Showtime Friday, ESPN and DAZN on Saturday.
Plenty of action, many combatants to choose from, when determining Who Won the Weekend.
As per usual, our crack staff and extended fam offered rock-solid takes, and backed up their choices with evidence.
“Joe Smith Jr. won the weekend as he provided an upset special on ESPN Saturday night,” said Abe Gonzalez, NYF West Coast bureau chief. “Things haven't been the same since he suffered that broken jaw from the Barrera fight but knowing this may have been his last main event on a big card, Smith Jr. fought with a lot of heart and determination. Joe Smith Jr. (below, picture by Mikey Williams) earned the decision victory and has set himself up for a possible title shot later this year.”
“After losing two out of his last three fights, Joe Smith Jr. badly needed a win to keep from ending up in “opponent” status,” said David Phillips, fight writer and films analyst. “He got that with a split decision over tough veteran Jesse Hart. It's not the kind of win that will move Smith into the upper echelon, but it could result in a title fight and a sizable payday. I should also say Claressa Shields looked strong in her title defense Friday night. Man, do I wish the ladies would fight three minute rounds. It's actually an insult to them that they aren't allowed to.”
“Joe Smith Jr, upsetting the odds once again and producing a hard fought performance against Jesse Hart, potentially lining himself up for a world title shot,” said Chris Glover, boxer/analyst.
“Joe Smith won the weekend, proved he’s still elite,” said Jay Bulger, ex amateur fighter and film director/actor.
“Ms. Claressa Shields (below) won the weekend,” said Josh Friedman, producer at SiriusXM. “The win was a dominant one after all the build and bad blood. And it was history at the end of the day.”
“Elin Cederroos (below) won the weekend,” said Matt Andrzjewski, writer. “Talk about a break out performance. Cederroos showed excellent boxing skills as well power (especially in her left hook) in defeating Alicia Napoleon Espinosa. Cederroos is a threat to be reckoned with and put herself in position for a potential future showdown with Claressa Shields.”
“Joe Smith Jr. won the weekend,” said writer Alden Chodash. “As he remarked after the fight, his career was on the line against Jesse Hart, a Top Rank fighter who came in the favorite at absurd 4-1 odds. Not only that, but Hart sported the classic Bernard Hopkins Executioner mask on the way to the ring, paying homage to his hero whom he pledged to avenge.
“None of this helped Hart though, as the Long Island union laborer Smith chopped yet another Philadelphian down to size, dropping Hart in the 7th and laying on a beating for much of the rest of the fight. Despite Judge Kinney’s atrocious score of 95-94 for Hart, the other two judges, the fans, and even Hart’s promoter Bob Arum saw Joe Smith Jr. the clear victor, who puts himself back in the mix for some noteworthy fights at 175. For a guy who was admittedly on the cusp of a career crisis, this fight definitely got his new decade off on the right set of feet.”
“Hailing from “Drastic Mastic,” Joe Smith Jr. is our weekend winner,” said analyst Brendan Long, a Long Islander himself. “The puncher from the East End took down a once promising prospect in Jesse Hart. Joe was relentless in his attack. He fought like a guy that needed the win and got it. The kid known as The Beast did it in front of an ESPN audience and will likely get a shot at a piece of the championship pie. Way to go Joe. I still wish we would have gotten an all Long Island affair between Smith and Seanie Monaghan. Honorable Mention goes to Jamie Mungia's jab. Who knew he had one? He kept it hidden from the public like a politician hides an out of wedlock child. Mungia used his newly found jab quite well. Doubling and tripling it up on a rugged opponent in Spike O'Sullivan. I'd like to see Jamie use it more often. His right hand and left hook were much more effective when he used the jab to set them up. Birthday shout out to my bro “Razor” Rainone!”
“If Joe Smith Jr. lost to Jesse Hart (see trading, above, in picture by Mikey Williams), his career as a title-contender would have been over,” said writer Jeremy Herriges. “On paper, the deck was stacked against him, but on the brink of becoming a journeyman, Smith rejuvenated his career and won the weekend in the process. Odds against Smith had him consistently as a 3-1 underdog, but he defied those odds with a relentless attack. Hart helped him out by following an ill-advised strategy, but Smith, who won the weekend, was determined to win and save his career. Smith's right hand is a weapon to fear and makes him a dangerous light heavyweight. The WBO belt is vacant, and Smith may have a shot to win it.”
“Munguia takes the win for me,” said fight gameanalyst/YouTuber Rachel McCarson. “His fight against O’Sulllivan began as a one-sided affair, but as it went on I felt like I saw Munguia learning, and that, albeit it risky for the fighter, is a special treat for the audience. Fortunately for Munguia, he came out the victor. He put the pieces together Saturday night and I always enjoy seeing fighters do that because it takes discipline to do what’s best instead of what you want to do. He has much room for growth and I’m eager to see where he goes in this new weight class with the legendary Erik Morales at the helm.”