Sullivan Barrera puts on solid performance, decisions Smith Jr. in ten
By Danny Z | Senior Writer
Published: July 15, 2017
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - In the opening bout of the latest edition of HBO's Boxing After Dark card, Long Island, New York's Joe Smith Jr. fell short to Sullivan Barrera in a light-heavyweight contest.
In the first meaningful exchange of the initial round, Smith Jr. connected with an over the top left hook that sent Barrera, 35, on his rear. Luckily for Barrera, it was at the end of the round as he was able to make it back to his feet and finish the round. Barrera seemingly re-grouped and landed the cleaner, harder shots in the following round and Smith Jr., at times, almost looked to be heading to the canvas.
In the fourth, a series of clinches kept occurring that referee Jack Reiss had to continually break up. However, Barrera was able to once again connect with some punches -- this time throwing some uppercuts that the 27-year-old Smith Jr. surely felt. The sixth round wasn't that much better for Smith Jr., as Barrera landed with a combination of a straight right hand and an uppercut -- all while Smith Jr. was against the ropes. This time, it was Smith Jr. who was essentially saved by the bell as the blows landed with the final seconds ticking on the clock.
As the tenth and final round ticked to its last second, Barrera raised his right glove into the air as to signal a victory for the fighter from Cuba, who now resides in Miami. Veteran ring announcer Michael Buffer announced scores of 96-93 and 97-92 (twice) -- all for Barrera. The only seemingly, shining moment for Smith Jr. was his first round knockdown. Nevertheless, he [Smith Jr.] could not capitalize on the momentum for remainder of the contest, as Barrera's slick moves outworked the native New Yorker in a good performance that could set him up for a world title matchup sometime soon in the future.
(Feature photo: Golden Boy Promotions - Hogan Photos)