Atlantic City, New Jersey - In a crossroads battle at light heavyweight, Joe Smith (25-3, 20 KOs) showed his power was too much for Jesse Hart (26-3, 21 KOs), who failed to get revenge for his mentor Bernard Hopkins. (photos by Mikey Williams)
Smith was awarded a ten round split decision from the judges with scores of 97-92 for Smith, a criminal 95-94 for Hart, and 98-91 for Smith.
Smith came out pressing in the first round and Hart was on the move, looking to box and using the jab. There was a lot of holding by Hart in the second round. At the end of the round, Smith rocked Hart with a hard hook, which forced Hart to hold on.
Hart managed to box a lot better in the third. Smith came back in the fourth, with numerous power shots landing and a lot of pressure being applied. He had Hart rocking at the end of the round. A much closer fifth, with Smith doing most of the hard work. Smith was landing the harder and better shots in the sixth.
Hart came out jabbing well in the seventh. But Smith took things over with hard shots and dropped Hart down. Not enough time for Smith to finish him off. Smith then controlled the entire eight.
In the ninth, Hart was getting hit very often and sustained a serious cut above his left eye. During the tenth, Hart was trying his best but he was being stung and shook up by the bigger punches of Smith.