Smith Jr. to undergo surgery for broken jaw

From ESPN - July 17, 2017

Light heavyweight contender Joe Smith Jr. is headed for surgery later this week after he suffered a broken jaw in his 10-round decision loss to Sullivan Barrera on Saturday night in one of the HBO-televised bouts at the Forum in Inglewood, California.

Smith (23-2, 19 KOs) scored a first-round knockdown with a powerful left hand against Barrera (20-1, 14 KOs) but showed virtually nothing for the rest of the fight, which he lost by scores of 97-92, 97-92 and 96-93 on the undercard of the junior lightweight world title fight between Miguel Berchelt and Takashi Miura.

Smith's poor performance over the final nine rounds likely was because he was boxing with a broken jaw.

"I truly gave it my all. Sullivan Barrera is a great, tough warrior. I have a lot of respect for what he did," Smith said on social media. "I had a good first round. I dropped Barrera. I knew he would get back up, and he did. He came back strong, and he landed a few good shots from that point on. It was not going as planned, as you all saw. Somewhere during the second round, I was injured and was in a lot of pain, but I did not want to let it show, and I refused to quit."

Said Star Boxing promoter Joe DeGuardia, "Joe knocked down Barrera hard in the first round, but in the second round, he sustained a broken jaw. It's a similar injury to the one he suffered five years ago, and frankly, it's amazing that he continued to valiantly fight over the next eight rounds and finish the fight."

DeGuardia said that when Smith lost his only other fight, a fourth-round knockout to Eddie Caminero in 2010, he also suffered a broken jaw.

"After spending part of Saturday night at the UCLA Medical Center, Joe will have surgery later this week in New York, and we will know more then about a time frame for his full recovery," DeGuardia said. "We congratulate Sullivan Barrera on his victory.


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