By Jake Donovan
Ishe Smith became the first ever Vegas-born fighter to win a major title after scoring a split decision win over Cornelius Bundrage on the road Saturday evening in Detroit, Michigan.
Scores were 116-111 (twice) for Smith and 114-113 for Bundrage. The fight wasn't pretty, but picked up steam in the final four rounds as Smith enjoyed a strong second-half surge to unseat the defending 154 lb. titlist.
Bundrage was docked a point in round two for hitting on the break and was also forced to contend early on with a cut around his left eye due to a clash of heads. His lack of activity and meager punch resistance led to an abysmal five-round stretch before finally landing in the 12th and final round.
The hard-luck Smith emerges victorious in his first-ever title fight as he improves to 25-5 (11KO). Bundrage sees a five-fight unbeaten streak come to a close as he falls to 32-5 (19KO).
Unbeaten prospect J'Leon Love (15-0, 9KO) scored a unanimous decision over Derrick Findley in the evening's co-feature bout. Scores were 100-90 and 99-91 (twice) in a fight that was more competitive than the lopsided scores suggested.
SHO EXTREME/NON-TELEVISED UNDERCARD (Results by Ryan Burton)
Super middleweight prospect Badou Jack (13-0) kept his perfect record intact by beating Don Mouton (11-6-1) via unanimous decision. The scores were 78-74 in all three cards. Jack had a tougher than expected fight and hit the canvas once which was ruled a slip even though it appeared he was hit by a punch. Both fighters landed plenty of punches and the crowd booed when Jack was announced the winner. Jack is promoted by Mayweather Promotions.
Luis "Cuba" Arias (3-0) looked very sharp in defeating Edgar Perez (5-3) in the first round of their super middleweight fight. Arias dropped Perez with a wicked left hook to the body and a few seconds left he landed the same punch again but this time Perez was unable to recover. The official time of the stoppage was 2:23. Arias is promoted by Mayweather Promotions.
2012 U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha ran his record to 3-0 by defeating Lekan Byfield (2-4-2) via unanimous decision in their super middleweight contest. Byfield showed tremendous heart in going the distance as Gausha landed several power punches. The final scores were 40-36 on all three cards.
Joseph Bonas, a Detroit native, made his pro debut successful when he stopped Coy Witt (2-3) at the :55 mark of the opening round in their junior middleweight contest. Bonas sent his opponent sprawling to the canvas twice before landing a left hook that sent Witt hurdling into the ropes which prompted the ref to stop the fight. Bonas trains out of the legendary Kronk gym and had a lot of local support.
Braulio Santos (9-0) of Puerto Rico kept his perfect record intact by stopping Terrance Walker of Grand Rapids, MI at the 1:19 mark of the 1st round. Walker was completely over matched. He received a standing eight count before being knocked down and the fight was waived off. Santos is co-promoted by Miguel Cotto Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions.
Steve Geffrard who signed with Golden Boy Promotions earlier this week lost his pro debut to Kentrell Claiborne (3-6). Geffrard won the first two rounds but suffered a horrific cut over his left eye that was caused by a punch in the third round. Geffrard was deemed unable to continue by the doctor after he was checked out for a second time. The stoppage occurred at the 2:19 mark.
In the evening's opening bout, D'Mitrius Ballard had a successful pro debut by stopping Kelly Henderson (0-2) at the 1:06 mark of the first round in their super middleweight contest. Henderson was never in the fight and was sent to the canvas three times prompting the ref to stop the fight.
Tags: Cornelius Bundrage , Ishe Smith , Badou Jack , Braulio Santos , J'Leon Love , Terrell Gausha , Luis Arias , D'Mitrius Ballard , Steve Geffrard