Smith (22-4-1, 12 KOs) will face two-time former world champion Jose Luis "EL Temible" Castillo (64-11-1, 55 KOs) in the 10-round welterweight co-main event for this Friday’s (February 1) ESPN Friday Night Fights-televised "King" Carlos Molina vs. Cory "The Next Generation" Spinks 12-round main event at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.
"I feel like a lot of guys on TV try to be somebody different and I want to be myself and be the truth," said Smith of his ring moniker. "What you see is what you get. I’m not one way on camera and one way off."
So what does he think of his well-known and possible future hall-of-fame next opponent?
"He (Castillo) has the best name of anyone I fought; I guess you could say that. But to be honest, before he passed, my favorite fighter was Diego Corrales, so I’m definitely not a fan of his. He’s just a typical Mexican fighter and I’m prepared for the best version of him there has ever been, so if anything less than that shows up, he’s going to have a problem."
Smith has no problem admitting he’s in an almost "no win" situation facing Castillo.
"A loss against him would be devastating, but I don’t think a win would do much for me because people will just say he’s old. I just want to stay busy and get this win and hope it propels me to something bigger and better. If you win fights like this it’s no big deal. If you lose, it’s bad."
Not one to pre-plan much of anything that happens during his fights, Smith says he’s more of an ad-libber.
"I never really think about how a fight is going to go. I just deal with it when it comes. When I get in the ring, I go with the flow. When you have a plan, if things don’t go as planned, that’s when you have a problem. It depends on what Castillo does. Maybe he’ll come forward, maybe he won’t. If I’m anticipating him to come forward and he doesn’t, I’m already out of my game."
Presented by 8 Count Productions, Round 3 Productions, Warriors Boxing and Blue Wave Boxing in association with Don King Productions, advance tickets are priced are $151, $101, $51 and $31 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster (Ticketmaster.com, 1-800-745-3000), the 8 Count Productions Offices, 312-226-5800 or the UIC Pavilion Box Office, 312-413-5740.
In a special attraction eight round clash, fast rising Polish heavyweight prospect Artur "The Pin" Szpilka will battle Chicago based heavyweight contender "Merciless" Mike Mollo.
Additionally featuring in separate bouts will be local favorites; middleweight contender Donovan "Da Bomb" George, 23-3-1 (20 KO’s), highly regarded and undefeated super middleweight prospect Mike "Hollywood" Jimenez, 8-0-0 (5 KO’s) and popular welterweight newcomer Jimmy Murphy, 1-0-0 (1 KO).
Further details on this world-class evening of professional boxing will be announced shortly.
The UIC Pavilion is located at 525 S. Racine, at the corner of Harrison and Racine on the campus of University of Illinois-Chicago. Doors on the night of the event will open at 7 pm with the first bell at 7:45 pm.