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22 OCTOBER 2018

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Joe Smith Jr. vs. Sullivan Barrera Scouting Report Power vs. Power

Joe Smith Jr. vs. Sullivan Barrera Scouting Report
Power vs. Power
Los Angeles, CA: When Sullivan Barrera (19-1, 14 KOs) and Joe Smith Jr. (23-1, 19 KOs) square off on Saturday night for Smith’s WBC International Light Heavyweight Title it will be an exciting match-up of power against power. Both fighters are coming off monster wins. Smith stopped future hall-of-famer Bernard Hopkins and Andrzej Fonfara in his last two fights and Barrera stopped Vyacheslav Shabranskyy to end 2016. Saturday night they will open the HBO Boxing After Dark® telecast (9:50 p.m. ET/PT)with a 12-round light heavyweight battle. Below is the scouting report for this match-up:
Joe Smith Jr
Sullivan Barrera
23-1 (19 KOs)
19-1 (14 KOs)
Smith is a strong fighter who wastes little time once the bell rings. He applies smothering pressure and can end the fight with any punch.
Barrera has solid endurance and a granite chin. He has a strong jab that he uses well and has shown great patience in breaking down his opponents.
The Long Island native also tends to get wild when fighting fire-with-fire. If Smith lets his guard down, Sullivan is a heavy hitter who can end the fight early.
Sullivan can get wild so he needs to keep it together and stay sharp in order to avoid one of his opponent’s thundering blows.
He has managed to stay active throughout his young career. He also gained valuable experience in the past year with wins over Andrzej Fonfara and Bernard Hopkins
He is an experienced fighter who has been in with some of the best in the division: Andre Ward, Vyacheslav Shabranskyy and Karo Murat.
Smith has devastating power in every punch he throws. He delivers nasty combinations to the body and comes out swinging with the first bell.
Sullivan has a powerful jab and a devastating right hand that have been instrumental in the majority of his stoppage wins. His previous eight wins all came by way of knockout.
Joe’s speed comes on full display when he realizes his opponent is in trouble and the end is near.
Sullivan has average speed; he turns it up a notch once he smells blood and goes for the finish.
Smith’s endurance is somewhat of a question; he went 10 rounds once but has yet to go a full 12.
Barrera proved he can go 12 rounds when he came up short in a decision loss to current titleholder Andre Ward.
He has very effective accuracy when he can work his way to the inside or force his opponent to the ropes.
Sullivan’s accuracy is on point when he gets his jab going and puts his punches together behind it.
Joe’s offense is his best defense; he does an exceptional job at smothering his opponents with an over-aggressive style that wears his opponents down.
If Barrera commits to the jab, it can be very effective taking his opponent out of his element, making it difficult to get anything going offensively.
Smith was stopped once in his lone pro defeat in 2010. Since then, he has not been in any real danger.
Sullivan has been knocked down but recovered well and finished strong.
Junior is an aggressive, in-your-face fighter who overwhelms his opponents with a vicious onslaught of punches and combinations.
Barrera is a technical fighter that likes to stick his jab and set up his shots. He also has a brawling style that inevitably comes out when his opponents show that they are willing to engage.
Coming off the two biggest wins of his career over Bernard Hopkins and Andrzej Fonfara, Smith is wasting little time in getting back into the ring with the best in the division. A win here could stamp his spot amongst the top of the division rankings and earn him a well-deserved title fight.
Sullivan has been very vocal in his desire to fight the best in the light heavyweight division and there are very few light heavyweights riding the momentum like Smith is now. Sullivan is willing to take out anyone in his path, and he knows a win over Smith can solidify another shot at a world title.
Crowd Support
Smith has a crowd-pleasing style that won the support of boxing fans in Los Angeles when he defeated Hopkins, so the New York native is expected to have substantial crowd support for his return to "The Fabulous" Forum.
With his last eight wins coming by way of knockout, Barrera earned fan support and established himself as a fan-friendly fighter. His last big victory over Shabranskyy also took place in California, so he should have some fans returning to see him.  
The Match-up
1.       Will Barrera frustrate Smith with his boxing ability?
2.       Will each fighter be able to handle the other’s power?
3.       Who is going to dictate the fight?
4.       Will Barrera fall into Smith’s aggressive style?
According to Main Events’ matchmaker and 2015 NABF Matchmaker of the Year, Jolene Mizzone, "This is a great fight in the ring and kudos to both guys for stepping up and agreeing to fight each other. The winner of this fight will be in a very good position in the light heavyweight division. This fight has bombs away written all over it: both guys have power in both hands."

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