Showtime's Friday, December 12 show is fully set for the Illusions Theater in San Antonio, with Erislandy Lara defending his WBA "regular" junior middleweight title against former IBF titleholder Ishe Smith in the 12-round main event, plus returns to action for Mayweather Promotions prospect Chris Pearson, as well as Badou Jack.
Lara (19-2-2, 12 KO) will look to rebound from a close loss to Canelo Alvarez in July, while Smith (26-6, 12 KO) is working off of an easy KO-2 win over Ryan Davis on May 2. That was the original date for a Lara-Smith bout on Showtime, one night before Mayweather-Maidana, but Lara was offered the fight with Canelo and couldn't reasonably turn it down.
Pearson (11-0, 9 KO) will face Steve Martinez (15-1, 12 KO) in a 10-round junior middleweight bout, while Jack (17-1-1, 11 KO) will take on Samuel Clarkson (12-3, 7 KO) in a 10-round super middleweight fight.
"This is a fight I wanted and I'm happy that it's finally going to happen. 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."
"This is a fight I needed, the fight I wanted to secure my legacy in the sport of boxing. There's a chink in Lara's armor, I'm fully ready to expose it 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."
"I'm thankful for another opportunity to showcase my talents. I believe success is when opportunity meets preparation and I'm prepared. I will allow my performance to tell the rest of the story."
"I am grateful for the opportunity to fight on Showtime. Chris Pearson is a great prospect and my dream was always to fight the best in my division. This is the second go around for this fight. My respect to Mayweather Promotions who kept their word and put this fight together again."
"I'm very excited to get back in action. I'm ready to put on a fan-friendly fight in a great fight town."