Dmitry Bivol and Joe Smith Jr. both made the light heavyweight limit at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York, in anticipation of Bivols defense of the Light Heavyweight Championship of the World Boxing Association (WBA). Bivol tipped the scales at 173.5 pounds while the challenger, Joe Smith Jr., came in at 173.0 pounds.
Bivol has represented the organization as champion since 2016, but an injury took him out of the ring and almost sent him to retirement in 2017. After his recovery, he returned and won the crown again in November of that year and has so far defeated Sullivan Barrera, Isaac Chilemba, and Jean Pascal to complete three successful defenses.
For his part, Smith will be in his first fight for a world championship and will arrive with the intention of obtaining it against the fearsome Russian champion. The Long Island native will be at home and has in his resume good rivals such as Bernard Hopkins and Sullivan Barrera.
Bivol has a record of 15 wins, no losses, and 11 knockouts, while Smith has a record of 24 wins, 2 losses, and 20 wins via knockout.