Erislandy Lara showed why he was a clear favorite. | Photo: Showtime Sports
Erislandy Lara was a heavy favorite entering his ShoBox main event battle against former junior middleweight titlist Ishe Smith inside the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. By the time the final bell sounded to end the 12th round, it was clear as to why virtually nobody picked against him.
The Cuban defector dominated the Las Vegas native for virtually every minute of the battle, never allowing Smith to land anything clean or hard to the head. Smith was as aggressive as advertised, but Lara’s brilliant footwork and pesky jab prevented “Sugar Shay” from getting into any sort of rhythm. Whenever Smith would trap his opponent in a corner or along the ropes, he dug to the body, only to watch Lara escape to safety.
Lara’s lead left hand was the killer all night, though, as Smith had little answers for it. Smith’s head was snapped back repeatedly from the left hand and as the rounds wore on.
Ishe badly needed some sort of miracle knockout in the championship rounds, but his lack of raw power, coupled with Lara’s magnificent defense, nullified any hope of that happening. Lara coasted in the final few rounds and still won them; he was awarded a lopsided unanimous decision by the margins of 119-109 (twice) and 117-111. Sherdog.com also favored the Cuban, but by the score of 118-110.
Lara, who improved to 20-2-2 with 12 KOs, retained his WBA super welterweight title with the win. After the bout he called out pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, but said that he’d fight any of the top guys. Smith, for his efforts, fell to 26-7 with 12 KOs.
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