Joe Smith Jr.: Laborer by Day, Boxing Champion by Night

Quick, what's the first thing you think of when you hear about a boxer who holds the World Boxing Council international light heavyweight championship and who sent boxing legend Bernard Hopkins into retirement with a TKO that literally knocked Hopkins out of the ring? You certainly wouldn't think of Joe Smith Jr., the boxer who ended Hopkins' career and who is an active member of Laborers (LIUNA) Local 66.

The New York Times recently profiled the boxer and union member:

Between fights, Smith, the World Boxing Council international light heavyweight champion, becomes just plain Joe, a member of Laborers Local 66, a union on Long Island. On the job, Smith might sweep a floor one day and break one up with a sledgehammer the next.

“We do it all in the six-six,” he said.

Smith has been laboring to make ends meet since he graduated from William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach, N.Y., a decade ago.

He went back to work a couple of weeks after beating Andrzej Fonfara to win the W.B.C. international light heavyweight title 13 months ago, and a couple of weeks after knocking Bernard Hopkins out of the ring last December.

Read the full profile.