Canadian middleweight boxing champion Dan Sherry has discovered the mellow side of Sugar Ray Leonard, something most boxers have never seen when they've stepped into the ring with the multiple title-holder.

Tonight Sherry (16-0, eight knockouts) will continue his pursuit of one of the titles Leonard held when he meets Aaron Smith in an eight-round feature bout at the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza in Rockville.

"Ray is very low-key," said Sherry, who is managed by Leonard and trained by Leonard's longtime handler, Jose "Pepe" Correa. "But when needed, he's always there. He brings a presence that everything's going to be all right. He has a great eye for boxing."

Sherry won the Canadian middleweight title in August by knocking out favored Daryl Flynt in his home town of Hamilton, Ontario.

Smith (4-3), a Rockville resident, last fought April 1 on the undercard of the Simon Brown-Tyrone Trice bout at the D.C. Armory, where he decisioned Canadian Donnie Poole.

Also on tonight's card: Jason Waller (4-1-1) of Stafford, Va., vs. Steve Gossett (4-2) of South Carolina in a six-round light heavyweight bout; Rockville's Les Johnson (5-0) vs. Jimmy Garrett (1-5) of South Carolina in a super middleweight fight; Wilfredo de la Cruz (4-4-2) of Rockville vs. D.C.'s Tony Bennett (1-2) in a lightweight matchup; Washington bantamweight Mark Johnson (1-1) vs. Philadelphia's Keith Jenkins; and Hyattsville's Eric Elliot (1-0) vs. William Tibbs (1-1) of the District (junior middleweight).