The light heavyweight division has the first notable championship belt on the line to open the 2022 boxing calendar. WBO champ Joe Smith Jr. makes his first title defense when he faces Steve Geffrard at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.
The event will air on ESPN and ESPN+ will host a live stream. The preliminary card gets underway at approximately 8 p.m. ET and the main card is scheduled to start at 10 p.m. Smith and Geffrard are scheduled to make their ring walks early in the 11 p.m. hour.
Smith is 27-3 and claimed his title with a majority decision win over Maxim Vlasov last April. He’s won three straight fights since losing two of three, including a unanimous decision loss to Sullivan Barrera in his second defense off the WBC International title.
Geffrard comes into the fight on short notice after COVID-19 sidelined Callum Johnson. Smith was originally scheduled to fight Umar Salamov last October in his first title defense, but Smith tested positive for COVID-19 and the fight was postponed.
Smith is a -1200 favorite to win at DraftKings Sportsbook while Geffrard is a +700 underdog. Total rounds on the 12-round bout is set at 5.5. The favored fight outcome is Smith by KO, TKO, or DQ at -500. Smith by decision or technical decision follows at +500.