Former world champion Ishe Smith and 154-pound contender Tony Harrison spoke about their respective training camps and upcoming matchup just over a week before they square off in the Premier Boxing Champions on Bounce main event Friday, May 11 from Sam's Town in Las Vegas.
Coverage on Bounce begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and also features unbeaten cruiserweight Andrew "The Beast" Tabiti meeting Lateef Kayode for 10 rounds of action.
Tickets for the event, which is being promoted by Mayweather Promotions, begin at $25, are on sale now and will be available at www.samstownlv.com/entertain.
Smith, a native of Las Vegas fighting in his hometown, shared thoughts on his training camp at the Mayweather Boxing Club while Harrison, a former title challenger, gave insight into the work he's put in at the Superbad Gym in Detroit.
Here is what the fighters had to say:
What kind of problems does your opponent pose?
Ishe Smith: "I look at all of my opponents the same honestly. Tony is a good kid and a good fighter who's fought for a world title. He had a lot of hype behind him back in the day before suffering his first loss. I've been in this game for so long and sparred so many future and current Hall of Famers, I look at each opponent the same.
How has this training camp gone? Have you made any recent adjustments to your camp?
IS: "I've had a nearly 20-year career but until now, I've never had a strength and conditioning coach for two consecutive fights. Being able to stay with one guy for the Julian Williams fight and then having him again, that's going to be key. It helped me last fight and it's going to keep me going forward."
Who have you been sparring with and what have you been looking to get from your sparring partners?
IS: "I've sparred everybody you can think, especially for this camp all of the guys on the Mayweather Promotions team. I've been sparring big guys, little guys and I've even joked with Andrew Tabiti about getting in there with me. I'm really having fun and enjoying my time in the gym."
Do you think the 12-year age gap will make a difference in this fight? Why or why not?
IS: "Absolutely not. He's been knocked out twice. I've never been stopped. I do a good job of ignoring the outside noise. Age is nothing but a number. It's totally different when you're actually in the ring with me. I've always been about challenging myself. I live a fighter's life inside and outside of the ring. I'm set up to deal with anything that's thrown my way in this game."
What kind of improvements have you made in recent fights and how will you implement that in the ring on May 11?
IS: "I've been able to develop a really strong support system in my life that's helped my career stay strong. By using that and treating my body well, I've been able to last. This recent work with a new strength and conditioning coach has really been a game changer and I think can take me to another level in this portion of my career."
What can a win on May 11 do for you going forward? Who would you like to go after next with a win on May 11?
IS: "A win on May 11 is the only option. I want to have my hand raised at the end of the night. The win can mean a lot. Julian Williams was in a title eliminator after beating me, so I know anything is possible. I have to win. It just means everything to me. I'm never going to look past what's on my plate. No dessert for me until I finish my dinner."
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