Heavyweight Luther Lights Out Smith Interview: Calls Out Dan Pasciolla
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
Professional boxer, kickboxer and Muay Thai fighter Luther ‘Lights Out’ Smith, in a Real Combat Media interview exclusive, is calling out New Jersey State Heavyweight champion Dan Pasciolla. Maryland State fighter Smith, 5-0 with four knockouts, who next fights 6-0 Michael Balagun at the Crystal City Hilton in Crystal City, Virginia, on August 19, 2016, has his eyes set on a future match with Dan Pasciolla in 2017, so much so he calls him out in a YouTube video. Smith’s website is located online at http://Ifightforit.com.
Trained by Trey Fox (father and trainer of boxers Alantez Fox and Mykal Fox), Luther Smith’s accomplishments include: being the 2013 Maryland State Amateur Heavyweight champion, open class; the 2013 North American Light Heavyweight (201 to 209 pound) Amateur Kickboxing champion; the 2014 Silver Medalist at the World Kickboxing Association Kickboxing Amateur World Championships; and the 2014 Bronze Medalist at the World Kickboxing Association Muay Thai Amateur World Championships.
Robert Brizel: “Luther ‘Lights Out’ Smith, how are you doing today?”
Luther Smith: “I’m good. How about you?”
Robert Brizel: You have a fight that’s scheduled on August 19, 2016, at Crystal City,Virginia, against Mike Balagun. You are 5-0, and you are already fighting a guy who is 6-0.That’s got to be quite a challenge! You have never beaten anybody with a winning record, and neither has Balagun, but why fight an unbeaten fighter right now at this point in your career? Your career is only a year and a half in. Why fight an unbeaten, Luther?”
Luther Smith: “Okay. The question is, why not? If you’re a boxer, and you call yourself a fighter, you are supposed to be stepping up. Balagun and I are pretty much even. It (the bout) is a good matchup. I want to push myself each fight. I don’t want to be one of those fighter (out there) today with protected records, with wins over a bunch of people with losing records. I guess that is a part of the sport. I’m always looking for a challenge, and I’m sure Mike feels the same way. An opportunity (to fight came up), and we’re both hometown (from Maryland). We’re both from this area, so it’s going to be a great draw.It’s going to be a great matchup, and I’m excited, and I’m sure he is. I’m going in there to do my thing, and that’s all to it. So a better question would be why not do it, and push yourself at this point? I know it’s early in my career. Fighters fight. I want to put on all good fights. I don’t want to be just a one-sided match (fighter).”
Robert Brizel: “I spoke with trainer Trey Fox yesterday. Is he your trainer as well?”
Luther Smith: “Yes. He is my trainer, my coach. Coach Fox.”
Robert Brizel: “What gym do you train out of?
Luther Smith: “I work with Coach Fox out of the Lloyd Irvin MMA Gym in Camp Springs, Maryland. I (personally) work out of the Level Up Boxing & Fitness in Bowie, Maryland. I have multiple gyms, I work out of wherever.”
Robert Brizel: “You came to my attention because only two days ago I did an extensive interview with New Jersey State Heavyweight champion Dan Pasciolla. As you may or may not know, there’s not too many heavyweights in New Jersey. Pasciolla, Chazz Witherspoon,Tyrell Wright, Aaron Kinch, that’s about it. While scrolling and trolling YouTube videos, I found your video clip, in which you call out Dan Pasciolla. My question to you, Luther ‘Lights Out’ Smith, is why do you want to fight Dan Pasciolla? How did his name come up (with your team) in the first place?”
Luther Smith: “We (my team) are looking for some fights. Dan Pasciolla’s name came across (came up because) my coach is working with Marshall Lauffman’s King’s Promotions, and that’s the person’s card I am fighting on next, King’s Promotions.”
Robert Brizel: “Do you remember when you defeated Solomon Maye by decision at The Taj Mahal in Atlantic City on April 29? I was the reporter covering the card, we hadn’t done a boxing card at the Taj in more than ten years. They are supposed to be doing another boxing card at The Taj on September 16, but The Taj is on strike right now.
That’s not the whole hotel, but over 1000 workers are on strike, and that might affect the scheduled boxing card (if the strike is not resolved by that time). Are or were Dan Pasciolla’s people looking for a fight with you? What happened?”
Luther Smith: “I told my people we would take the fight (with Dan Pasciolla). Then we passed it on (the fight proposal) to King’s Promotions. King’s Promotions told us ‘we’ll take it’ (the fight with Pasciolla). Then they came back and said ‘no’, we don’t want to fight a southpaw. That’s when my video went up on YouTube. At this time, I want to stay busy.
I’m trying to take all fights I can get. He (Pasciolla) has a belt in New Jersey, and like I told you earlier, I want to push myself. Pasciolla has the New Jersey belt for a reason, so he must be good. I saw film on him. I said sure, I felt (like) let’s take a fight with Pasciolla.
Reader’s Note: New Jersey southpaw Dan Pasciolla, who won a rematch over southpaw Dante Selby, is scheduled to fight Quian Davis at The Taj Mahal on September 16, 2016.
