By Ryan Burton
BoxingScene.com recently spoke to middleweight contender Ishe Smith. The former Contender series participant said that he has received messages from fans asking if he has retired from the sport of boxing.
"I want to let the fans know that I am still here. I get a lot of questions from fans asking if I am still boxing and when am I going to return," stated Smith.
"I am still here and I am not going no where. It has been a rough year (boxing wise) but a great year personally but I miss my sport. I miss my job. I miss my fans. I miss the ring," Smith continued.
Smith recently parted ways with Lou DiBella who promoted many of his recent fights. The split was amicable as Smith hoped that being a free agent would help facilitate getting bigger fights. So far Smith is still having the same problems getting the fights that he has desired. He may be too skilled for his own good as many promoters don't want to risk their fighters against him. Even if their fighter wins, they don't look spectacular and often have a tougher than expected fight.
"I don't know what the problem is. It seems like contenders don't want to fight me because they don't want to risk a lot. The prospect don't want to fight me unless it is on really short notice because of the way I exposed (Fernando) Guerrero and (Danny) Jacobs when I moved up in weight to fight those guys so it is a rough situation," explained Smith.
The Las Vegas resident said that a fight against middleweight prospect Brandon Gonzalez is a recent example of his plight. He said that he was offered a fight against Gonzalez on two weeks notice but didn't want to take the fight on such short notice. Gonzalez ended up struggling to a split decision victory over tough veteran Ossie Duran.
"It is hard for me to get fights unless it is like 2 weeks notice. I think the last fight I was offered was against Brandon Gonzalez on 2 weeks notice," Smith advised BoxingScene.com.
"I didn't think it was in my best interests to take a fight on such short notice but it might be one of these situations where I need to take a fight like that to stay active. I learned when I was young and when I was working with Fernando Vargas that talking to him, you don't take a fight unless you are ready. I have always held on to those words. I don't want to take a fight where I can't give the fans 100%."
Smith went on to say that he is willing to fight anywhere from the junior middleweight division up to the spur middleweight division if the fight makes sense.
"I will fight anywhere from 154 to 168 if it is the right fight. I just want to stay busy and try to get back in there. I want to let the fans and the promoters know that I am available to fight," said Smith.
He finished our conversation by giving BoxingScene.com his wish list of potential opponents. One of which is a rematch versus former Contender Series champion Sergio Mora.
"I would love to fight a Sergio Mora or Tarvis Simms. There are fights out there that can be made that would put me in a good situation if I win and also position the other person in a good place if they win," concluded Smith.
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