Joe Smith, Jr. (26-3, 21 KO) knocked out former light heavyweight (175 lbs) champion Eleider Alvarez (25-2) in the 9th round in this WBO title belt eliminator. The WBO light heavyweight belt is held by Canelo Alvarez, so tonight’s win could set up a potentially big fight for Smith, Jr. if Canelo chooses to not vacate the belt.
Smith, Jr. kept the pace up on Alvarez, who was looking to counter punch Smith. The problem was that Smith, Jr. never stopped punching because he was in the best shape of his life. The one-two put Alvarez threw the ropes for the knockdown. Alvarez was not able to stand up before the ten count.
This KO is the second time Smith, Jr. has knocked a high-quality opponent through the ropes. The first time was back in 2016 when he ended the career of all-time great Bernard Hopkins.