Robert Brizel: “Dan Pasciolla is a southpaw, and the fighter he just beat at The Claridge, Dante Selby, is also a southpaw. In fact, that was a rematch of Pasciolla’s professional debut, which he lost. Selby returned to the ring after a few years (inactive). Pasciolla won the rematch. Although Selby is listed as a southpaw, he fought this fight (with Pasciolla) orthodox. I don’t see an issue with a southpaw fighting a southpaw. Do you?”
Luther Smith: “No, I sure don’t. I’ll fight southpaw or orthodox. Doesn’t matter. I don’t know Dan and his team. (My inquiry) It’s very professional. It’s nothing personal. I want to fight! When they came back (Pasciolla’s management) and said they don’t want to fight us because they don’t’t want to fight a southpaw, I said oh c’mon. Pasciolla is a southpaw, and his last opponent dante ‘Snuggly Time’ Selby was a southpaw. That’s how my calling out of Dan Pasciolla on YouTube came about. I moved on. I have fought since then.”
Robert Brizel: “Do you have a promoter at the moment?”
Luther Smith: “No. Right now I have been fighting on the King’s Promotions card.”
Robert Brizel: “Maryland has a state heavyweight title.”
Luther Smith: “No I wasn’t aware of that.”
Robert Brizel: Did you know former world heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman held the Maryland State Heavyweight title back in 2000?”
Luther Smith: “Hasim Rahman was a WBC World Heavyweight champion, but I never knew he held the Maryland Stare heavyweight title.”
Robert Brizel: “At one time, the Maryland State title was a 15 round title. Believe or not! It has a 100 year history. In terms of the Maryland state heavyweight title, Tony Thompson, Hasim Rahman and George Chaplin have held it. I would love to see you fight for a vacant Maryland State heavyweight title. What would you think about that?”
Luther Smith: “I would love it. I will talk it over with Trey Fox (my trainer) and see what’s up.”
Robert Brizel: “In the land of Sugar Ray Leonard, it’s a nice belt to have, in terms of a stepping stone (on the way up). It would certainly help you to get better fights. SO when do you think you’ll be ready to fight an eight rounder?
Luther Smith: “I’m not sure. I spar eight to 10 rounds now, but sparring is much different.”
Robert Brizel: “How far do you want to take your boxing career? Do you want to fight every six to eight weeks?”
Luther Smith: “I want to fight regularly now.”
Robert Brizel: “How long will it take to bring (your professional record) from 5-0 to 10-0?”
Luther Smith: “Hopefully not that long.”
Robert Brizel: Do you think in the next 12 to 18 months you’ll be fighting 10 to 12 rounders?”
Luther Smith: “Yes. That’s possible. That’s definitely possible.”
Robert Brizel: “Tell me about your sparring? Are you getting in any quality sparring?”
Luther Smith: “In the past, I have actually sparred with Tony Thompson. I sparred and help him before his Luis Ortiz fight as much as I could. I’ve also sparred with Danny Kelly. I often to handicap sparring (with restrictions, against lower weight fighters). It’s very hard to get heavyweight sparring. I’ve (also) met Mike Tyson and Larry Holmes.”
Luther Smith: “I was with you the night Mykal Fox defeated Jose Valderrama at Sands Casino Bethlehem on June 28. I spoke with you then as well. You came over and spoke to Mykal Fox after the fight. You asked us for an interview with him. We were standing behind you.”
Robert Brizel: “I would love to see you fight a ten rounder for the vacant USBO heavyweight title on one of Marshall Kauffman’s King’s Promotions cards against Dan Pasciolla, who is 8-1-1, and you’re are looking at 5-0 going on 6-0. The two of you ideally need to have ten bouts under your belt before such a fight could take place. If Marshall did a ten rounder between you and Pasciolla, and put up the money for a belt, he’s going to want an option on you. The Maryland State heavyweight champion versus the New Jersey heavyweight champion, for a USBO title or some sort of regional belt.”
Luther Smith: “My last three bouts have been on King’s Promotions cards.”
Robert Brizel: “Tell me about your training regimen?”
Luther Smith: “I work out five hours a day, different types of workouts. I do strength and condition in three times a week, I get sparring at least twice a week. I work on stamina, power. I have to watch my weight. I don’t want to lose too much weight from running. I’m considered a small heavyweight. I walk around at 220, 218 (pounds).”
Robert Brizel: “You are saying you would feel more comfortable as a natural heavyweight around 225 pounds?”
Luther Smith: “Yes.”
Robert Brizel: “Do you still want to fight Pasciolla? Do you think he would be a good challenge?”
Robert Brizel: “So what will you do to Dan Pasciolla when he steps in the ring with you? Let’s hear this.”
Luther Smith: “If me and him match up I’m going in to win. I’m going in to win just like he is, but I’m going in to get that knockout. All I know is I’m ready to fight Dan Pasciolla, and I want to fight Dan Pasciolla! If they don’t want to fight me, I’ll move on. The bottom line is I want to fight Dan Pasciolla. I want to fight as much as possible, and stay busy. Dan Pasciolla is one of the people we’re (my team is) looking at.”
Robert Brizel: “If Dan Pasciolla agrees to fight you, will you take the bout in the future?”
Luther Smith: “Of course! We (my team) said we would.”