By Ryan Burton
BoxingScene.com was on hand for one of Ishe Smith's recent training sessions at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas, NV. Smith faces IBF junior middleweight champion Cornelius "K9" Bundrage on February 23rd in Detroit, MI. The former Contender series participant is please with the progress being made in his camp.
"Training is going good. My sparring partners are great. I am putting in the rounds, putting in the work. I couldn't be happier with the way things are going. We are right on schedule," Smith explained.
The native Las Vegan has experienced a lot of ups and downs in his career and is grateful for the opportunity that has been presented to him. I asked him what the first thing he thought of when he found out he was finally getting his long awaited title shot.
"The first thing I did was I thanked God for holding me so long. For keeping me motivated and getting me through all the dark times in my life. It was a rough journey, a very rough road. There was a lot of dark times.
"Just three years ago I think, when I headlined a show at the Plaza (casino) and I didn't even have a car. I was like catching the bus to the gym. Today its like I'm pinching myself and I'm just grateful for the opportunity."
Smith has had trouble getting big fights for a good portion of his career. He fought twice last year under the Mayweather Promotion's banner is and is thankful for the opportunity Floyd has given him.
"Floyd Mayweather is the only promoter that can relate to the fighters and our struggles even though he's the highest paid boxer and the highest paid athlete in the world," stated Smith who said that Mayweather promised that he would get him a title shot and kept his word.
"After he fought Cotto he told me in the locker room that you are too good of a fighter not to not have a shot and I don't like some of the things that have happened to you in your career. I'm going to get you a shot, get you a chance. Just stay with me. So I stayed loyal and we exchanged letters and kept communicating while he was in jail. He kept his promise and I am very grateful to that," he continued.
Bundrage-Smith takes place on February 23rd and will be broadcast by Showtime.
Send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriter and tune in to The Boxing Lab, BoxingScene's official audio on Tuesdays. The show is hosted by Ernie Gabion, Luis Sandoval and Ryan Burton Tags: Cornelius Bundrage , Ishe Smith , K9-Smith , K9 vs Smith