Weights: Lara 154, Smith 153.5
(Photo credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime) By Dan Ambrose: WBA World junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara (19-2-2, 12 KOs) successfully weighed in on Thursday for his title defense against challenger Ishe Smith (26-6, 12 KOs) on Friday night at the Illusions Theater, in San Antonio, Texas, USA.
Lara, 31, weighed in right at the junior middleweight limit at 154 pounds. For his part, the 36-year-old Smith weighed in at a half pound under at 153.5 pounds.
Oddly enough, this will be Lara’s first defense of his World Boxing Association title because his last fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez took place at a catch-weight of 155 pounds per Canelo’s request. This enabled Lara to hold onto his WBA title because he ended up losing that fight.
Out of all the potential opponents Lara could face, Smith arguably doesn’t deserve a title shot given his lack of big name fights since his loss to Carlos Molina last year. However, Smith was supposed to fight Lara earlier this year, but Lara opted to take a bigger money fight against Canelo rather than Smith. In the meantime, Smith fought 36-year-old journeyman last May and blew him out in 2 rounds.
By having Lara fight Smith instead of a more dangerous contender, it puts Lara in a good position to hold onto his WBA title rather than take a risky fight against a dangerous contender.
Lara wants to defend his title and then get a fight money fight against the likes of Canelo, Miguel Cotto or Floyd Mayweather Jr. However, none of those fighters have been mentioning Lara’s name as a potential opponent and it’s not likely that they will in the near future. Lara needs to put some victories behind him and then wait out guys like Canelo until he runs out of opponents.
Lara can pretty much forget about getting a fight against Mayweather or Cotto, because neither of them are likely going to risk facing him due to him being too much risk for the reward. Canelo is young enough to where he’ll eventually run out of opponents in the future, and then perhaps he’ll look Lara’s way in a rematch if he doesn’t move up in weight to the middleweight division.