Undefeated professional boxer and Canadian Super Lightweight champion “Marvellous” Mark Smither (7-0-0) gets set to defend his gold, at home, against familiar foe Cody Kelly (4-3-3).
Smither will main event the United Boxing Promotions fight card on July 23 at East Bayfield Arena in Barrie, Ontario.
Smither will notably be a resounding fan favourite on fight night. “Marvellous Mark” embraces becoming the first boxer from Barrie to headline an event. Additionally, Smither’s historic night culminates in his first-ever pro title defence.
“We’re expecting a packed house of around 1500 people on fight night, with 80 tables on the floor,” Smither shared.
The pressures of performing at home
While it may seem advantageous to compete on home turf, rising expectations can hinder one’s performance. Nevertheless, Smither appears unphased by any outside distractions.
Furthermore, Smither remains focused on his goal of exiting the ring on Saturday night as the undisputed Canadian Super Lightweight champion. And still.
“There’s always going to be added pressure while performing at home in front of friends and family. Nobody wants to lose in front of their home crowd. But the training and mentality stay the same. I put my best foot forward in the gym, and that’s what will get me the victory on July 23,” Smither explained.
Becoming a champion
Smither captured the vacant Canadian Super Lightweight championship on February 26, defeating Paul Ispas via decision. What’s more, Smither elevated his training to new heights when the championship opportunity presented itself. Stepping out of his comfort zone was the key to Smither’s most recent success.
“My last fight camp, I went to Cornwall to train with Tony Luis and other high-level fighters. They helped bring my game to the next level, and it’s a recipe that my team and I replicated for this fight camp,” Smither disclosed.
In addition to Smither, Saturday’s fight card features undefeated Canadian Middleweight champ Sukhdeep “Chakria” Singh (11-0-0) in a non-title match. The promotion aims to showcase the best of its talented stable of regional boxers.
Looking beyond fight night
Presently, Smither is not looking past his opponent on July 23. But his ambitions in boxing go beyond a Canadian championship. Assuming all goes well on fight night, expect Smither to set his sights on the North American strap.
“My original goal in boxing was to become a Canadian champion. It took me 15 years to achieve this dream. Now, I’ve set a new goal of becoming a North American champion. To do that, I’d have to vacate this title and then shoot for a top-15 ranking,” said Smither.
“Marvellous” Mark continues to hunt for the first knockout of his pro career, intending on making a statement in front of his hometown crowd. Moreover, each of his victories has come by unanimous decision. Yet the champ never chases the fight, staying calm, cool, and collected throughout each contest.
“I’m looking for the knockout on July 23,” Smither affirmed.
Importantly, weigh-ins for the event take place at 4 pm on Friday at The Canadian Brewhouse in Park Place. In addition, The Canadian Brewhouse will host Smither’s after-party following the fights. As always, Smither is backed by his team, and second family, at Kas Kitchens.
“I couldn’t do any of this without my incredible team at Kas Kitchens,” Smither reiterated.
The fight card will be available for streaming on Rogers TV Barrie. Visit Kas Kitchens here for further ticket information.