Joe Smith Jr. (26-3, 21 KO’s) scored KO in the ninth round against former world champion Eleider “Storm” Alvarez (25-2, 13 KO’s). In round round nine, Smith laid out Alvarez with a huge right hand. Time was :26 of the ninth. At the time of the KO, Smith was up 80-72, 79-73, 79-73. The fight was a WBO light heavyweight eliminator
“Coming into this camp, I knew I had to work on my boxing,” said Smith. “I wanted to be sharp, throw a lot of straight punches. I watched his fight with Kovalev, and Kovalev kind of set the way to beat him. So we watched that and worked off of it. I knew coming in today I had to box a little more because he’s got that great right hand. He caught me with it a couple times, but I can take a punch, too.
“Every time he hit me, I wanted to come and stop him in his tracks, and I did that. I stuck to my game plan, and it was a great fight.
“I feel this one is a big one. I really needed it. I wanted to prove I’m not just a knockout guy. I proved my boxing ability, too, and I showed that tonight.”
Rob Brant (26-2, 18 KO’s) busted up Vitaliy Kopylenko (28-3, 16 KO’s).
The bout was halted after the fifth round by Kopylenko’s corner with his left eye nearly shut.
Julian Rodriguez (20-0, 13 KO’s) easily destroyed Anthony Laureano (13-1, 4 KO’s) of the first round.
Floored three times, Rodriguez was halted at 2:50.
Clay Collard (9-2-3, 3 KO’s) W TKO Maurice Williams (7-2, 3 KO’s).
Time was 1:54 of the second round.
Duke Ragan (1-0, 1 KO) W TKO 1 Luis Alvarado (1-2, 1 KO).
Ragan was making his pro debut. Time was 1:54.
Robert Rodriguez (9-0-1, 5 KO’s) W KO 1 Abel Soriano (10-1, 7 KO’s). Time was 2:59.
Israel Mercado (8-0, 7 KO’s) W PTS 6 Adrian Valdovinos (5-1-1, 4 KO’s).
Scores were 59-55, 60-54, 60-54.
Venue: “The Bubble” at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.