By Phil D. Jay
With victories over David Estrada, Pawel Wolak and Randall Bailey, middleweight Ishe Smith would have been on the brink of a world title in anyone's book, but the plain fact is that Las Vegas hardman just loves to fight and will take on anyone. The 32 year-old has five losses on his 27-fight record, all of which have come against top-ranked contenders or world champions.
Names like Sergio Mora, who Smith appeared with on The Contender series in 2004, current and former world title challengers Sechew “Iron Horse” Powell, Joel Julio and Daniel Jacobs, along with the currently undefeated Fernando Guerrero, (21-0, 16 KO’s) who fights Contender champion Grady Brewer this month.
The former welterweight could have easily ducked fighters and racked up an unbeaten record, but that is not the way “Sugar Shay” operates. He is one of the most avoided fighters in the sport today, has never been stopped and is now seeking a fight in Great Britain against one of the top middleweights in the UK for his next outing.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to fight in the UK, ever since my Contender days,” Smith told World Boxing News.
“I would love to fight (Darren) Barker or (Martin) Murray over there. The UK has some great fans and is a great country who knows their sports.
“I have a love for both boxing and soccer and with one of my favourite players in the world being Wayne Rooney (England soccer player), it would be a dream come true,” stated Smith.
It wouldn’t be an impossible match-up to make against Martin Murray especially. Murray, 28, fights for the British middleweight title on June 18th against Nick Blackwell and a bout in September or October against Smith would be a great spectacle for the British fight fans. UK boxing fans still have an affection for Smith, along with the likes of Alfonso Gomez and Peter Manfredo Jr from hit TV series “The Contender," which was a worldwide hit and made stars out of them all.
Former IBO middleweight title holder Manfredo, 30, successfully gained a trip to the UK in 2007 to face WBO super-middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe and Smith hopes to do the same against one of the British champions in the near future.
One of those fights that could also be workable would be former British super-middleweight champion Paul Smith, who himself took part in the Contender series in the US in 2007 and has just moved back down to 160lbs.
Whoever Ishe Smith fights next, it is sure be an exciting fight.
Phil D. Jay covers the boxing scene for worldboxingnews.net