Top Rank on ESPN heads to the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. on Saturday night for WBO light heavyweight championship Joe Smith Jr. vs Stephen Geffrard Live on ESPN and ESPN+.
WBO 175 pound champion Joe Smith Jr. needed a late replacement opponent because British challenger Callum Johnson pulled out of the fight due to illness.
Steve Geffrard answered the call and accepted the challenge and will be the main across the ring on Saturday night.
Geffrard (18-2, 12 KOs) comes from Florida and is a live dog heading into the bout, this will be his first chance at a world title and he believes he can shock Smith Jr. and take the belt back home to Florida.
Smith (27-3, 21 KOs) is a heavy handed puncher who is also a proud blue collar worker, he is best known for his career ending KO of boxing hall of fame legend Bernard Hopkins.
Smith is eager to get back into the ring and defend his WBO title and vows he won’t be taking Geffrard lightly because he knows late replacements can pull off upsets.
Even the great Manny Pacquiao was upset by Yordenis Ugas who replaced an injured Errol Spence Jr with only two weeks notice.
Smith doesn’t want to let go of his title and Geffrard doesn’t want to leave the ring without the belt, which should make this a great scrap from start to finish with both combatants ready to leave it all in the ring for the championship.
In the co-main event, undefeated featherweight contender Abraham Nova (20-0, 14 KOs) will face off against 2012 Dominican Olympian William Encarnacion (19-1, 15 KOs), they are scheduled for 10 rounds in the 126 pound division.
Light Heavyweight Championship – Joe Smith Jr. vs Steve Geffrard (WBO Title)
Featherweight – Abraham Nova vs William Encarnacion
Light Welterweight – Omar Rosario vs Raekwon Butler
Middleweight – Troy Isley vs Harry Keenan Cruz Cubano
Welterweight – Jahi Tucker vs Akeem Black
Cruiserweight – Lyubomyr Pinchuk vs Jose Mario Flores
Venue: Turning Stone Resort & Casino
Date and Time: Saturday, January 15, 2021 at 10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT
TV/Live Stream: ESPN & ESPN+