On Friday, December 12th, Erislandy Lara will defend his WBA Super Welterweight title against former champion, Ishe Smith. Lara is 31 years old with 19 wins, 2 losses and 12 knock outs. Smith is 36, 26 wins, 6 losses and also has 12 knock outs to his credit. Neither fighter has been stopped. Who do I think will win? Read on.
Ishe Smith has been a fighting professionally since 2002. He is a seasoned fighter. He’s fought several decent fights in the junior middleweight division. He’s beaten some of them. He has wins over Sam Garr, Randall Bailey, Pawel Wolak, and Cornelius Bundrage. His boxing technique is solid and textbook. However, against his last opponent, journeyman Ryan Davis, Smith looked very… ordinary. His speed was lacking, but his timing and accuracy was still there.
Erislandy Lara is coming off a loss against Saul Alvarez. I mention that first because that loss is significant when compared to Ishe Smith’s last fight, again, a win against a journeyman. Lara did well in the beginning of that fight, but came on strong and Lara lost focus. Looking at Lara’s record shows he has wins over Grady Brewer, Ronald Hearns, Freddy Hernandez, Alfredo Angulo and Austin Trout. Lara has a tricky style in that he can put you to sleep with some boxing skill then surprising you with some out-of-the-blue power shots.
The edge in power goes to Lara as well as speed and possibly skill. If Ishe was 6 years younger, I’d expect him to give Lara all he could handle, but based on his last fight, Ishe Smith will just try to survive and not make a real effort to beat Erislandy Lara. Lara by unanimous decision.