Joe Smith Jr. vs Melvin Russell Betting Odds and Prediction

By Boxing

Joe Smith Jr. vs Melvin Russell Preview June 30th

Joe Smith Jr. of Long Island, New York will be facing Melvin Russell of Portsmouth, Ohio at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville this Saturday, June 30th in a 10-round light-heavyweight bout. Smith is a former WBC International Champion who last fought in July when he dropped a 10-round unanimous decision and his title to Sullivan Barrera. Russell last fought in January when he lost a six-round majority decision to Josh Fisher. This is a bounce-back fight for Smith with a hand-picked opponent as a way to regain some of his lost confidence and to get back in the win column.

Smith Jr. vs Russell Betting Odds

Here are the winner odds from online sportsbook

  • Melvin Russell +2000
  • Joe Smith Jr. -5000

My Pick

The 28-year-old Smith is 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. Smith 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 last year even though smith had him down in the first round. Smith climbs through the ropes with a record of 23-2 along with 19 Kos.

He had a 17-fight winning streak going before losing to Barrera with 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 76 per cent, including the stoppages over top-ranked boxers such as Fonfara and Hopkins. Smith stands 6-feet-tall with an unlisted reach and has fought 91 rounds since turning pro back in 2009. His other pro defeat came at the hands of Eddie Caminero by a fourth-round TKO in 2010 in Smith’s seventh pro outing.

Smith has also beaten the likes of Otis Griffin, Michael Gbenga, Tyrell Hendrix, Cory Cummings, and Will Rosinsky. He’s appears to be a fine knockout artist who throws good combinations and possesses a great right hand. However, he struggles when facing skilled boxers. That shouldn’t be a problem on Saturday though when he meets the 39-year-old Russell who now fights out of Kentucky and is known as the Romantic Redneck. Russell carries around of 11-4-2 along with seven Kos. He’s also been stopped once in his pro career.

Russell has fought 68 rounds since turning pro in 2015. He’s got decent enough power at 41 per cent with seven stoppages in his 11 wins. He’s a late comer to the sport though and gives up an inch in height to Smith as he’s 5-feet-11-inches tall and also has an unlisted reach. He’s lost three of his last four fights and four of his last seven. Basically, Russell’s a journeyman who’ll be taking a step up in class once again. His toughest opponents so far have been Edwin Rodriguez and Mike Wilson with Rodriguez stopping him in the second round and Wilson winning a 10-round unanimous decision.


Smith is taking a cautious approach to his first bout in a year after losing to Barrera. If he uses his power, experience and aggressiveness to good effect he should be able to regain his confidence with a stoppage win over Russell, but he can’t underestimate him.

Smith’s a big step up in class for Russell.

Play Smith Jr. -5000 @

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