Eleider Alvarez vs Joe Smith Jr. Preview Aug. 22nd
Former WBO Light Heavyweight Champion Eleider Alvarez of Colombia will be taking on Joe Smith Jr. of Long Island, New York at the MGM Grand Bubble in Las Vegas this Saturday, August 22nd. The 12-round bout can be seen live in America on ESPN+. Smith last fought in January when he edged Jesse Hart by a split decision for the WBO NABO Light Heavyweight Title. Alvarez last saw action in January as well when he stopped Michael Seals in the seventh round for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Light Heavyweight Belt and vacant WBO Inter-Continental Title.
Alvarez vs Smith Jr. Betting Odds
- Joe Smith Jr. +165
- Eleider Alvarez -185
The 36-year-old Alvarez fights out of Montreal, Canada. He turned pro in 2009 and has 180 rounds of experience under his belt. He’ll enter the ring with a record of 25-1 with 13 Kos. He’s also captured the WBO-NABO, WBA-NABA, WBC Silver, and IBA Light Heavyweight Titles along the way. Alvarez also has victories over Sergey Kovalev, Jean Pascal, Lucian Bute, Robert Berridge, Isaac Chilemba, Ryno Liebenberg, Andrew Gardner, Edison Miranda, Alexander Johnson, Anatoliy Dudchenko and Isidro Ranon Prieto.
Alvarez stands 6-feet tall and has a reach of 76. He isn’t really known as a one-punch KO artist and his current knockout ratio is 50 per cent. He’s a solid pro with a good chin and is somewhat underrated especially considering the opposition hes faced and defeated so far as a pro. He possesses good skills but isn’t the most exciting light heavyweight out there but is still a legitimate top-10 contender even at his somewhat advanced age.
Alvarez enjoyed an extensive amateur career and represented Colombia at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. He won gold at the 2007 and 2008 Pan America Games and is 1-1 with a Ko in world championship bouts while going 3-1 with 2 Ko’s against former or current world champions. (Bute, Pascal and Kovalev). He stopped Kovalev in the seventh round in August, 2018 to win the IBA and WBO Light Heavyweight Belts and then lost the rematch by unanimous decision six months later.
The 30-year-old Smith is a former WBC International Champion who dropped a 10-round unanimous decision and his title to Sullivan Barrera in July of 2017. Smith then fought Melvin Russell as a hand-picked opponent to regain some of his lost confidence and to get back in the win column. Smith’s best known for stopping Bernard Hopkins in the eighth round in December of 2016 when he knocked him clean put of the ring in Hopkins’ farewell fight. He had made a name for himself after stopping Andrzej Fonfara in the first round six months earlier.
However, his hot streak then came to an end against Barrera even though Smith had him down in the first round and his defeat to WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol by unanimous decision in March, 2019 Bivol means he’s lost two of his last four contests. He had a 17-fight winning streak going before losing to Barrera with seven of his previous eight wins being by stoppage. Smith has shown that he has dynamite in his fists with a current knockout ratio of 71.4 per cent, including the stoppages over top-ranked boxers such as Fonfara and Hopkins.
Smith stands 6-feet-tall with an unlisted reach so is the same height as Alvarez and he’s fought 114 rounds since turning pro back in 2009. He will climb through the ropes with a mark of 25-3 with 20 Kos. His other pro defeat came at the hands of Eddie Caminero by a fourth-round TKO in 2010 in Smith’s seventh pro outing. He’s also beaten the likes of Otis Griffin, Michael Gbenga, Tyrell Hendrix, Cory Cummings, and Will Rosinsky. He appears to be a fine knockout artist who throws good combinations and possesses a great right hand. However, he struggles when facing skilled boxers and those with more power than him.
If Smith uses his power, experience and aggressiveness to good effect he should be able to make things difficult for Alvarez. Of course, he also has to be wary of his opponent’s power while he’s at it. This is a pretty even matchup with Alvarez being the better boxer and Smith the better puncher. I have a feeling Smith is going to have his moments but Alvarez will ultimately prevail.
Alvarez is the better boxer.
Play Alvarez -185 @ BetOnline.ag
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