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~(full-FighT]@% Smith Jr. vs Maxim Vlasov Boxing Live: Streams Full Fight On TV
April 10 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Joe Smith Jr and Maxim Vlasov are set to compete for the vacant WBO light heavyweight championship belt on Saturday night. The fight will take place at Osage Casino in Tulsa Oklahoma, and ring walks are expected Saturday night at 10:00 p.m. ET. The fight comes two months after it was postponed when Vlasov tested positive for COVID-19.
ESPN will be airing the fight in the United States. If you’re unable to watch on TV, you can live stream the event with ESPN+ and WatchESPN, or by downloading the ESPN app on your mobile device. You’ll need a subscription to watch. If you don’t have cable, you can get a free trial from YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, AT&T TV Now, FuboTV, or Sling TV to stream Saturday’s light heavyweight title fight.
Smith is the No. 1 ranked contender in the WBO’s light heavyweight rankings. He is coming off a ninth round TKO victory over Eleider Álvarez at the MGM Bubble in Las Vegas. He has won two straight following a decision loss to Dmitry Bivol in a WBA title fight.
Vlasov is the No. 2 ranked contender in the WBO’s rankings. He has won three straight fights with his last coming in November 2019 — a unanimous decision victory over Emmanuel Martey. He last loss in 2018, dropping a decision to Krzysztof Glowacki, who is currently the WBO’s No. 2 cruiserweight.
After a two-month delay because of Maxim Vlasov’s COVID-19 diagnosis, Joe Smith Jr. gets another chance to win a light heavyweight world title. For Smith, it couldn’t come at a better time. Said Smith simply, “I am extremely motivated after all I have been through in my career.” Here’s everything you need to know about Joe Smith Jr. vs. Maxim Vlasov, including the odds, their records and a prediction on who will win.
This fight was originally supposed to occur in February, but Vlasov was diagnosed with the coronavirus and had to bow out. The Russian said he’s fully recovered now, and maybe that’s true. But you have to remember that Alexander Povetkin was infected a couple months before his rematch against Dillian Whyte and then looked completely out of it when he actually stepped into the ring a few weeks ago.
Whether Vlasov is 100% now remains to be seen. But he knew that taking the fight with Smith in the first place was a danger.
“You have to take risks to win big fights,” Vlasov said, via Boxing Scene. “This is my big chance to become a world champion, to bring the title back home to Russia. I am excited and I am ready for this. I’ve waited a long time to [return to the ring] but even longer to become world champion. This is why I fight.”
Smith, though, is more established on the international boxing scene, and though he lost to Dmitry Bivol in his only title fight appearance in 2019, Smith has reeled off two nice victories in a row, beating Jesse Hart and then knocking out Eleider Alvarez. Vlasov said the Alvarez victory wasn’t all that impressive and said Smith was predictable and basic. But Smith’s power is a great equalizer in the 175-pound division.
Joe Smith Jr. deserves this opportunity, and I know Maxim Vlasov will give him a great challenge,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “The light heavyweight division is one of the hottest in boxing, and the winner will have no shortage of lucrative opportunities.
Here’s more info on the Joe Smith Jr. vs. Maxim Vlasov showdown that U.S. viewers can watch on ESPN and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET.
Joe Smith Jr. vs. Maxim Vlasov odds
As of this writing, Smith has the widest money line I’ve seen since the fight was first announced. On Bet 365, Smith is a -400 favorite, meaning you’d have to wager $400 to win $100. Vlasov is a +275 underdog (win $275 on a $100 wager). Earlier in the week, though, I saw Smith at -334 and Vlasov at +240. At Sports Betting Dime, meanwhile, Smith is at -400 with Vlasov at +270.
You can get solid value by taking Smith to win by KO/TKO at -110, but I like taking him to win by stoppage in rounds 7-12 at +300 even better.
If you were looking for a fun parlay for this weekend’s action of boxing (and this is only my opinion and not a recommendation), I might take Smith to win by stoppage at -110, Jaron Ennis to stop Sergey Lipinets at -305, and the over of 7.5 rounds in the Jerwin Ancajas vs. Jonathan Javier Rodriguez fight at -110. That would pay out $384 on a $100 wager.
Joe Smith Jr. vs. Maxim Vlasov records
Though Smith has three losses on his ledger, he’s one of the best at light heavyweight. Coming into Saturday night, he’s 26-3-1 with 21 KOs. And some of his previous victories are awfully impressive, including scoring a massive upset vs. Andrzej Fonfara with a first-round knockout and sending Bernard Hopkins into retirement by knocking him completely out of the ring. In retrospect, a 2017 loss to Sullivan Barrera doesn’t look great.
Vlasov isn’t well known in the U.S., but he’s had a long and solid career. At 45-3 with 26 KOs, the 34-year-old scored his biggest win against Isaac Chilemba in 2019. But he also has losses to Chilemba, Krzysztof Glowacki (at cruiserweight) and Gilberto Ramirez. Mostly, when he’s faced world-class opponents, Vlasov has lost. And Smith is world class.
Joe Smith Jr. vs. Maxim Vlasov prediction
Vlasov could present some issues for Smith. Smith expects Vlasov to be busy and aggressive, and Vlasov has a good chin (he’s only been knocked down a couple of times in his 48 fights and has never been stopped). But Smith’s boxing ability is underrated, and he’s got such great power in his hands. Vlasov could make this an even fight through the first few rounds, but Smith is going to end it midway through the bout. Call it Smith by stoppage in the eighth.