By: Hans Themistode
Joe Smith Jr. is currently lining up his next two fights, one of which, would see him face Daniel Jacobs.
After taking down Maxim Vlasov via majority decision earlier this year, Smith Jr. celebrated his first world title win. Now, for his next act, the Long Island native is reportedly finalizing a two-fight deal, the first of which would come against mandatory challenger Umar Salamov. The Russian native has reeled off seven straight wins since suffering the lone defeat of his career against Damien Hooper.
Seemingly confident in his ability to pick up the win, Smith Jr. already has his next opponent lined up. Should the newly crowned WBO light heavyweight belt holder do what many are expecting, he’ll find himself up against fellow New Yorker, Daniel Jacobs.
As first reported by ESPN’s Mike Coppinger, Jacobs vs. Smith Jr. would take place during the first quarter of 2022. The all New York showdown would presumably go down at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
News of the soon to be announced agreement comes as somewhat of a surprise. For most of his career, Jacobs campaigned at the middleweight division. His tenure at the land of 160 was extremely successful as he held the WBA “Regular” and IBF crowns.
After coming up short in a unification bout against Canelo Alvarez in May of 2019, Jacobs moved up to the super middleweight division seven months later. In his debut, Jacobs easily got rid of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. via fifth-round stoppage. He then followed that up with a less than stellar performance against fringe contender, Gabe Rosado. Although Jacobs would ultimately pick up the split decision win, he openly admitted that it wasn’t his best performance in the ring.
Both Jacobs and Smith Jr. grew up around the New York area and attended many of the same amateur tournaments. Being completely candid about the reverence that he currently has for Jacobs, Smith Jr. confessed that he looked up to his soon to be opponent for years.
Now, if he’s able to take care of business against Salamov, Smith Jr. will step into the ring against the man he’s always admired.