Erislandry Lara proved pretty quickly Friday night why he is one of the best fighters in the world. The Cuban star used angles and reach to easily outpoint former IBF junior middleweight titleholder Ishe Smith at the Illusions Theater in San Antonio, Texas.
The scores were 119-109 (twice) and 117-111.
Maxboxing and Doghouseboxing had Lara winning 118-110.
With the victory, Lara (20-2-2, 12 KOs) retained his WBA world light middleweight title. The fight was the main event on Showtime Extreme Boxing.
Smith, a career counterpuncher, came out aggressively in the opening stanza. He pressed Lara who moved away and worked his jab.
Lara, working out of the southpaw stance, took over from that point on. He used his six inch reach advantage to sting Smith with long right hands. The center of the ring was his personal living room. He beat Smith to the punch consistently.
Smith, who never stopped trying, found occasional success when Lara was against the ropes. In round seven, he banged home some sharp body punches. An occasional right also connected, but Lara used lateral movement to stay out of danger.
Lara, 31, stung Smith (26-7, 12 KOs) with a punishing left in round 11, but the 36-year-old from Las Vegas absorbed it. He battled back with punches of his own that the elusive Lara easily dodged.
“The first round, I want to see what he had,” said Lara in the ring after the fight. “After that I dominated every round.”
“I did my best,” said Smith. “It’s a tough style, ripping and running with that amateur style.”
Lara indicated that he wants to fight Floyd Mayweather in 2015.