Making his professional debut in 2006 and retiring in 2013, “Lightning” Lonnie Smith, challenged for the Universal Boxing Organization™ (UBO) World Lightweight title in 2012.
AKA “El Negro Mexicano”, due to his exciting fighting-style, Smith appeared to have it all to become a star in the sport: Looks, talent, a great trainer in Hall of Famer Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, and more than solid pedigree.
His father was former WBC World Super Lightweight Champion Lonnie Smith Sr. (44-7-2, 26 KOs), from whom he inherited the “Lightning” moniker.
Unfortunately for the younger Smith, who regularly sparred with former two-division world champion Zab Judah, bad luck probably prevented him from going all the way.
He started boxing at thirteen, and compiled a good 51-10 amateur record, winning numerous national and international tournaments against tough competition before entering the paid ranks at nineteen.
However, he didn’t take the professional scene by storm in his first eighteen months as a prize-fighter, and after nine bouts his record stood at a mediocre 5-2-2 (4), which he has blamed on poor management.
But then things started to come together for Smith, as he won his next nine straight before losing to world class campaigner Vicente Escobedo (24-3, 15 KOs) in March of 2012.
Not long after, in June, he got a second shot at glory, when he fought reigning UBO World Lightweight Champion Mason Menard (19-1, 14KOs) in Louisiana.
Menard won a unanimous decision, but Smith proved that he belonged on that stage.
He would go on to prove it again, twice, but unfortunately Smith never got a second chance to emulate his fathers achievement of becoming a world champion.
In March of 2013 he appeared on his way to beating 18-1-1 Michael Perez on the the Bernard Hopkins vs. Tavoris Cloud undercard in New York, when a clash of head forced the fight to be stopped and declared a technical draw.
Two months later he floored another contender, Cornelius Lock (20-6-1, 13 KOs), twice, but was not awarded the decision after ten rounds in Detroit.
He retired with a record of 14-5-3 (10), and a lot of unfulfilled potential.
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