SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Dec. 13, 2014) –Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara (20-2-2, 12 KOs) retained his WBA Super Welterweight World Championship with a convincing 12-round unanimous decision victory over Ishe “Sugar Shay” Smith (26-7, 12 KOs) in the SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION main event Friday night from The Illusions Theater at The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
After a strong first round for Smith, Lara dominated the remainder of the fight using a combination of movement, speed and accuracy to secure the decision 117-111, 119-109 twice.
Lara, of Houston by way of Cuba, showed his skills and experience outpunching his opponent, landing 40 percent of his power punches and 22 percent of his total punches. Smith, of Las Vegas Nev., landed only four percent of his jabs.
“I’m an experienced fighter and I know how to read my opponent. I read Ishe in the first round and I set up my game plan,” said Lara. “His body work didn’t affect me. I trained hard with Jack [Edward Jackson] and Ronnie [Shields]. He tried to break my concentration with his cheap tactics and dances, but I know how to control myself. I can control my impulses and I don’t let anything get in the way.”
“I want Floyd for my next fight. He’s the best pound-for-pound, and I want to find the best. I already beat Canelo and everybody else in the division,” added Lara.
SHOWTIME Analyst and Boxing Historian Steve Farhood on the fight, “The main event was about what was expected. Ishe tried, but wasn’t capable because he’s not as quick or as sharp with his punches. When he had the opportunity to bang the body he did but it wasn’t enough because Lara was in such control in the center. He landed so many straight left hands that landed flush. Lara fought the fight he wanted to fight and in that kind of fight, he’s very difficult to beat. He frustrated Smith throughout the fight.”
“I did what I had to do, we had a great camp and I went out there and let it hang,” said Smith after the fight. “You win some you lose some. That’s life. Floyd [Mayweather] told me to keep my head up and that he’s proud of me.”
In the co-feature, Badou Jack “The Ripper”(18-1-1, 12 KOs) made quick work of his opponent with a dominating sixth-round technical knockout victory over Francisco “Panchito” Sierra (26-8-1, 23 KOs).
Jack, of Las Vegas, Nev., by way of Sweden, controlled the fight from the outset, lighting up Sierra, the Tepic, Mexican native, with aggressive right hands and upper cuts to the body. Sierra struggled throughout the fight with a cut alongside his right eye suffered in the first round from an accidental head butt.
Jack was highly accurate, landing 59 percent of his power punches, 41 percent of his jabs and 52 percent of his total punches. With 1:02 remaining in the sixth, referee Rafael Ramos stopped the fight and awarded Jack the technical knockout.
“He was what I thought he’d be,” said the 31-year-old Jack. “It wasn’t a perfect fight for me. It’s good to be back but I was looking a bit too much for the knockout, I should have relaxed a bit and used my jab. I felt good, I felt strong out there.”
Sierra was frustrated after the stoppage, “I’m angry with the referee for stopping the fight. I wanted to continue but the referee stopped it.”
In the SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION opening bout, Chris “YK” Pearson(12-0, 9 KOs) remained undefeated in an all-out brawl earning a unanimous decision over Steven “Hitman” Martinez (15-2, 12 KOs).
Martinez, of Bronx, N.Y., by way of Puerto Rico, came out at the bell aggressively, winning three of the first four rounds on two of the three judges’ scorecards. Pearson, of Dayton, Ohio, was able to stay disciplined, controlling the finals six rounds of the fight. The 10-rounder, a first for both fighters, was scored 98-92, 97-93 twice.
Pearson, who hadn’t fought since February, was enthused with his effort in the biggest fight of his professional career.
“I knew he was coming forward, but I had to be smart because I know he’s a good fighter. I wanted to be patient and be smart and use my skills,” said Pearson. “It’s not always going to be a knockout or exciting but it can be dominant and I thought I was dominant.”
In a battle of rising prospects, both were able to impress at different times. “Martinez started very strong, but I think the fact that Pearson had many more difficult fights going into this one enabled him to tough out the rocky moments and come on later. Once he started backing Martinez up the fight was over,” said Farhood.
After the fight, the 24-year-old Martinez was disappointed with his performance, stating “I needed to pressure more. It was a much closer fight than the judges had it. It was a good fight, but I could have done better.”