Highly-touted Long Island light heavyweight Joe Smith Jr. makes his long-anticipated pro debut Oct. 31 on the “Fright Night At The Sun” card, headlined by world-rated light heavyweight Joey “KO Kid” Spina against former world champion Lou “Honey Boy” Del Valle in the 10-round main event, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
“Fright Night At The Sun” is promoted by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment and Sports, Inc. (CES), in association with Mohegan Sun Casino.
“Nobody hits harder than this kid (Smith),” said Phil Capobianco, one of the key managerial members of Team Smith. “He’s a throwback fighter; one tough, good-looking street kid. Boxing is his life. He’s a stand-up fighter with a left hook to the body like Gerry Cooney’s.”
The 20-year-old Smith, fighting out of Mastic (Long Island), has been an amateur boxer the past seven years, in which he captured numerous titles, including top honors in the prestigious 2008 New York Golden Gloves Tournament.
“I’m excited about making my pro debut and not many fighters get a chance to do it at a major casino like Mohegan Sun,” Smith noted. “I’m a puncher-boxer with all of the tools. I do everything. It’s time for me to turn pro.
"I’m not sure who I will be fighting yet, but he better worry about fighting me. I don’t care who I fight. I’ll fight anybody. I’m working hard in the gym with (trainer) Derek (Capobianco). I feel that I’ll be a champion someday.”
“We’re all very excited about Joe making his pro debut on our card,” promoter Jimmy Burchfield remarked. “He’s a good-looking Irish kid from New York City who can really fight – perhaps the next Micky Ward. Fans are going to love him. He’s a real scrapper – a boxer and a puncher.
"The Capobianco family is really high on Joe and that says a lot. They have been a big part of New York City boxing for years. The father, John, was an amateur boxer in the ‘40s who later started training Gerry Cooney. John’s four sons all were amateur boxers -- light heavyweights, the same as Joe – and John Jr. was 21-5 as a pro.”
Spina (25-1-1, 17 KOs), fighting out of Providence, is rated between the top 12 to 15 contenders in each of the four major boxing organizations, while the slick Del Valle (36-6-1, 22 KOs), a New York southpaw, has never been stopped in 43 pro bouts.
A terrific 10-round co-feature has been added to “Fright Night At The Sun,” featuring one of the hottest prospects on the East Coast, UBC junior welterweight “Hammerin’” Hank Lundy (15-0-1, 9 KOs) against an opponent to be determined.
On the undercard in separate four-round bouts are a pair of promising Hartford (CT) prospects from Puerto Rico, Hartford junior middleweight David Bauza (2-0, 2 KOs) against Rafael Jastrzebski, and light welterweight Edwin Soto (1-0, 1 KO) versus pro debuting Rasheed Francis.
Also fighting on the undercard – representing the Polish community – is undefeated lightweight Ryan “The Polish Prince” Kielczewski (5-0, 2 KOs), a 2008 National Golden Gloves Tournament runner-up from Quincy (MA), in a 4-round bout against Israel Suarez of Luquillo, Puerto Rico. Unbeaten Philadelphia lightweight Frank Trader (6-0, 2 KOs) – another hot prospect from the City of Brotherly Love – meets Gustavo Daily in another 4-rounder. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Tickets for “Fright Night At The Sun,” priced at $27.00, $50.00 and $80.00, are available to purchase by calling CES (401.724.2253/2254), going online at www.cesboxing.com or at the Mohegan Sun Box Office. Ticketmaster customers may log on to www.ticketmaster.com, call Ticketmaster’s national toll-free charge by phone (1.800.745.3000) or visit any Ticketmaster outlet.
For more information contact CES (401.724.2253/2254/www.cesboxing.com) or Mohegan Sun (www.mohegansun.com). Doors open at 6:30 PM/ET, first bout at 7:30 PM/ET.