Can Maxim Vlasov take down Joe Smith Jr. as an underdog? The bout goes down on Saturday, April 10th in Oklahoma.
- Joe Smith Jr. vs Maxim Vlasov goes Saturday, April 10th, 2021 at 10 pm EST
- Who raises WBO gold high overhead on Saturday night?
- Check out the fight odds, analysis, and predictions below
Joe Smith Jr. and Maxim Vlasov test skills inside Osage Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Smith Jr. vs Vlasov broadcasts on ESPN and ESPN+.
The vacant WBO world light heavyweight championship is up for grabs in this contest and headlines this Top Rank show.
Joe Smith Jr. vs Maxim Vlasov Odds
|Fighter||Odds at DraftKings|
|Joe Smith Jr.||-400|
Odds as of Apr. 7
This fight was initially supposed to take place in February and was postponed in lieu of Vlasov testing positive for COVID-19.
Joe Smith Jr. had intended to win the belt and wear it for his early March wedding, but alas, the championship nuptials were not to be.
Maxim Vlasov’s Title Goals in a New Division
While the bulk of his resume is at cruiserweight, Maxim Vlasov now aims for a world title in the weight category below.
He is riding a three-fight win streak heading into another bid for WBO gold in a different division. Vlasov fell short in a prior campaign for the WBO cruiserweight throne against Krzysztof Glowacki in November 2018.
While he doesn’t have an eye-catching KO rate, Vlasov has shown some stopping ability in prior outings.
Vlasov is presently the #3 ranked contender in the weight category per the WBO. This pugilist who is fast approaching fifty pro fights last beat Emmanuel Martey via unanimous decision in November 2019 and handed him his first loss.
Maxim Vlasov has yet to taste defeat as a light heavyweight, but he puts that divisional 0 on the line against Joe Smith Jr.
Joe Smith Jr’s Championship Redemption
Smith Jr. is perhaps best known for sending Bernard Hopkins careening out of the ring during The Alien‘s sendoff December 2016 bout.
There is a redemptive element to this prizefight here as Joe Smith Jr. looks to capture a world title after falling short in a prior bid against Dmitry Bivol in March 2019 for the WBA hardware.
Since that defeat, Smith Jr. has put together back-to-back wins including, an August victory over former light heavyweight champion Eleider Alvarez.
Joe Smith Jr. is a hugely exciting combatant who has gained the favor of fans and respected analysts, alike and for good reason.
While Smith Jr. has a pretty proven record as a power puncher, Vlasov has also shown a level of durability in past outings against heavier opponents.
Joe Smith Jr. is three and a half inches shorter in this contest but does have the edge in terms of keeping active considering Vlasov did not fight a single time in 2020.
Smith Jr. vs Vlasov Tale of the Tape
|Bernard Hopkins, Eleider Alvarez, Jesse Hart||Significant Wins||Emmanuel Martey, Denton Daley, Omar Garcia|
This contest is scheduled for twelve rounds, and I can see this fight encroaching towards that final bell.
While Smith Jr. has shown great ability to finish past efforts, and there are question marks about how Vlasov will look post-COVID diagnosis, I still think these 175-pound warriors will trade leather until the very end.
I think there’s good value in pursuing prop bets on this fight going the distance (+120) and Smith Jr. winning on points/ decision (+210).
Pick: Joe Smith Jr. (-400)
A part-time writer and full-time broadcaster, Dylan has hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, and covered some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage.