Smith Jr. mauls and brawls Hart for 10 rounds
Joe Smith Jr. beat up and knocked Jesse Hart down - winning their fight by a shocking split decision in Atlantic City, New Jersey Saturday night.
Two judges scored the fight correctly, 97-92 and 98-91 for Smith, the third needs an eye exam as he somehow saw Hart winning by a 95-94 tally.
Maxboxing scored the fight 98-91 for Smith.
In round one, Smith (25-3, 20 KOs) came out aggressively. He jabbed and looked to land a bomb. Hart moved to his left and searched for range. He jabbed and moved a lot. Smith forced Hart (26-3, 21 KOs) into the ropes and landed a solid right. Hart worked more in round two. Both fighters connected with rights. Smith was stalking. Hart landed two lefts. Smith went to the body. He also found Hart’s chin with an uppercut and big right.
Hart tried to get in and out in round three. He did pretty well. Smith backed him up with blows. Hart jabbed and threw left hooks. He stopped and popped Smith with a solid shot.
In round four, Smith clocked Hart with another right. Hart fought back—while Smith pressed him consistently. He mauled and punched. Hart moved away, but his punches weren’t bothering Smith. Hart landed an uppercut but was rocked by a solid combination.
The determined Smith marched after Hart in round five. Hart moved away, but that’s not how to score points. Smith popped numerous jabs. Smith appeared to have the edge through five rounds.
Hart tried to change things in round six. He got off first, at least for a number of seconds. His uppercut landed. Smith went to the body and head. His inside work was impressive. He might have stolen the round with his work in the last thirty seconds of the heat.
Smith connected with a long-left hook in round seven. Hart went to the body. Smith clubbed Hart with blows. Seconds later, Smith collapsed his legs with a blow to the jaw. Hart beat the count and was lucky the knockdown occurred near the end of the heat. Smith went for the kill in round eight. He launched a left. Hart moved away, but his output was non-existent. He was trying to survive. Smith worked Hart over along the ropes. Hart looked tired as Smith pursued.
It was obvious the Hart would need a knockout to win. His tank looked pretty empty. He came out punching. Smith waited and countered with much harder shots. Hart was holding on and bleeding from a cut over his left eye. After the ringside physician allowed the fight continue, Smith went right back to the body. Smith worked him over. His pressure was intense.
Hart was desperate in round 10. He had to be. He landed a check hook. Smith threw hooks. Hart was punching but it was little too late.
“He put up a great fight," said the victorious Smith. "Those Philly guys are tough. I knew I had to keep busy."
Look for Derek Gionta’s complete ringside report coming soon.