By Steve Kim
According to promoter Joe Deguardia a potential light heavyweight slugfest between his man, Joe Smith, and reigning WBC champion Adonis Stevenson will not be taking place in the spring.
"Adonis Stevenson has run cold. I think Adonis Stevenson decided that he doesn't want to fight Joe Smith. He doesn't want to get into the ring with a banger like Joe," the veteran promoter told BoxingScene.com on Thursday afternoon.
So what's next for the blue-collar Smith, who is union laborer from Long Island, New York?
"There's obviously other opportunities out there and people want to see him fight. I believe we have the biggest draw in New York and we'll find something for him and put him in a nice fight,'' said Deguardia of his client. who burst onto the scene last year with knockout victories over Andrzej Fonfara and Bernard Hopkins.
As for him returning to the refurbished Nassau Coliseum on April 29th, Deguardia explained - "the Nassau Coliseum fight, the thought was to make that against Adonis Stevenson. So Adonis apparently doesn't want to fight."
There has been talk of a local showdown with Seanie Monaghan.
"Well, I'm looking into other fights and there's certainly a couple guys out there that would make a good big fight with Joe and I'm looking at exploring all these options," stated Deguardia, who says he's not surprised by how things turned out with Stevenson.
"He talks a good game but when the chips are down and it's time to make a good fight, the fights not made and this is a perfect example because Joe is sitting there salivating, ready to fight whoever I tell him to fight," said a frustrated Deguardia. "But Adonis Stevenson is not coming to the table."
So what's next for Stevenson, his promoter Yvon Michel says - "The plan is to fight April 29th but we're not sure about the opponent, yet."
So why didn't this match-up come to fruition?
''Look, Adonis wants to fight him," claimed Michel. "The kid did a very good performance. Maybe the timing for everybody involved it's not there. But I'm sure we'll find a way to get Adonis and Smith in the ring together in 2017."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.