This was not expected to be Fight of the Year material, and so it played out. Lara, brilliant yet elusive, controlled the early rounds without dominating before Smith – a former IBF champion – enjoyed moderate success with attacks to the body midway through the bout.
Lara was warned by his trainer Ronnie Shields midway through proceedings, despite being well ahead, that he wasn’t doing enough and picked up the pace in the second half of the contest.
Smith tried to find the solution, but the conundrum of Lara proved far too tricky.
After winning via scores of 119-109 (twice) and 117-111, Lara optimistically called out Floyd Mayweather, who was ringside.