Joe Smith Jr title defence live on Sky Sports

Joe Smith Jr’s battle with Steve Geffrard for the world light-heavyweight championship will be live on Sky Sports on Sunday morning.

The fight in New York will begin at 1am in the early hours of Sunday and will give Smith Jr a chance to justify himself as the world’s premier 175lbs fighter.

Smith Jr’s WBO belt is at stake against short-notice opponent Geffrard, the replacement for Britain’s Callum Johnson who was forced to pull out due to testing positive for Covid-19.

Long Island’s Smith Jr is best-known for sending boxing legend Bernard Hopkins crashing through the ropes and inflicting his only stoppage loss in his final fight.

Image: Joe Smith Jr is the WBO champion

He is aiming to assert his authority over Artur Beterbiev (IBF and WBC champion) and Dmitry Bivol (WBA) as the light-heavyweight division’s top dog.

Undefeated Beterbiev had a crushing stoppage win over Marcus Browne last month.

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Artur Beterbiev had to negotiate a deep cut caused by a clash of heads but found an explosive finish to stop Marcus Browne in round nine

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, boxing’s pound-for-pound superstar, could be an unlikely incentive for Smith Jr.

“Canelo has expressed interest to me about fighting Beterbiev or Joe Smith Jr,” their promoter Bob Arum told Sky Sports.

“I would look forward to May or September, the two dates that Canelo likes to fight, that he would fight one of those light-heavyweights.”

Sky Sports Boxing schedule

Sunday January 16 – Top Rank in New York
Joe Smith Jr vs Steve Geffrard – WBO light-heavyweight title

Sunday January 30 – Top Rank in Tulsa
Robson Conceicao vs Xavier Martinez – WBC super-featherweight title eliminator

Saturday February 5 (targeted) – BOXXER in Cardiff
Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Williams
Claressa Shields vs Ema Kozin – IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight titles

Sunday February 6 – Top Rank in Fresno
Jose Ramirez vs Jose Pedraza

Saturday February 19 – BOXXER in Manchester
Amir Khan vs Kell Brook

Saturday February 26 – BOXXER and Top Rank in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall – undisputed super-lightweight titles

Source : Sky Sports