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Ishe Smith: I Would Have Fought Julian Williams in Philly

By Ryan Burton

Former world champion Ishe Smith (29-8) will have home court advantage when he faces Julian Williams (23-1-1) Saturday night at The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.  Light heavyweight veteran Lionell Thompson (18-4) will face Earl Newman (10-0-1) in the Bounce TV televised co-featured fight.

While Smith is happy that the fight is at home, he said that he didn't ask for it and was even willing to travel to Williams hometown of Philadelphia if it was necessary. He also said that he wanted to secure the fight so bad that he didn't care where the fight would take place.

"It just happened that way. I would have went to Philly. I would have fought at the Barclays. I would have fought anywhere. When I asked for this fight I didn't know where it would be. They could have made the fight in Philly and I would have packed myself up and my family and we would have went to Philadelphia or New York," Smith told BoxingScene.com.

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"It just so happens that this is one of the fight meccas in the world along with New York and LA. It is a very big fight city and it happens to be my hometown and I happened to make some history here so they made it here but it wasn't something they told to me when I asked for this fight. When I first asked for it, it seemed like they were going to have problems making it but I kept stressing that I wanted the fight. Thank God they were able to make a good proposal for him and myself. It is good to be on Bounce and like you said it is good to fight at home."

As for what is next, Smith refuses to look too far into the future. He insists that all of his energy and focus is on Williams but revealed that his ultimate goal is to capture a world title again.

"I would like to fight for a title but my main focus is Julian Williams. Like I said earlier, this has been a great camp. I have been off 14 months. By the time the fight happens no one plans to be off that long. I have rode waves in boxing before and this is just one of them crazy waves where even if you look at some of the really high, high profile fighters, they aren't as busy. Especially after beating Galarza 14 months ago I didn't plan to be off this long. I'm 39 years old but I don't feel my age and I don't look my age in sparring. I just want to enjoy these last few chapters of my career because I don't want to do this forever," explained Smith.

Send questions or comments to [email protected] You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriter

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