Joe Smith Jr. KO’s Eleider Avarez (VIDEO)

US’ Joe Smith Jr. is the new number one contender for the WBO light heavyweight title.

Smith, 30, defeated former world champion Eleider Alvarez via TKO in the 9th round in their eliminator battle this last weekend.

Currently, the WBO belt is vacated, because Saul Alvarez decided to let it go.

Smit and Eleider fought an interesting bout in Las Vegas with the 36-year-old vet from Colombia being the betting favorite for this fight. However, Smith was the smarter and without a doubt the more durable fighter of the two and even though his defense was lacking at times, he didn’t get himself in serious trouble at any time.

The 9th round saw an epic TKO when Joe Smith landed a massive right hand to the face of his Colombian adversary who got shooked. The right was followed by a nice jab that sent Alvarez out of the ropes.

The former champ tried to get up, but referee Tony Weeks waved the fight off.

It was Alvarez only second defeat in his pro career, while Smith is on a two-fight winning streak.

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