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Former underdog Fonfara wary of ‘Irish Bomber’ Joe Smith Jr

Andrzej Fonfara knows what it feels like to be the underdog.

In 2014 the Pole defied the expectations of most to bring WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson the distance, finishing the stronger of the two.

Then in 2015 he bludgeoned Mexican golden goose Julio Cesar Chavez Jr into a ninth round retirement. He followed this with a close win over Nathan Cleverly in a Fight of the Year contender.

However, his fight this weekend against ‘The Irish Bomber Joe Smith Jr [21(17)-1(1)] is totally different. He enters the bout in front of his raucous home crowd in Chicago as a 1/33 favourite, but ‘The Polish Prince’ is not underestimating his Irish-American foe.

With World title shots on the horizon, Fonfara [28(16)-3(1)] recalls how “I was the underdog my whole career.”

“Now in this position, it’s even better. I’m motivated by being in this position.”

The 28 year old understands the position Smith finds himself in said that “I know my opponent feels overlooked and that will add to his motivation”

“I expect this fight to be a real battle.”

“He’s a young tough guy.”

Nevertheless, Fonfara is confident of victory over the 26 year old New Yorker in the ten round defence of his WBC International bauble and explains that “I know that I must win the fight. I’m prepared and I will be victorious.”

“I’m not going to stop throwing punches. I will control the ring and find my spots.”

“I definitely want to give my fans the knockout.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie