Light heavyweight contender Joe Smith Jr believes that he can become the first man to knock out Russia’s Maxim Vlasov this weekend to capture the WBO 175lbs title in Las Vegas.

Smith Jr, who stopped Eleider Alvarez back in August, is excited by the possible doors that claiming world honours could open if successful on Saturday evening. 

Russia’s Vlasov has won three on the spin since moving down to light-heavyweight, but Smith believes he can capture his first world title in style by halting his 34-year-old counterpart when they meet in ‘The Bubble.’

“It’s definitely something that’s possible [knocking out Vlasov],” Smith Jr told media via Zoom conference call. “I don’t go looking for the knockout or expecting it, but this fight, I’m going in with everything I’ve got. If I can get him out of there, I’m definitely going to do that.

“Vlasov is a good all-round fighter. Compared to the other fighters I’ve fought… He’s up there. I won’t underestimate him. Everything this title has to offer is motivating. 

“There’s a lot of big fights out there once you get a belt. I’m looking forward to getting this championship, so I can get those big nights.”