by Luis Sandoval
It’s been a long and tough road for Ishe Smith but he’s finally reached the top of the mountain and his newly acquired IBF Junior Middleweight championship is his reward. There have been plenty of ups and downs for the Las Vegas native but it’s all finally come together.
Smith is already gearing up for his first title defense and it’s coming on his own terms. Before his fight with Cornelius “K9” Bundradge, Smith was on BoxingScene Radio and promised if he won, he’d give Carlos Molina a chance and a shot at the title. Smith is a man of his word and has kept his promise and the fight with Molina is now nearly done.
“That fight is done; it should be done pretty soon. I'm a man of my word. A lot of people don't know that I said that on your show that I was going to give him a shot. I don't have to make my mandatory right now. I have until the end of November to make it but I told you guys on the show, he deserved it. He's earned the right” said Smith.
“I kept my word and as soon as the fight was over, there were a lot of names calling Leonard [Ellerbe and] calling Floyd about wanting to fight me. Names that obviously [were] worth more than a Carlos Molina and I told Ellerbe don't do that. Look he deserves it; he's one of the toughest guys in the Junior Middleweight division. I like his hustle, his grind so make the fight and Leonard took that and he's almost done”.
Smith and Molina share many similarities as both men have had tough breaks in their careers and those setbacks prevented their careers from flourishing the way they wanted them to. Both have reached this level regardless and these are the types of fights Smith wants and thinks the fans will enjoy.
“I think it’s going to be a great fight. I think he's fought a lot of tough competitors. A lot of his career he's had some close decisions and I fought a lot of tough guys too. I fought a lot of undefeated guys. I fought Randall Bailey when I only had 13 fights so I've been in there with some tough guys myself. So I think it’s going to be a great fight for the fans and he's going to bring the best out of me and I just want to give the fans exciting fights and this is one of those fights” Ishe would tell BoxingScene.
There are plenty of options and big name fights for Ishe Smith in his division should he be victorious over Molina but Smith promises he won’t over look his opponent. It’s a mistake that has cost other fighters and Smith assures the only fight and fighter on his mind will be Molina.
“When I'm fighting I never make the mistake like Amir Khan made or the guy I was fighting [Cornelius] Bundrage. They're focused on other guys like Floyd Mayweather. Amir Khan is talking about Floyd Mayweather and he has Danny Garcia right in front of him. Cornelius Bundradge [was] constantly talking about Floyd Mayweather. Even at our weigh in, the press conference, he was constantly focused on Floyd Mayweather and I'm right in front of him. So I don't focus on anybody but Carlos Molina or who I'm fighting next. My focus right now has to be Carlos Molina or I may trip up like those guys did” said the IBF Junior Middleweight champion.
It’s a commendable move by Smith who you can tell is paying it forward and looking out for a fighter that’s been giving the short end of the stick. He’s been there and done that and now he’s in a position to finally be able to do right for a fighter that probably reminds him of himself. Regardless of the outcome of the fight, you hope more champions would be and act like Smith.
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter @Truewest007. You can also tune in to BoxingScene Radio, Boxingscene’s official audio show every Tuesday from 6-8PM PST with hosts Ernest Gabion, Luis Sandoval, and Ryan Burton.