By John Cirillo
Joe Smith, Jr. (20-1, 16 KOs) works as a Union 66 concrete laborer between fights, so it’s fitting that he is known for his concrete fists and knockout power.
The Long Island product looks to continue his climb up the light heavyweight ladder when he faces tough and dangerous Brazilian Fabiano Pena (16-4-1, 12 KOs) in the main event in the 23rd installment of Star Boxing’s Rockin’ Fights series on Saturday night, April 23, at the Paramount in Huntington, New York.
Dubbed the “Irish Bomber” because of the powerful punch in his KO arsenal, Smith is highly-regarded among the light heavyweight prospects during a young career guided by promoter Joe DeGuardia. The local hero fighting out of Mastic will be making his fourth appearance on his home turf at The Paramount.
Smith, Jr. has reeled off 14 straight triumphs, including nine by way of KO. In his latest win, the Irish Bomber scored a thrilling, unanimous 10-round decision over Will Rosinsky while showcasing his talents in the Barclays Center ring on December 5.
Trained by Gerard Capobianco, a former light heavyweight contender himself, Smith fights out of the Heavyhitters Boxing Gym on Long Island.
“Joe has all of the tools to be a top light heavyweight,” says DeGuardia. “His power and strength, combined with boxing skills and stamina have him earmarked for a big fight.”
The co-featured attraction is a “Long Island Showdown” when two popular Paramount regulars – Alan Gotay (8-2, 4 KOs) and Anthony Karperis (11-2, 4 KOs) – clash for the New York State Junior Welterweight Championship. Gotay hails from Huntington, while Kaperis is a product of Hicksville, so it will be a true “Battle for Backyard Bragging Rights.”
Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, Long Island and New Jersey fighters will enter the ring in four other bouts to complete the action-packed card. In an eight-round junior welterweight contest, Daniel Gonzalez (10-0-1, 4 KOs) of Woodhaven faces Carlos Aguiliera (10-16, 4 KOs) of Nicaragua.
The “Battle of the Boroughs” will pit Brooklyn’s Courtney Pennington (8-3-1, 4 KOs) against Shawn Cameron (10-1, 5 KOs) of The Bronx is a six-round junior middleweight bout.
Two four-round fights complete the card: Elmont’s Terrell Bostic (1-0, 1 KO) squares off against Abdel Vera (0-2) of Patterson, NJ, in a junior welterweight bout, while Michael Stoute (1-0), fighting out of Coram, New York, takes on Newark, NJ’s Jonel Lorenzo in his pro debut in a junior featherweight contest.
Doors open at 7:00 PM; and first bout at 7:30 PM.