JOE SMITH JR dropped and outpointed Jesse Hart, who had been advised by Bernard Hopkins, a little over three years after ending Hopkins’ own career. Despite Smith’s obvious superiority there was room for some controversy – isn’t there always? – when one judge scored Hart a 95-94 winner at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. Thankfully, the other two scores (98-91 and 97-92) were for Smith.
Hart, who entered the ring wearing an executioner’s mask, wanted revenge for Smith stopping his hero in eight rounds in December 2016. But, in the end, after being dropped in the seventh and bullied through most of the second half of the bout, Hart did well just to hear the final bell.
“I was a little worried there,” Long Island’s Smith said about the moment announcer Jimmy Lennon Jnr revealed the decision was split. “I was very confident I was gonna get the decision but the one judge made me a little nervous in there. But with the knockdown and the hard shots I landed, I deserved it.”