Ishe Smith Looking To Become First Vegas Born Champion

By Ryan Burton

Ishe Smith (24-5) is looking to make history when he steps in the ring on February 23rd in Detroit, MI against Cornelius "K9" Bundrage (32-4). Smith is looking to become the first native Las Vegan to capture a world title.

After a recent training session, Smith spoke to BoxingScene about the upcoming fight and his burning desire to finally fight for a belt. 

"It's an interesting fight. He's pushing 40 and I will be 35 this year so its very important for me. It means a lot to me and my city because there has never been a Las Vegas born and raised champion. To be the first to do something is very important and fulfills one of my dreams and goals since I was 8 years old," said Smith.

The 34-year-old Smith said that the notion that a born and bred Las Vegan has never been a world champion was brought to his attention by a reporter when he was a teenager. At the time he thought it was pretty much a shoo-in that he would capture a title.  Instead, Smith's career has been plagued my promotional problems and other issues. Needless to say the former Contender series participant is grateful of the opportunity that is in front of him.

"Me and Augie (Sanchez) were the first ones. We did an interview with Royce Feour, the LVRJ boxing writer at the time, and he told us when we were going for the Olympic trials. It was something that stuck with me since I was a teenager. When I first started I thought I'd get there, beating Randall Bailey and being ranked in the top 10 at 147 but then I had all of the promotional issues.

"Then I see Diego and Jessie (Magdaleno) coming up and I was like oh my God they are going to beat me to the punch. I think they were born here. I've been knowing those kids since they were babies. Then this opportunity came and like I said its a dream come true," Smith told

Bundrage-Smith will be televised by Showtime as part of a tripleheader on February 23rd. Devon Alexander defends his IBF welterweight title against unbeaten challenger Kell Brook in the main event while J'Leon Love faces former champion Bronco McKart to round out the telecast.

Send questions or comments to [email protected] 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

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Deeznuts on 01-23-2013

Props to Smith for not giving up on his dream, He has been pursuing a belt for years

Comment by -Antonio- on 01-23-2013

Man the IBF belt at 154 might as well be the WBU belt. For the past few years its been shuffling between average fighters And I expect Ishe to win here.

Comment by $BloodyNate$ on 01-23-2013

Damn! The first? That's crazy as hell especially since its a fight capital. He definitely has a chance since I think he's more technically sound then K9 and could easily outbox him. This is definitely a tough fight for K9…

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