Smith, Vlasov to fight in Feb. for vacant WBO title

Boxing

Top Rank has its first U.S. show of 2021 booked.

Joe Smith Jr. will fight Maxim Vlasov in the main event of a card on Feb. 13, Top Rank officials confirmed with ESPN. The vacant WBO light heavyweight title will be on the line, officials said. The event will likely be held in Las Vegas.

ESPN has Smith ranked No. 6 in the world at light heavyweight.

The semi-main event will feature Richard Commey taking on Jackson Marinez in a lightweight bout.

Smith (26-3) has won two straight following a unanimous decision loss to Dmitry Bivol in March 2019. The New York native is coming off a ninth-round knockout of Eleider Alvarez in August.

Smith, 31, was the first boxer to stop Bernard Hopkins back in 2016, which ended up being the final fight of Hopkins’ career. Smith currently holds the WBO-NABO light heavyweight title.

Vlasov (45-3) had a 12-fight winning streak snapped by Krzyzsztof Glowacki via unanimous decision in November 2018. The Russia native has won three straight since then, most recently beating Emmanuel Martey by unanimous decision in November 2019. Vlasov, 34, is the current WBC global light heavyweight champion.

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