Former WBC International light heavyweight champion Joe Smith Jr., who lost his title against Sullivan Barrera on July 14, announced he would be getting surgery to repair a fractured jaw suffered in that fight.
Smith announced on social media that he will get surgery to repair his jaw it fractured around the second round of his fight, which was the opening bout on an HBO boxing card.
"I just want to say thank you to all my friends and to all my true fans. You all made my night with all the incredible good things you had to say about me. Thank you so much. We did not come out on top tonight but i truly gave it my all. Sullivan Barrera is a great tough warrior. I have a lot of respect for what he did tn on HBO defeating me a young hungry fighter there to win. I had a good first round. I dropped Barrera. I knew he would get back up and he did. He came back strong and he landed a few good shots from that point on .It was not going as planned as you all saw. Somewhere during the second round I was injured And was in a lot of pain but I did not want to let it show and I refused to quit. As the fight went on it got much tougher for me as the pain was just increasing more and more. I came very close to calling it... After the fight I went to the hospital for the second time in my career, it turns out I had my jaw fractured just as I expected so I fought about 9 rounds with this. So I am very proud. I will be taking some time to heal and to make maybe the biggest decision of my career."
Star Boxing promoter Joe DeGuardia told ESPN that Smith's jaw was already hurt coming into the fight, as it was bruised in the final sparring session. Smith will have surgery in New York, but timetable for recovery has yet to be determined.
Smith rose to prominence after retiring Bernard Hopkins late last year after knocking him out of the ring. Smith lost to Barrera via unanimous decision after Smith knocked down Barrera early in the fight.