Report by: Damon Gonzalez
Photo credits: Kenny Ludwig
Atlantic City, N.J. – Philadelphia’s Jesse Hart wanted revenge. Joe Smith Jr. didn’t let that happen.
Smith, who knocked out Hart’s mentor and fellow Philly pugilist Bernard Hopkins in 2016, was dominant but had to settle for a split decision in the Top Rank on ESPN main event in front of 3,415 fans at Etess Arena at Hard Rock Live. While it appeared to be a clear decision for Smith, one judge scored the bout 95-94 for Hart, while Smith prevailed on the other cards by scores of 98-91 and 97-92.
Steven “SO Cold” Nelson (16-0, 12 KOs) from Omaha, Nebraska scores a eighth round TKO at 1:44 seconds over tough Cem Kilic (14-1, 9 KOs) from Los Angeles, CA.
lightweight Joseph Adorno (14-0-1, 12 KOs) and Hector Garcia (14-7-4, 8 KOs) battled to an eight round draw. Scores were 77-75 Adorno, 77-75 Garcia, 76-76. Adorno was a 34:1 favorite.
Undefeated heavyweight Sonny Conto (6-0, 5 KOs) from Philadelphia, PA. made easy work by finishing off Curtis Head (5-4, 3 KOs) from Inkster, Michigan at the 2:08 second mark of the opening round by KO victory for Conto.
Super middleweight Chris “The Sandman” Thomas (14-1-1, 9 KOs) from Beachwood, N.J. waisted no time hitting Samir Barbosa (37-17-3, 26 KOs) from Rio Grande, Brazil with hard shots keeping the pressure on him as the referee seen enough calling a stop to the contest at the official time of .47 seconds of round one Thomas winning by TKO victory.
Super bantamweight Jeremy Adorno (4-0, 1 KO) from Allentown, PA. scored a 4 round unanimous decision over Fernando Ibarra (2-3, 0 KOs) from Cincinnati, OH. Adorno floored Ibarra in round 2 clearly dominated the fight leading up to the Judges official scores 45-35 3x for Adorno.
Welterweight Shinard Bunch (6-1, 5 KOs) from Trenton, New Jersey scored a sixth round TKO over Dennis Okoth (4-3-1, 2 KOs) from Siaya, Kenya.
Welterweight rising star Xander Zayas (3-0, 2 KO) scores a 4 round unanimous decision over Corey Champion (1-2, 1 KO). Scores were 40-36, 40-36, 40-35. First time going the full distance for Zayas.
@hollywoodhart 🆚 @joesmithjr631
Light Heavyweight Jesse Hart (26-2, 21 KO’s) from Philadelphia, PA. will collide against Joe Smith (24-3, 20 KO’s) from Long Island, NY. on Saturday January 11, 2020 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, NJ. Live on ESPN Presented by Top Rank, Inc. & Peltz Boxing.