Erislandy Lara-Ishe Smith set for December 12

18/11/2014 11:14

Erislandy Lara

Erislandy Lara (19-2-2, 12 KOs) will defend his WBA light middleweight title against former IBF titleholder Ishe Smith (26-6, 12 KOs) on Friday December 12 at the Illusions Theater in San Antonio.

Lara-Smith was originally set to meet on May 2, but Lara instead accepted a lucrative fight with Canelo Alvarez in July.

Lara lost a close decision to Canelo, but he still holds the 154-pound world title because the fight was contracted at 155 pounds, one more than the division limit, and therefore Lara's belt was not at stake.

"This is a fight I wanted, and I'm happy that it's finally going to happen," Lara said. "We've had words in the past but now it's time to see who the better fighter is. I'm the champion, and Ishe Smith is going to realize that I'm on another level once he steps in the ring with me. I have a great team behind me, and you're going to see the best junior middleweight in the world in the ring on Dec. 12. Make no mistakes about it, I'm coming to dominate."

Smith lost the IBF title in his first defence by decision to Carlos Molina in September 2013 and, on his return stopped journeyman Ryan Davis in the second round in his last outing in May.

"This is a fight I needed, the fight I wanted to secure my legacy in the sport of boxing," Smith said. "There's a chink in Lara's armor, I'm fully ready to expose on Dec. 12. I've always played the underdog role. I love when people count me out. I will become a two-time champion, crowned a champion again for the greatest city in the world, Las Vegas."