Smith Jr. is getting a second opportunity for a title shot after falling short in his first one. Vlasov is hoping to play spoiler in Smith’s quest and capture his first world title as well. Which fighter will walk away with the light heavyweight title?
The main card will begin at 10 pm ET with the main event fight expected to begin at 11:15 pm ET on ESPN and ESPN+.
Joe Smith Jr. is once again a betting favorite after being an underdog to Eleider Alvarez in his last fight. He was also an underdog against Dmitry Bivol and Bernard Hopkins over the last five years. Smith’s odds range from -325 to -400.
Vlasov enters as an underdog with odds ranging from +240 to +310. There’s little betting data for Vlasov’s recent fights.
The over/under is set at 9.5 rounds with decent value for both the over and the under. There’s a plethora of prop bets available as well. We’ll take a look at a few of the popular ones in the following sections below.
Smith Jr. vs. Vlasov Preview
Joe Smith Jr.
Vlasov enters this contest having won three straight fights since losing to Glowacki in November 2018 via unanimous decision.
He defeated Emmanuel Martey via decision in November 2019. That was his third fight of the year, as he also beat Isaac Chilemba and Omar Garcia.
Keep in mind, those three fights were his first bouts at light heavyweight as he moved down from cruiserweight following his loss to Glowacki.
As mentioned, Vlasov was preparing to fight another opponent, but Salamov fell ill and the WBO decided to book him with Smith for the vacant title instead.
“You have to take risks to win big fights. This is my big chance to become a world champion, to bring the title back home to Russia.”
26 of his 45 pro wins have come via TKO/KO, which is a 54.17 knockout rate. Vlasov’s three losses have all been via decision, as Vlasov has never been stopped in a pro fight.
Will This Be Smith’s Time to Shine?
Smith has won two straight fights, both coming in 2020. He beat Jesse Hart by split decision 15 months ago, then he beat former champ Eleider Alvarez via ninth-round TKO in August. He’s two years removed from his loss via unanimous decision to Dmitry Bivol.
“I am proud of all I have accomplished, and I am confident I will bring the belt home on April 10 and move forward with my goal of unifying belts and proving I am the best light heavyweight in the world.”
21 of his 26 pro wins have come via TKO/KO which is a 72.41 knockout rate. Smith was stopped only once in his career.
Smith vs Vlasov Over/Under
Over 9.5 rounds (-145)
Under 9.5 rounds (+115)
This WBO world title fight is scheduled for 12 rounds. For Smith, he’s gone over 9.5 rounds in three of his last five bouts. Vlasov has gone over 9.5 rounds in four of his last five fights, including two in a row.
This contest has the feeling of going well into the championship rounds. Take the over for this wager.
Over or Under 9.5 Rounds? – Over 9.5 Rounds (-145)
Will This Fight Go the Distance?
I believe this WBO light heavyweight title fight will go the distance. Vlasov has gone the distance in three of his last four fights. Smith has gone the distance in three of his last five fights.
Vlasov has never been stopped in his career, and I don’t expect that to happen now. Smith has only been stopped once and that was over a decade ago in the early portion of his career.
Will Smith vs Vlasov Go the Distance? – Yes (-150)
Who Wins the WBO LH Title?
Vlasov will have the height, reach, and power advantages; he’s a natural cruiserweight who moved down a weight class. With that said, I believe Smith has the speed, athletic, footwork, and technical striking advantages.
Smith’s performance against former light heavyweight champ Eleider Alvarez was a brilliant one. He scored a TKO win in the ninth round and proved that he’s still one of the top fighters in the division.
However, I don’t see him stopping Vlasov who is the bigger fighter and has never been stopped before. Instead, I believe Smith will outwork his opponent and land more punches as he cruises to a unanimous decision victory and his first world title reign.
Joe Smith Jr. vs Maxim Vlasov Pick – Joe Smith Jr. (-360)
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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