Mark Tucker Rises to 15-0 With Decision Over Ray Smith
The 23-year-old Tucker was coming off of a June performance on the biggest stage of his career when he scored an eight-round, unanimous decision over Billy Bailey of Bakersfield, Calif.
Tucker-Bailey took place on the undercard of a Showtime-televised bout featuring WBA super middleweight (168 pounds) champion Andre Ward (23-0, 13 KOs), of Oakland, Calif., scoring a unanimous decision over Allan Green (29-3, 20 KOs), of Tulsa, Ok., at The Oracle Arena in Ward's hometown
Against Smith, Tucker was the busier fighter and racked up points by consistently throwing jabs, hooks, left-hand crosses and crisp body blows.
Smith had some success connecting from close range, but Tucker's ability to dictate the pace and endure Smith's offense influenced the judges, all three of whom scored the bout, 59-55, in Tucker's favor.
"The ring rust definitely played a factor, and it was hard to train properly in this weather, but I definitely felt that I won," said Tucker, whose next bout is scheduled for March 12 at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va.
"He threw some big shots, and most of them glanced off of me," said Tucker. "He was tougher than I expected, but I landed more punches than him and that's how the scoring works."
Promoted by Lou DiBella, Tucker suffered an ankle injury a few days prior to what had been a scheduled Oct. 6 fight against an opponent to be determined.
Smith is 9-4, with three knockouts, and is coming off of an August, 2009, second-round knockout loss to Ismayl Syllakh (14-0, 12 KOs).