Irish Joe Smith Jr.’s Title Quest: Who Mourns For Adonis?

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After dispatching Bernard Hopkins and Andrzej Fonfara, Irish Joe Smith now atop the light heavyweight world rankings and can no longer be denied an immediate title shot. To be, or not to be……….given a shot at Adonis Stevenson? ‘Superman’, as Stevenson is called, will turn 40 years old this September.

Fear is not an issue. Stevenson and Smith are both warriors. The major issue is, the longer Stevenson waits, the better the chance the powerful Smith has. Stevenson versus Smith can only end with a convincing knockout, for as many rounds as it lasts. Throw caution into the wind.

Stevenson, 28-1 with 23 knockouts, Blainville, Canada, is scheduled to defend his World Boxing Council World Light Heavyweight title on April 29, 2017, At Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Long Island, New York, against an opponent to be named. Smith, 23-1 with 19 knockouts, Long Island, New York, is the long Island man of the hour. If not Smith, who then?

The big question seems to be about money. Promoter Joe DeGuardia of Star Boxing, and Yvon Michel who promotes Stevenson, have to get together, and put it on the table. There needs to be a fair purse, and legitimate television rights. A world class card would have to be put together for the refurbished Nassau Coliseum. The odds would favor a knockout or a decision in Stevenson’s behalf. This reporter likes the Tommy Gallagher trained Joe Smith Jr. to win more. Let the promoters make it happen. The result could be the 2017’s ‘Fight of the Year’. Both men have something to prove.

Incidentally, ‘Who Mourns for Adonais?’ is the title of episode 31, production 33, of the second season of the original Star Trek Series, whereby the starship Enterprise is held hostage by an alien who claims to be the Greek God Apollo. Well, Adonis Stevenson is not God reincarnated, and if he waits too long he will get so old he may price himself out of the market. Stevenson should take the smith bout while he can get it. Bell Centre in Montreal, and Centre Videotron of Quebec City, are stronger Canadian possibilities for Stevenson. Smith could always travel to Canada. The site is not the issue. The purse is the issue. If Stevenson does not defend, or pick an opponent very soon, the WBC will strip him of the title and sanction Smith versus another opponent for the vacant WBC title. Nobody will mourn Adonis Stevenson one way or the other. Why is hesitating to accept a fight with Smith? His promoter claims there is no fear, but Stevenson’s camp appears reluctant to take the Smith bout, and that is turning heads and making fight fans wonder why. Robert Brizel’s education in picking an opponent to defend your title is seen in Stevenson’s hesitancy.

Robert Brizel
Robert Brizel
A native of New York’s Catskill Mountains, long a haven to boxers in training, New York City educator and sports writer Robert Brizel holds five university degrees in the education field, and has been writing about boxing since 1975. Robert has been an internet only boxing writer and photographer since 2008, and previously wrote for Saddoboxing. An old school writer rare in that he writes and takes his own boxing photos simultaneously, he seeks out different angles to create original stories. Robert is a frequent sight reporting boxing events in Atlantic City Casinos and New York City. Now expanding his writing to add MMA. Married with a daughter. A sharp dresser, Robert’s electric personality brings class and to events he covers. The only active boxing writer today licensed as a boxing manager and corner man, Robert works the corner in New York and New Jersey on occasion, adding a unique perspective and dimension to his perceptions of the fight game today. Also a trained vocalist who performed on the Catskill hotel nightclub stage for a decade as a child
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