vlasov (45-4, 26 KOs) vowed to drag the upset. He entered the ring on a three-fight profitable streak relationship again to a 12-round unanimous resolution loss by the hands of Krzysztof Glowacki for a secondary cruiserweight championship.
However not one of the judges dominated in his favor.
Dave Sutherland scored it 114-114. However he was overruled by Pat Russell and Gerald Ritter, who had it 115-113 and 115-112, respectively.
Vlasov disagreed with the choice and felt that he dominated the combat.
“I believed I used to be profitable rounds and was nicely forward. I got here ahead your complete combat. I felt assured I used to be profitable and was securing rounds within the financial institution with the judges,” Vlasov mentioned.
After balancing chopping timber and boxing, Smith, who made his professional debut in October 2009 with a first-round knockout in Connecticut, was calm and picked up after scoring his first main title.
“It’s an awesome feeling. It was positively a detailed, powerful combat,” Smith informed ESPN. “I [have to] give it to Vlasov. [He’s a] nice fighter. He actually placed on an awesome present tonight and toughed it out.”
Each fighters started at a frantic tempo within the opening spherical. Vlasov discovered success with the precise hand, bewildering Smith together with his awkward, herky-jerky model.
On the finish of the spherical, Smith suffered a small lower above his proper eye, which despatched cutman Jacob “Sew” Duran into battle mode.
With blood seeping from the attention, Smith fought with a way of urgency within the second spherical, hurting Vlasov with an enormous proper hand within the ultimate moments.
Palpable vitality was put ahead by each fighters because the third spherical started. Smith seemed to be discovering his rhythm and combating smarter, whereas Vlasov was nonetheless looking for stability in his legs.
Vlasov walked down Smith in spherical 5 and took some injury within the course of as he walked right into a slew of proper palms.
In spherical six, Smith, combating for the primary time within the state of Oklahoma, noticed the lower over his left eye open up as soon as once more, permitting Vlasov to capitalize. The Russian related with a proper hand that backed Smith into the ropes.
Smith badly harm Vlasov in spherical seven, sending him stumbling with a counter left hook. Nonetheless, the 34-year-old Vlasov, combating in his forty eighth skilled bout, withstood the punishment and survived.
Vlasov recovered properly within the eighth spherical, connecting with a stable uppercut. He adopted up with a robust efficiency within the subsequent body as Smith was visibly winded, strolling him down and touchdown stable energy photographs.
In spherical 11, Smith harm Vlasov with a proper hand that pressured his opponent to, as he did for a lot of the combat, maintain. Referee Gary Ritter then warned Smith after he landed a shot behind the pinnacle that despatched Vlasov to the canvas.
However Smith felt that Vlasov put his head down, which pressured the shot to land behind the pinnacle.
“I imagine he had his head down, and I ought to’ve obtained the [knockdown],” he added. “I believe I’d’ve obtained the stoppage that [11th] spherical, however he pulled it off and made it out on his toes.
“I imagine I obtained the victory tonight as a result of they noticed I landed the more durable photographs. He landed plenty of punches. It was an awesome combat.”
In accordance with Compubox, Smith landed 226 of 888 punches (25 p.c), together with a career-high 174 energy photographs. Vlasov related on 214 of 863 blows (25 p.c).
“I by no means felt that I used to be behind at any stage of the combat,” Vlasov added. “This was my alternative to indicate the world I used to be a world champion, and I did that, and Joe Smith is aware of I did that.”
Within the chief help bout, Efe Ajagba, combating for simply the second time below the tutelage of head coach Kay Koroma, turned the lights out on Brian Howard, knocking out his opponent chilly within the third spherical of a scheduled 10-round heavyweight bout.
Ajagba (15-0, 12 KOs), combating for the primary time following surgical procedure on each elbows, related with a one-two mixture that twisted Howard round and face-first to the canvas. Referee Tony Crebs instantly known as for the ringside physician to take care of the fallen Howard (15-5, 12 KOs), who previously competed on the cruiserweight division.
“I skilled for this combat, took my time, began with my boxing basis, and got here again robust,” Ajagba informed ESPN after the combat. “This camp was one of the best one for me, one of the best camp ever in my boxing profession.”
Rising heavyweight prospect Jared “The Actual Huge Child” Anderson (9-0, 9 KOs) destroyed Jeremiah Karpency (16-3-1, 6 KOs) with a proper hand to the physique in a second-round annihilation.
“I respect him for getting in there and displaying up as we speak. It’s a person’s sport. I’m simply grateful to be right here, grateful for the chance,” Anderson mentioned.
“I [saw] the shot. His palms saved going up. I saved throwing my jab, in search of openings, feinting, transferring across the ring, and it simply got here. It was a superb shot, and he didn’t wish to get again up.”
To spherical out the remainder of the undercard, light-weight Albert Bell (18-0, 5 KOs) remained undefeated with an eight-round unanimous resolution over Manuel Rojas (20-5, 6 KOs). 2016 Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceicao (16-0, 8 KOs) took care of enterprise with a seventh-round stoppage of Jesus Antonio Ahumada (17-4, 11 KOs) to stay undefeated. Trey Lippe Morrison (17-0, 17 KOs), the son of former heavyweight champion Tommy “The Duke” Morrison, received by way of third-round stoppage after Jason Bergman (27-20-2, 18 KOs) injured his ankle. Featherweight prospect Duke Ragan (4-0, 1 KO) shutout Charles Clark (3-7-1, 1 KO) over eight rounds in a lopsided unanimous resolution. Adorned novice Jeremiah Milton (3-0, 3 KOs) knocked out Jayvone Dafney (2-3, 2 KOs) within the first spherical of a slated four-round heavyweight scrap. Sonny Conto (7-0, 6 KOs) scored a one-punch knockout of Waldo Cortes (6-4, 3 KOs) within the first spherical of a scheduled four-round heavyweight matchup.