• Miguel Maravilla

Joe Smith Jr Edges Maxim Vlasov to Win WBO Light Heavyweight Title

Photos - Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images.

Light heavyweights Joe Smith Jr. (27-3, 12 KOs) of New York and Maxim Vlasov (45-4, ) of Russia clashed Saturday night in a back and forth battle on the ESPN main event for the WBO light heavyweight title at the Osage Casino, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

It was a fast paced opening round as the action continued with Smith and Vlasov letting their hands go early on.

Smith was cut on his left eye but continued to fight on, Vlasov pressed but was herky jerky with his style. Continuing to exchange in the seventh, a right hand by Smith rocked Vlasov but he stayed on his feet. The battle continued and late in the fight in the eleventh, Smith had Vlasov hurt but Smith by accidentally hitting Vlasov behind the head. The twelfth and final round saw Smith and Vlasov continuing to trade as both fighters wanted it and looked to impress.

In the end the judges scored it 115-113, 115-112, and 114-114 as Smith pulls off the majority decision.

Efe Ajagba (15-0, 12 KOs) scored a highlight third round knockout over Brian Howard (15-5, 12 KOs). A huge right hand knocked Howard out cold.

Heavyweight Jared Anderson (9-0, 9 KOs) of Toledo, Ohio scored a first round knockout over Jeremiah Karpency (16-3-1, 6 KO).

Undefeated heavyweight Trey Lippe Morrison (17-0, 17 KOs), son of former heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison, had his hands full scoring a third round TKO over Jason Bergman (27-20-2, 18 KOs). Bergman dropped Morrison in the opening round, but it was ruled a slip. In round three, Bergman went down on his own when he twisted his ankle and the fight was over. Time 1:27.

Featherweight Duke Ragan (4-0, 1 KO) of Ohio dominated Charles Clark (3-7-1, 1 KO) over six rounds. All three judges scored the bout 60-54.

Unbeaten heavyweight Jeremiah Milton (3-0, 3 KOs) scored a first round KO over Jayvone Dafney (2-3, 2 KOs). Milton landed a solid right hand, knocking out Dafney cold. Time was 1:19.

In the opening round unbeaten heavyweight Sonny “The Bronco” Conto (7-0, 6 KOs) scored a first round KO over Waldo Cortes (6-4, 3 KOs). A right hand laid out Cortes at 1:41

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