RELATIVELY unknown Joe Smith Jr stuns highly-ranked contender Andrzej Fonfara inside a round at the UIC Pavilion in Fonfara’s adopted hometown of Chicago. Just as Fonfara looked to have hurt Smith, the Long Island native floored him with an almighty right hand.
Given that Fonfara had recently beaten Nathan Cleverly and Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr, and was vying for a rematch with WBC champion Adonis Stevenson, who he dropped back in 2014, Smith’s win puts him right in the mix.
Fonfara, who was ranked fourth, leaves the top 10 altogether while Smith comes in at 10th.
Rau’shee Warren gains revenge over Juan Carlos Payano to lift the WBA world title. He takes Payano’s No 2 spot and the Dominican moves down a position, as does everyone else who was previously ranked above Warren.
The American – who became the first US 2012 Olympian to win a world title – outpointed Payano on the undercard of Fonfara-Smith. Payano had decisioned Warren 10 months earlier.