Joe Smith Jr. will look to finally defend his WBO light heavyweight title against a very different opponent in Steve Geffrard, who is fighting for the title for the first time.
Smith defeated Maxim Vlasov in April to win the WBO light heavyweight title. Umar Salamov was originally going to face Smith for the title in October at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, but Smith tested positive for COVID-19 and spent several days in the hospital. His original opponent, Callum Johnson, also recently tested positive for COVID-19, prompting another change.
Geffrard was scheduled to fight Gonzalo Andreassen on Jan. 8, but was pulled out in order to make this fight. Since losing two in a row early in his career, Geffrard has won 18 in a row. His last fight was a unanimous decision win over Denis Grachev in March 2021, the first time he fought since 2018. The 31-year-old has 12 wins by knockout. Geffrard is ranked just outside the top 15 in the division.
Sporting News has you covered with all the information you need to watch the fight on Saturday, including time, channel and fight card.
What time does Joe Smith Jr. vs. Steve Geffrard start today?
Date: Saturday, December 15
Event start: 7:45 p.m. ET
Main card: 10 p.m. ET
Main event: 11:15 p.m. ET (approximate)
The undercard bout between Joe Smith Jr. and Steve Geffrard begins at 7:45 p.m. (Eastern time) and the main bout begins at 10 p.m. (Eastern time). Fans will have to wait until 11:15 p.m. ET for Smith and Geffrard to enter the ring, depending on the length of the undercard bouts.
What channel is Joe Smith Jr. vs. Steve Geffrard on?
TV Channels: ESPN, ESPN+
Fight fans will be able to watch the title bout and the entire main card on ESPN. The card, including prelims, will also air live on ESPN+.
Where is the Joe Smith Jr. vs. Steve Geffrard bout taking place?
Venue: Turning Stone Resort Casino, Verona, N.Y.
Smith returns to Turning Stone Resort Casino for the first time since 2019, where he suffered his last loss to Dmitry Bivol. Since then, he has won three in a row. This will be Geffrard’s first time fighting at Turning Stone Resort Casino.
Joe Smith Jr. vs. Steve Geffrard fight card
- Joe Smith Jr. (c) vs. Steve Geffrard for the WBO light-heavyweight title
- Abraham Nova vs. William Encarnacion; Featherweights
- Troy Isley vs. Harry Keenan Cruz Cubano; Middleweights
- Lyubomyr Pinchuk vs. Jose Mario Flores; Heavyweights
- Jahi Tucker vs. Akeem Black; Welterweights
- Omar Rosario vs. Raekwon Butler; Junior-Welterweights