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Little-known Smith KOs Fonfara

Smith Fonfara

Things couldn’t have turned out worse for rising light heavyweight contender Andrzej Fonfara on Saturday night in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions event at the UIC Pavilion in his adopted hometown of Chicago.

Fonfara was looking to get back into title contention with a victory but was brutalized and knocked out in the first round by Joe Smith Jr, a virtual unknown from Brookhaven, N.Y.

Smith was a massive 25-1 underdog and caught Fonfara with a tremendous counter right in the first round that sent the ‘Polish Prince’ down on his back. That wouldn’t end Fonfara, but after he got to his feet, Smith marched forward and threw a hard flurry of punches that sent him back down in his own corner. This time it was a hard left hook that landed perfectly on Fonfara’s jaw. Referee Hector Afu did not even count before he waved for the bell at 2:32.

“There is no feeling like this. I’m happy to take this victory back home to New York to all my fans,” Smith said in the ring after the fight. “Now everybody knows who I am. This is the best thing that could have happened.

“Once I started hitting him and pushing him back, he fell away and left himself open for the right hand. He was punching and I knew he leaves himself open. I was just looking for the punch and landed it.”

It was the best thing that could have happened for Smith for sure, but the worst possible outcome for Fonfara. He was the heavy favorite, in his second home town and the headliner for a nationally televised event, but was beaten soundly in a fight that may have been the one that could have gotten him a rematch against WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson.

Fonfara lost a close decision to Stevenson in 2014 but came back with victories over Doudou Ngumbu and more impressively over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Nathan Cleverly, this loss drops him far down the ladder in the division.

“He is a heavy puncher,” Fonfara said of Smith. “He hit me with a great punch. It happens. I threw some good punched, but I got too comfortable. I didn’t see the punch coming. That made it a great punch.”

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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