An “Opponent” Get’s a New Lease on His Career – Dhafir Smith!
By Ken Hissner (June 18, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
At 18 everything looked rosy for young Philadelphia super middleweight Dhafir “No Fear” Smith as he won his professional debut in March of 2001 over James Roberts in Philadelphia. Just a month later he met a real “opponent” in Donnie Penelton, 11-116-4, at the 8 Second Saloon in Indianapolis. Penelton had lost 6 in a row since defeating the “king” of opponents Reggie Strickland, 52-224-15.

Smith won his first 8 fights before getting back to back draws. That was 10 fights in 13 months. In a rematch with Clarence Taylor after their draw he lost for the first time in October of 2002. Today Smith’s record is 22-19-6 (4) having fought in Russia twice, Canada and Poland. He is currently on a 2 fight win streak and fighting Friday night in Winston-Salem, NC. His opponent has a similar record at 20-21-2 (13), named Marcos Primera who has lost 6 straight since defeating Curtis Stevens by knockout. Primera will be fighting in North Carolina for the first time though his residence is there. Will that give him an edge?

“I have signed a 6 fight deal with promoter Cary Smith,” said Smith. Another Philadelphian will be on the card making a comeback in “Smokin” Bert Cooper. August 28th is the next show with both Smith and Cooper scheduled. Matter of fact they have been helping each other by sparring at the Shuler Gym in West Philadelphia. If Smith can put 6 wins on that 2 win streak he will be up to 28-19-6 and possibly a contender will want to risk fighting him. He has had fights fall thru with Joey Gilbert and Omar Shieka in the last 6 months. Smith is known to have one of the best jabs in Philly. It’s the right hand that needs to be developed. He is only 27 and has 47 fights because he has taken too many short notice fights and out of town fights as well as fighting at light heavyweight.

In 2003 Smith fought his first fighter with a good record in Dennis Sharpe, 13-0-1, losing in a 4 rounder. He was 9-1-2 at the time. Then he comes down to 160 and loses to Ian Gardner, 12-1. After a couple of wins he travels to Moscow losing to Sergey Karanevich, 15-8, for the WBC Youth World light heavyweight title. He then beats Tomasz Nowak, 8-2-1, who was 3-0-1 since coming from Poland.

Then Smith gives up 8 pounds losing to Shaun George, 8-0-1, by decision. Then off again to Russia losing to Artur Shekhmurzov, 10-0-1, this time for the WBC Youth Super middleweight title. After a win he goes to Poland losing in 10 to Dawid Kostecki, 15-0, again for that WBC Youth light heavyweight title. He then loses 7 straight fights of which 5 of his opponents were unbeaten. “I was just going through the motions at that time,” said Smith. He then traveled to Indiana to draw with Nick Cook, 14-1, from Indiana. So you know what kind of decision that was. Three weeks later he comes in at a career high 179 and defeats Lamont Cooper who was 183. A good win over Henry Mayes, 5-0, followed but he was back to 166. In October of 2006 he drew with Maryland’s Mike Paschall, 10-0, in Maryland in another hometowner.

Smith then has his only fight in North Carolina up until Friday night defeating Kippy Warren, 17-5-2, for the WBF All American Light heavyweight title. Though from Philly he then loses to Curtis Stevens, 14-1, for the New York State title. A draw with Omar Pittman, 13-3, follows.

In May of 2007 he runs into probably his toughest opponent the current super middleweight champion Andre Ward, 11-0, and is stopped in the 6th round. He follows this up with possibly his best win by stopping once promising Brandon Mitchem, 25-4-1,in the 4th. He follows this up defeating Jonathan Reid, 34-6, of the Contender show. Then he had a draw with Larry Marks, 29-9, in Delaware. I was at that fight and can tell you he was robbed. Back to back wins over John Jonson, 12-1 and Rayco Saunders, 15-8-2, were impressive.

Then the competition picked up for Smith as he went to Montreal for the vacant WBC Continental Americas super middleweight title losing to Adonis Stevenson, 10-0. He then loses by split decision to Kingsley Ikeke, 23-3, at light heavyweight. A follow-up loss to Jerson Ravelo, 18-3, was his last loss up to now. In back to back fights for new manager Ivan Cohen he defeats William Gill and Demitrius Davis. That was September of 2009 and he hasn’t fought since. They had a parting of the ways and this brings us up to Cary Smith in North Carolina. I once managed “Fearless” Freddie Pendleton for “one fight” in October of 1985 when he defeated Darryl Martin for the state 140 title. I still have a letter from promoter J. Russell Peltz to the commissioner Greg Sirb holding my end of the purse at $250.00. Last year Peltz said he would look into it. If you don‘t know by now it’s a tough business. Pendleton would go on to win the IBF lightweight title in 1992. Pendleton was 12-12-1, when he beat Martin and 32-17-4 when he won the title. If “Fearless” Freddie can win a title why can’t Dhafir “No Fear” Smith do the same?

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