By Ryan Burton
On Friday night in Las Vegas, former title challenger Tony Harrison (27-2) won a split decision over former champion Ishe Smith (29-10) in Las Vegas. The finally tallies were 97-92, 96-93 and a head scratching 94-95.
Smith has proven to be a tough out for many fighters in the super welterweight and middleweight division but from ringside Harrison appeared to have won by a comfortable margin.
"There is some Watergate in the building. Stuff like this is what makes the sport bad. I did everything my corner asked me to do. I went back to the corner every round and I asked my dad if I won the round. Just like I did in the gym. I had four sparring partners. I was working everyday in the gym and I would ask him every round, did I win? Did I win?” Harrison told BoxingScene.com immediately after the fight.
“When I was in the corner my dad was telling me I was winning and told me to keep doing it and I was listening to him. When you hear the scorecards and they become that close it can make a fighter like me change his whole game plan up.”
Harrison’s edge in speed and power were evident from the first round of the fight that was televised on Bounce TV. In the third round Harrison scored a knockdown. Smith didn’t hit the canvas but his glove appeared to hit the matt. Harrison had Smith hurt on a few other occasions and appeared to be in control of most of the fight.
“I thought I fought with my attributes. I used my athleticism and my youth. I moved around on him. I used angles on him. I hit him with big shots. I damn near stopped him twice. I feel like I used my youth, my athleticism, my power and my speed. He was so heavy footed - I made him change directions a lot of times. Every shot he threw I watched and I saw it. To me I thought I dominated the fight. If I lost at all it was a round or two that's if I lost. Ishe fights in spurts but I thought I was in control the whole way man," Harrison explained.
The Detroit native didn’t think Smith was too hurt in the third after the knockdown so he didn’t empty his tank trying to finish him off. He hurt him on a few more occasions but the cagey veteran was able to stay on his feet the rest of the way.
"I kind of didn't feel the whole fucking luster of my arm. Usually when you hit somebody with a good shot I feel it all the way up my arm but it seemed more like a flash knockdown. I looked right in his eyes and I knew he was kinda still there. It was a good shot but he was still there. I stayed patient and said that it will come," Harrison explained.
With the win Harrison is back in the mix for big fights in the super welterweight division. PBC’s stable of fighters in the 154 pound division include WBA/IBF champion Jarrett Hurd, WBC champion Jermell Charlo, former champions Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout and contenders such as Julian Williams and Erickson Lubin.
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