Smith in 2013 accomplished his goal of attaining a recognizable world title belt against Cornelius Bundrage at the age of 35. Through 13 years as a professional fighter, and occasional suicidal thoughts, Smith had finally achieved his dream. He described it as one of the happiest days of his life.
In the first defense of his title belt he fell short in a split decision loss against Carlos Molina. Despite the loss, Smith maintained his confidence of being a world-class fighter. His very next fight he knocked out Ryan Davis in two rounds. Now at the age of 36 he has an opportunity to showcase his talents once again on a big stage against the very talented Erislandy Lara.
Lara is recognized as one of the best fighters in the division. His most recent fight was a split decision loss against Saul Alvarez. The outcome of the fight was non-controversial but the scorecard of Levi Martinez was. Martinez had scored it 117-111 for Alvarez in a very competitive bout.
Despite the loss, Lara still retained his WBA interim light middleweight title belt because the fight was fought at a 155 pound catch weight without the title on the line. If Smith wants to another chance of becoming a recognizable world champion, this is a golden opportunity to get himself in a good position to do so. The fight won’t be easy for Smith given the fact that the Cuban fighter remains a difficult task for anyone in the division. Coming off a loss, Lara will certainly be looking to prove his worth once again.