SMITH SET FOR FIRST WBO WORLD TITLE DEFENSE SATURDAY NIGHT (1/15) LIVE ON ESPN
VERONA, N.Y. (Jan. 13, 2022) — WBO light heavyweight world champion JOE SMITH JR. met with late replacement STEVE GEFFRARD for the first time today at the official press conference ahead Smith’s first WBO World Championship title defense on Saturday night (Jan. 15) at Turning Stone Resort Casino and LIVE on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (simulcast on ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Mark Shonuck kicked off the presser discussing with Star Boxing CEO JOE DEGUARDIA about the mad dash that occurred after Smith Jr’s original opponent, Callum Johnson tested positive for COVID-19. “It was a crazy process” said DeGuardia. “The one shining light out of it all was these two [Smith and Geffrard], because we went through literally over a dozen fighters, and guys were turning it down left and right…finally after about the eighth guy, [Smith] said listen Joe, whoever you put in there I don’t care, I’m fighting, just go make a deal.”
Smith spoke next, describing what it means to be making his first title defense, “I am extremely happy to be here. There was a couple of moments where I didn’t think I would be here today. I can’t wait for Saturday.”
Finally, Geffrard took to the mic to describe his mindset going into Saturday night, “At the end of the day, I’m a fighter. Especially with an opportunity like this I am going to rise to the occasion. I keep telling myself, I am going to show the world what Steve Geffrard is all about.”
Missed the presser? Don’t worry, Star Boxing has you covered. Click HERE to hear from Joe Smith and Steve Geffrard at today’s press conference.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, tickets priced from $49 to $89 are on sale now and can be purchased at the Turning Stone Resort Box Office, charge by phone by calling 800.771.7711 or online at Ticketmaster.
About Turning Stone Resort Casino
Host of the January 15th event, Turning Stone Resort Casino is a Forbes Four-Star Award-winning destination resort, which continues to distinguish itself as a premier venue for fight-of-the-year caliber boxing. Turning Stone features world-class amenities including The Lounge with Caesars Sports, a state-of-the-art sports book in partnership with Caesars Entertainment, five hotels, more than 20 signature dining options, two spas, a 125,000 square foot Las Vegas style gaming floor, multiple entertainment venues, five golf courses, and several bars and lounges offering live entertainment every weekend. Additionally, Turning Stone is the Official Resort Casino of the International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend. The partnership is a multifaceted initiative to spotlight boxing throughout the entire region. The program includes a series of boxing events at Turning Stone that culminate every year in June with an elaborate and bigger-than-ever International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend celebration. International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend will be held June 9 – 12, 2022.
As an increasing number of athletes and performers now require ticketholders to be vaccinated, Turning Stone has updated its health and safety protocols for the Event Center, The Showroom and Exit 33 nightlife venues to align with industry health and safety protocols. All ticketholders 12 years or older are required to provide proof of vaccination to attend any event at the Turning Stone Event Center or The Showroom. Children 11 years or younger who are not vaccinated are required to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of the event and will be required to wear face coverings while at Turning Stone. Guests visiting areas other than the Event Center, The Showroom and Exit 33 nightlife venues at Turning Stone are not required to provide proof of vaccination. All guests visiting Turning Stone are required to wear masks.
Media credential requests for the January 15th fight should be emailed to Kelly Abdo, Director of PR for Turning Stone, at [email protected].