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Mastic's Joe Smith Jr. drops decision to Dmitry Bivol

The Russian retained his WBA light heavyweight title with unanimous scores of 119-109, 119-109 and 118-110.

VERONA, N.Y. — Dmitry Bivol used his speed and sharp combinations to dominate Mastic's Joe Smith Jr. on Saturday night to retain his light heavyweight world title at the Turning Stone Resort Casino.

The judges awarded the Russian a unanimous decision with the scores of 119-109, 119-109 and 118-110. 

Smith, 29, could do little against the far more skilled Bivol, whose hand speed and footwork kept him off balance.

"Of course, this was not an easy fight. I trained hard but Joe Smith fought hard and he has strong hands," Bivol said.

Bivol (16-0, 11 KOs), 28, caught Smith with a short left in the seventh round that clearly hurt the challenger. In the ninth round, Smith body-slammed Bivol to the mat after the two got tangled, drawing a warning from referee Gary Rosato.

Smith landed a right hand to close the 10th round, sending Bivol back to his corner on unsteady legs.

According to CompuBox punch statistics, Bivol landed 208 of 714 punches (29 percent) and Smith landed 39 of 395 (10 percent).

Smith has fought 27 times now. He has won 24 of them. He burst onto the world stage in 2016 with a first-round knockout of Andrzej Fonfara and then scored another upset that year when he scored a knockout over Bernard Hopkins.

In the co-feature bout, Maurice Hooker (26-0-3) outpointed Mikkel LesPierre (21-1-1) to retain his junior welterweight world title.

On the undercard, Callum Johnson (18-1, 13 KOs) stopped Long Beach's Seanie Monaghan (29-3) in the third round of light heavyweight action.

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