Monte Carlo - WBA 'regular' super featherweight champion Jason Sosa (20-1-4, 15KOs) won a twelve round unanimous decision over Stephen Smith (24-2, 15KOs) to retain the title for the first time. The scores were 116-111, 117-110 and 116-112.
Smith travelled to Connecticut to meet IBF ruler Jose Pedraza in April in his first outing for a world belt, and recovered from that points loss with a commanding win over Daniel Brizuela in his hometown of Liverpool a month later.
Puerto Rican-American Sosa was defending his strap for the first time having ripped the crown from Javier Fortuna with late round knockout in Beijing in June.
Sosa came out firing and was landing big punches in the first round. He scored a flash knockdown in the second as Smith lost his balance. At the end of the third, Sosa opened up a bad cut outside the right eye of Smith.
During the fourth, Smith stood his ground and started going to war with Sosa - trading punches in toe to toe fashion as the crowd stood on their feet. They continued to trade punches in the fifth round. Smith looking to get his respect by giving as good as he was getting. The fight continued to play out at a very grueling pace, with both fighters swinging away with hard shots to the head and body. Sosa was landing the harder, heavier punches and walking through most of Smith's shots.
Smith was taking some punishment in the eleventh round, getting tagged with good punches and not throwing back as much, especially to the body. The action was slower in the twelfth and final round, with Smith doing the better work and landing solid counters - but nothing hard enough to seriously hurt Sosa.