NEW YORK, March 9, 2019 – In a thrilling night of boxing, WBA Light Heavyweight Titlist Dmitry Bivol defended his belt in a technical fight against Joe Smith Jr., and Maurice Hooker retained his WBO Lightweight Title after going the distance with Mikkel LesPierre who hit the canvas once. Callum Johnson, with his eyes on a title shot, stopped Sean Monaghan with a dominant performance in a Light Heavyweight battle.
“First of all, I want to thank everyone who support me and who watched this fight. Of course, this was not an easy fight. I trained hard but Joe Smith fought hard and he has strong hands.”
On 10th round punch: “I felt his right hand on the top of my head, on the side. I lost my balance but I didn’t have enough time to react. It was a good punch.”
“Maybe I don’t have enough experience. This is big fight. Top 10 in my division and I don’t know. But at the end of fight I felt that I could knock him out. But that’s not my goal. It was a drama fight, it was a good defense. Intelligent boxing. This is a smart sport and you have to think a lot.”
On his next fight: “I just end this fight and I want to relax. I want to fight for another belt. I am ready for a unification belt or to fight at 168 division. I want to be remembered in this sport. I was to be known for intelligent boxing.”
On the 168-pound division: “Yes, of course, I ate breakfast before I weighed in for this fight. You can say, I am not big. Joe is bigger than me. Other guys are bigger than me.”
“He’s good guy, a good fighter and I mean he stood up to the level. He’s good people, him and his team. But you know is all love and we all do this to feed the family. We’ve got people that depend on us. Hats off to him and his team and he will be back soon.”
On his performance: “I give myself a C- in my performance. I wasn’t good but I had to push. Look, you live and you learn. If you judge me from this fight, you better not get in the ring thinking the same thing because I am coming for you.
On his conditioning: “I love standing up. Once I get warm to go, I like standing up. When I am warm, I just want to keep going.”
On his weight cut: “No, I mean yesterday making weight was my fault. I was in the room messing around. That was my fault. I’m learning as I go. I’m not done yet.”
On what’s next: “ I want the WBC title. Everyone come to DAZN! Anybody. Come to DAZN. Where’s Jack Catterall? He came all the way over here to watch me fight. Just wait young grasshopper, you will get your turn.”
“I thought it was a good performance, I can’t say it was perfect. I learned a lot from Beterbiev fight. I would love to fight the winner (Dmitry Bivol) of the main event tonight and I think these people would love to see me back in America.”
“I needed the win to get back on track. But mentally, I needed that loss more. I think that got me in the place that I learned what I need to do in camp now, the little things. Working on tactics and my diet and things like that. Eddie is here to make sure that I am getting the biggest fights so I can make money for my family.”
“There isn’t a fighter that is out there in the light heavy division that is stronger than me. I have the power to knock anyone out. I know I had a tough competitor ahead of me in Monaghan. I enjoyed myself out there tonight.”
12-Round WBA Light Heavyweight World Title Bout @ 175 lbs.
Dmitry Bivol vs. Joe Smith Jr.
Dmitry Bivol (16-0, 11 KOs) defeats Joe Smith Jr. (24-3, 20 KOs) by unanimous decision
12-Round WBO Super Lightweight Title Bout @ 140 lbs.
Maurice Hooker vs. Mikkel LesPierre
Maurice Hooker (26-0, 17 KOs) defeats Mikkel LesPierre (21-1, 10 KOs) by unanimous decision
10-Round Light Heavyweight Bout @ 175 lbs.
Callum Johnson vs. Sean Monaghan
Callum Johnson (18-1, 13 KOs) defeats Sean Monaghan (29-3, 17 KOs) by TKO at 23 seconds of Round 3
Boxing on DAZN returns Friday, March 15 from Philadelphia when IBF World Super Featherweight Titlist Tevin Farmer defends his belt against undefeated Jono Carroll.