This main event was not much anticipated.
The pundits expected Joe Smith would get rubbed out by Pole Andrzej Fonfara in Chicago on Saturday, atop a PBC on NBC card.
Not all, but many. ESPN crapped on the main event, USA Today predicted an easy Fonfara win. Theater of the unexpected, they must know this by now…
The pundits must eat crow, from that proverbial all you can eat trough…Or not..Proud people tend to be defiant rather than confess to unsound or errant judgement.
It’s OK, Team Smith used the naysaying as fuel, so if no unmitigated mea culpas are forthcoming, he won’t lose sleep.
Re the fight: Smith ate clean leather in the first but made his mark in filthy fashion right quick.
(MP Hirschbein GIF)
A right counter dropped Fonfara, after he’d backed up and wobbled the winner.
The Pole got up but not for long; Smith, a Long Island construction worker promoted by Joe DeGuardia, went into closer mode.
14 punches, all hurled with destructive intent, landed and the Pole slid to the floor after a left hook unhinged him. The ref said no mas.
It would be a joyous Father’s Day for the Smith family.
Here is the release which went out right after:
Star Boxing’s Joe Smith, Jr. Stuns Andrzej Fonfara in PBC on NBC Main Event
In one of the year’s shockers, Star Boxing’s Long Island knockout artist Joe “The Irish Bomber” Smith Jr. (22-1, 18 KOs) stunned heavily-favored power-puncher Andrzej Fonfara (28-4, 16 KOs) with a first round TKO in the scheduled 10-round light heavyweight main event on Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC from UIC Pavilion in Chicago.
The referee stopped the contest at :45 seconds of the opening round, after Smith floored his opponent with a big right hand, and continued the barrage with a flurry of punches that had Fonfara reeling.
“I expected it to go 10 rounds because he’s a great fighter,” Smith told NBC. “I trained harder for this fight than I ever have, and came here to prove a point that I belong in the ring with the best.
“I was trying to stay on top of him because he left himself open,” added Smith. “I caught him with the over hand right. When I see someone hurt, I’m a finisher, and was determined to get him out.”
Representing Long Island, New York, Smith Jr. was making his national television debut and it was a beauty. It was his 16th straight victory.
The 26-year-old was a highly decorated amateur who won the 2008 New York Golden Gloves with a victory over Seanie Monaghan. A member of the Local 66 Laborers Union between fights and the oldest of eight siblings, Smith Jr. by far picked up his most impressive victory of his career.