By Phil D. Jay
Former Contender Star Ishe Smith is hoping to be back in ring this coming March following a fruitless 2011 in which one of the most avoided fighters in the world was indeed, avoided by many.
At 33, the American is still hoping to resurrect his stalling career after 2009 and 2010 decision defeats to Daniel Jacobs and Fernando Guerrero threatened to derail his entire career.
‘Sugar Shay’ is now ready to pick himself up, dust himself down and get back in the ring in early 2012 and hopes that he will finally get the recognition he deserves after watching Ronald Hearns agree to a big fight at the MGM Grand against Erislandy Lara on February 11th.
“At this stage, I think if you’re in my shoes I would take a fight with anyone,” explained Smith, who has been out of the ring for fourteen months since retiring Alexander Quiroz in two rounds.
“I love seeing guys like (Carlos) Molina getting shots (at a WBC semi-final eliminator against James Kirkland on March 24th). It shows me that the sport is not completely dead. I just hope he capitalizes on it though.
“You see a guy like Ronald Hearns, who has basically lived off his father’s name and has been matched carefully and strategically. To see him get torched by Harry Yorgey in 2009, lose to Sturm last year and be back in a big fight is very disappointing when you have guys like me and David Estrada willing to fight anyone.
“I am going through pre conditioning right now and everyone knows when I fight, I bring it. I am older now so it takes a little bit longer and I have to work just as hard to get into shape.
“I don't worry about rust though, because I never have taken a beating in fights or sparring. Guys with a great defence just need the rounds as far as sparring goes to get their timing back.
“I will be ok in that department and I am just keeping the faith. Hopefully something will come up before the end of March. I am in the gym, so we will see what gives.
“I was also hurt to see Stevie Forbes’ fight fall out as well over in the UK and would like to mention that it saddened me when I heard.”
Hearns v Lara was originally slated for January 21st but has been pushed back to bolster the Andre Berto v Victor Ortiz rematch card and the winner could be in line to fight a world title eliminator in the summer.
Phil D. Jay covers boxing for worldboxingnews.net