By Ryan Burton
Ishe Smith (29-8) will end a fourteen month layoff when he faces Julian Williams (23-1) Saturday night at The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas strip. The bout will headline a PBC on Bounce TV card with Lionell Thompson (18-4) facing Earl Newman (10-0-1) in the co-featured bout. Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions are putting on the card.
The 39-year-old Smith has won two fights in a row since losing a majority decision to Vanes Martirosyan in 2015. He is very confident heading into this fight.
"Camp was high level and being in the game 17 years this is what I needed. This was one of my better camps. I felt good. I felt like I still have a lot left and I am excited for the fight," Smith stated.
Williams bounced back from a December stoppage loss to Jermall Charlo by knocking out Joshua Conley in June. Smith has a lot of respect for all of his opponents and isn’t reading too far into the knockout loss suffered by Williams.
"He is a good fighter. You can't take a lot of stock away (from his loss). He just got caught with a good shot. You can't take a lot away from the Charlo fight,” said Smith while revealing what he feels is his biggest advantage.
“It is just experience. I have been in the game a long time. I have seen a lot. I have fought a lot of great fighters who were either champions or former champions so it is just my experience that I think is key in a lot of my fights. I am excited to fight him.
“This is a fight that I asked for. They were having problems finding me a match and being able to stay busy and the other highly ranked junior middleweights were occupied. I specifically asked for this fight. I wouldn't ask for something that I wouldn't feel confident in being able to go forward and get the W. I know that if I want to continue down the path to a world championship - this is a fight that I am taking very serious - that I gotta win."
A couple years ago Smith and Williams bantered back and forth on social media. Smith also downplayed that exchange, saying that he doesn’t even remember what it was about.
The former junior middleweight said that he has more important things to worry about and that he will leave the social media battles to the younger generation.
"No this is not personal. Honestly I don't remember what we talked about on Twitter. I happened to run into him at Floyd's daughter's Sweet 16 and we chopped it up then. I think he was getting ready to fight Charlo before that fight was announced. He is a cool dude. I got nothing personal with him. This is fighting. We don't have personal beefs outside of the ring. I don't have no personal beefs with anyone. Some of the young guys they do their thing but I am an older guy and I do my thing. I let the young guys do their thing but as far as personal beefs I don't have personal beefs with anybody," Smith told BoxingScene.com.
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